While Intel did not validate combinations of Bearlake chipsets with Netburst-based CPUs, the chances that they still work are not that bad

This article was first published in German on

During CeBIT, the internet was amok with several claims that CPUs based on Intel's Netburst microarchitecture may not support the upcomming 3-series chipsets codenamed Bearlake

Intels Steve Peterson, Director Chipset & Software Marketing, stated "[the] 3-series chipsets have been designed and optimized for Core microarchitecture based CPUs."

Since Intel wants transition its whole CPU-lineup to Core microarchitecture by the end of Q2, the Bearlake-chipsets are designed to match up with those CPUs. As a result, Intel only validated these 3-series chipsets with Core-based CPUs.

However, there is still a chance to make this combination work, as Intel is not aware of any specific incompatibilities between 3-series chipsets and Netburst-based CPUs. To clarify, Intel simply didn't validate this combination and thus cannot officially support it -- at least that's what the corporate brass is stating.

Peterson added, "Although, we are not aware of any incompatibilities with Intel’s Netburst Microarchitecture based CPUs when used with Bearlake chipsets, we have not validated this combination and our design guidelines restrict the Bearlake family boot function to Core Microarchitecture and beyond … Some customers may not follow all of our guidelines and may allow for the Netburst Microarchitecture based CPUs to boot and run. In this case, the OEM would guarantee the reliability associated with this unvalidated combination."

In a nutshell, Intel design guidelines restrict the boot function of the Bearlake family to Core microarchitecture CPUs and future models. However, OEMs can implement boot-code for Netburst-CPUs and support them on their behalf.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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