Intel G31 and P31 Express to replace 946GZ, 946PL and 046G Express

Intel plans to release two value-level chipsets next quarter – the G31 and P31 Express. The new G31 and P31 Express chipsets replace the current 946GZ, 946PL and 945G Express offerings. The G31 and P31 Express slot below the G33 Express, but are not Bearlake derivatives. The Intel G31 and P31 Express chipsets are actually 945-generation derivatives with added support for Yorkfield and Wolfdale processors.

Features of the G31 and P31 Express chipsets remain similar to the 945GZ, 945PL and 945G Express chipsets. The G31 and P31 Express support Intel processors with a 1066 MHz front-side bus. Official support for 1333 MHz front-side bus processors will not arrive until Q1’2008, after Intel completes validation. The new value chipsets support DDR2-800 memory.

Additionally, Intel pairs the G31 and P31 Express chipsets with the ICH7, ICH7R and ICH7DH south bridges.

Differentiating the G31 and P31 Express chipsets is the integrated graphics core found on the G31 Express. Intel equips the G31 Express with a Graphics Media Accelerator 3100, or GMA 3100, graphics core. The GMA 3100 graphics core is essentially the previous GMA 950 rehashed and improved with a new name. The GMA 3100 graphics core lacks hardware T&L and Intel Clear Video Technology. Pixel and vertex shader functions are purely software-based on the GMA 3100.

Expect Intel to unveil the G31 and P31 Express chipsets next quarter.

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