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MSI X38 Diamond  (Source: MSI)
Expect Intel's high-end chipset to show up next month

Intel officially set its performance embargo on its upcoming X38 Express chipset for September 23. Motherboards based on the X38 Express chipset should show up in retail in early September, according to motherboard vendors. The September 23 non-disclosure lift date only applies to reviews and performance numbers for the X38 Express chipset. The situation will be similar to the P35 Express chipset launch, where motherboards were available before its Computex 2007 launch announcement and NDA lift date.

The new chipset is a member of the Bearlake family, which saw its initial debut with the G33 and P35 Express variants last June. Intel’s X38 Express succeeds the 975X Express that made its debut with Intel’s Pentium D Presler processors. Although the Intel 975X Express launched in late 2005, the chipset shared basics with Intel’s 945 and 955X Express chipset families. Intel decided not to refresh the 975X Express with a Broadwater variant and held out for Bearlake.

Intel’s X38 Express introduces PCIe 2.0 support to the LGA775 platform. PCIe 2.0 offers greater bandwidth over the existing PCIe standard – up to four gigatransfers per second, or GT/s, with the 20% encoding overhead accounted for. The chipset also supports dual full-speed PCIe x16 slots for ATI CrossFire multi-GPU technology. Intel guidance does not show any indication of support for NVIDIA's SLI Technology.

Officially, the Intel X38 Express chipset only supports DDR3 memory. However, motherboard vendors disagree and intend to release X38 Express based motherboards with DDR2 memory support. Motherboard manufacturers such as DFI, Foxconn, Gigabyte, MSI and others had DDR2-compatible X38 Express motherboards on display at Computex 2007. The DDR2-compatible solutions were either DDR3 and DDR2 or dedicated DDR2 supporting motherboards.

Expect motherboards based on the Intel X38 Express to pop up in retail next month. DailyTech estimates the cost of entry around $200 for a no-frills board and around $300 for boards that include a kitchen sink in the package. 

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RE: Crossfire support still
By lumbergeek on 8/16/2007 12:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
They will not do that. Once they do that they would have to have a chipset solution themselves, and that means chipsets for Intel processors too in order to get/keep market share. AMD is quite happy to sell two video cards to someone who has an Intel Chipset motherboard. Hell, they'd probably be happy to see ANYTHING and EVEYTHING right now to raise some cash. I wonder what they want for their fab is Dresden?

RE: Crossfire support still
By Polynikes on 8/16/2007 12:43:18 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, I guess they'd have to release another RD600. And we all saw how great THAT chipset was. (Compared to the hype, that is.)

RE: Crossfire support still
By nrb on 8/16/2007 12:53:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I guess they'd have to release another RD600. And we all saw how great THAT chipset was. (Compared to the hype, that is.)
The conspiracy theories say that RD600 (originally an ATI product) was once a far better solution, including x16/x16 Crossfire, but that after the ATI/AMD merger the new AMD management insisted that the chipset be deliberately crippled in order to discourage people from buying Intel CPUs for high-end gaming systems. This is supposedly the reason why it shipped several months after it was originally supposed to.

RE: Crossfire support still
By Polynikes on 8/16/2007 3:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about any of that, but based on the hype I figured the RD600 would be making at least 800FSB and would be The Board To Get. Obviously many people were disappointed. There's a reason I don't jump on the latest and greatest. :P

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