Intel today launched its X38 Express chipset, which DailyTech has been covering for a while now. The chipset was previously known by its codename, Bearlake, and first surfaced last year.In October 2006 DailyTech broke the news that Intel would release six versions of its Bearlake chipset and that one of those six versions, the Bearlake-X, would be the X38 Express.The story behind the Intel X38 Express has been one of numerous missed launch dates. At first, it seemed that X38 would launch in time for Computex Taipei in June. Intel then set an official launch date of September 23 for the chipset. That launch date, however, was pushed back yet again.
Engineers at the time cited problems with vendor microcode support as major contributors to Intel's decision to slide the date back even further. The launch date for the X38 Express chipset was then changed to October 10th, and today Intel was finally able to hit its launch target.
ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI all have X38 Express-based offerings. ASUS announced today its P5E3 Deluxe, which comes with the option of an embedded install of Linux. MSI launched the X38 Diamond, which features a new Circu-Pipe cooler design; and Gigabyte launched its GA-X38-DQ6 (DDR2) and GA-X38T-DQ6 (DDR3).
The main features of the Intel X38 Express chipset include support for DDR3 RAM, next generation dual 16x PCI Express 2.0, and Intel Extreme turning. The chipset has support for all current and some future Intel processors like Penryn with front side bus speeds of 800, 1066 and 1333MHz. Other interesting features include the ability to disable SATA and USB ports as needed.