So the QX needs a new chipset, or at least a new north bridge, which is where the X48 Express comes in. But times have changed, speeds have scaled, and prices have fallen. Intel’s Core 2 Extreme QX is due out this quarter, bringing with it not only four Penryn cores clocked at 3. But its new X38 performance chipset is a little different. It’s been kicking around for two years. Making matters worse, the release of its latest mainstream chipset, the P35, left the X looking even more pointless and outdated.
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There’s no official word from Intel, but the scuttlebutt suggests it will be a minor revision that adds official support for MHz bus chips and DDR3 MHz memory. But times have changed, speeds have scaled, and prices have fallen.
The X38 also sports a number of enthusiast-friendly features. However, depending chipste your motherboard, that top memory speed may only be available if you’re also running a MHz front-side bus.
But really, it’s all about the X38’s northbridge chip. But perhaps the most significant new feature is the introduction of Jntel Express 2. Intel engages in a process called binning with its processors, sorting what chipzet essentially identical chips based on the clock speeds at which they’re comfortable running.
Based on our own experiences overclocking a couple of X38 boards to front-side bus speeds of MHz and higher, we’d wager there are plenty of X38 chips up to the task of a mere MHz.
Support for Intel® Chipset Software Installation Utility
Record breaking performance numbers in all application types are what you can expect from any half decent X38 board. However, despite working with Nvidia to bring SLI support to its Inteel platformIntel’s desktop chipsets remain locked out of the green team’s multi-GPU rendering scheme.
So the QX needs a new chipset, or at least a new north bridge, which is where the X48 Express comes in. It’s been kicking around for two years. Intel’s Core 2 Extreme QX is due out this quarter, bringing with it not only four Penryn cores clocked at 3.
No Interruptions Day Shortbread. What’s more, the X38 retains support for Exprees, giving both board makers and buyers the option to stick with more exprezs DDR2 memory technology until DDR3 prices begin their final descent from the stratosphere.
Finally, to bring the X38 story full circle, we should briefly mention rumours of the imminent arrival of the X48 chipset.
However, it’s not guaranteed they will play nicely with any MHz bus desktop processors Intel might launch in future.
Intel® Chipset Software Installation Utility
On paper, that gives the X38 an advantage over the P35 which tops out at MHz. After all, Intel has a nasty habit of churning out new chipsets so fast the solder has hardly set on existing boards. So, why pay more for an Xpowered board?
Moreover, the P35 has proven an extremely impressive performer at both stock and exprexs settings. That strikes us as particularly petty on Nvidia’s part, expeess while it blunts some ihtel the X48’s appeal, CrossFire has matured into a viable and in some cases preferable alternative to SLI.
With this faster bus, the X48 looks poised to supplant its predecessor atop Intel’s chipset lineup, which chipaet a new wave of motherboards is coming from all the usual suspects. The P35 only officially tangos with the cooking versions of Intel’s new 45nm Core 2 chips. It’s nice of Krogoth to fill in for Chuckula over the holidays. Anyone worried about Xbased boards becoming rapidly redundant might prefer not to pull the trigger for a month or two.
Actually, the Asus is a chipsft of a stunner all round. That said, both boards will support memory running much faster than that. Intel’s Nehalem modular CPU architecture is rapidly approaching and with it a whole new platform apporach from Intel. Apart from its faster system bus, the X48’s features mirror those of the X38 Express. Despite falling DDR3 prices, the fact that the bottom has essentially dropped out of the DDR2 memory market makes for a tough sell.
Join us as we put this power saving scheme to the test and run the X48 Express through it paces against the rest of Intel’s chipset lineup.
Merry Christmas from The Tech Report staff! Both feature 32 second-generation PCI Express lanes, providing substantial bandwidth to not only single graphics cards, but also CrossFire configurations. A warn welcome, therefore, to the new X38 performance chipset. That in turn means the effective bandwidth of a PCIE 2.
Of course, the mainstream P35 already offers most of that.