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INTEL X38/X48 EXPRESS CHIPSET DRIVER

Anyone worried about Xbased boards becoming rapidly redundant might prefer not to pull the trigger for a month or two. But its new X38 performance chipset is a little different. That in turn means the effective bandwidth of a PCIE 2. Record breaking performance numbers in all application types are what you can expect from any half decent X38 board. The P35 only officially tangos with the cooking versions of Intel’s new 45nm Core 2 chips.

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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.

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Intel’s X48 Express chipset – The Tech Report – Page 1

So the QX needs a new chipset, or at least a new north bridge, which is where the X48 Express comes in. After all, Intel has a nasty habit of churning out new chipsets so fast the solder has hardly set on existing boards. That’s a layout which can only mean one thing to PC enthusiasts: Intel engages in a process called binning with its processors, sorting what are essentially identical chips based on the clock speeds at which they’re comfortable running.

Both feature 32 second-generation PCI Express lanes, providing substantial bandwidth to not only chippset graphics cards, but also CrossFire configurations. The X48 Express north bridge chip cap.

Intel X38 motherboard chipset | TechRadar

What’s more, the X38 retains support for DDR2, giving both board makers and buyers the option to stick with more affordable DDR2 memory technology until DDR3 prices begin their final descent from the stratosphere. According to reports, it could be out in as little as intdl month.

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Gigabyte’s X48T-DQ6 is the first X48 offering to hit our labs, and in addition to packing Intel’s latest chipset, it comes with an innovative Dynamic Energy Saver mechanism designed to lower power consumption.

In simple terms, memory snoop allows the caching of commonly requested data in the northbridge, thereby avoiding the need to fetch it from main memory. However, may not be long for this world Of course, the mainstream P35 already offers most of that.

The X38 also sports a number of enthusiast-friendly features. But really, it’s all about the X38’s northbridge chip.

Intel’s X48 Express chipset

Apart from its faster system bus, the X48’s features mirror those of the X38 Express. However, despite working with Nvidia to bring SLI support to its Skulltrail platformIntel’s desktop chipsets remain locked out of the green team’s multi-GPU rendering scheme.

Our only reservation involves that age-old Intel bugbear, memory bandwidth. However, Nvidia prefers chipest keep tight control on its competing SLI platform. 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.

Exoress, why pay more for an Xpowered board? Prices were too high, for one, and DDR3 hadn’t yet ramped to significantly higher clock speeds than existing DDR2 modules. Motherboard makers have some leeway when it comes to defining bus dividers, which is why you’ll find plenty of P35 Express boards capable of clocking DDR3 memory at MHz, despite the fact that the chipset only officially supports memory bus speeds up to MHz.

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A warn welcome, therefore, to the new Expreds performance chipset.

Customize The Tech Report On paper, that gives the X38 an advantage over the P35 which tops out at MHz. Intel’s Nehalem modular CPU architecture is rapidly approaching and with it a whole new platform apporach from Intel. With this faster bus, the X48 looks poised to supplant its predecessor atop Intel’s chipset lineup, which means a new wave of motherboards is coming from all the usual suspects.

Our Verdict The new weapon of choice for performance enthusiasts. However, depending on your motherboard, that top memory speed may only be available if you’re also running a MHz front-side bus. Dell returns to the stock market after six years. It’s been kicking around for two years. 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. Unfortunately, there’s still an inescapable price premium associated with DDR3.

However, it’s not guaranteed they will play nicely with any MHz bus desktop processors Intel might launch in future.

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