Articles: Mainboards

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If you have been following the news you should know that Intel has finally launched its new “third series” chipsets officially at the Computex show that has just finished in Taipei. We are already familiar with these chipsets. The first solutions based on them have already been discussed on our website about a month ago in our article called Meet Intel P35: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R Mainboard Review. At that time, we concluded that this chipset doesn’t have that many actual innovations despite the fact that it had just been announced. In other words, it didn’t make much sense to replace the mainboards based on previous Intel P965 chipset with the new ones on Intel P35. The manufacturer claims that one of the major advantages of the new iP35 chipset is the support of promising new processors with 1333MHz bus as well as the upcoming Penryn processors on 45nm core. However, first, these are all ephemeral advantages as there are no processors like that in the market yet, and second, the old mainboard may also work fine with the new processors, at least until they experimentally prove the opposite. Therefore, computer enthusiasts decided to take their time and wait and not to line up just yet for the new mainboards.

Moreover, the mainboards based on another chipset from the “third series”, Intel X38, are expected to start coming out in mass quantities very soon. The manufacturer positions this chipset as a higher-level solution than P35 targeted for faster and more expensive systems. Intel X38 based platforms are not available yet, so they are likely to actually demonstrate better performance and offer better features than the already selling Intel P35 based mainboards. This uncertainty, also forces advanced computer users not to rush with acquiring new platforms.

Nevertheless, the leading mainboard makers managed to design a handful of interesting solutions on the new Intel P35, which we simply couldn’t help reviewing. That is why we decided to devote a few articles to the most interesting products on Intel P35 from the leading vendors. And of course, first of all we would like to pay special attention to solutions supporting DDR2 SDRAM. The ability of the new Intel chipset to work with DDR3 SDRAM is not such an acute feature at this time, because the memory of this type is hardly selling anywhere, is extremely expensive and doesn’t offer any significant advantage over DDR2 SDRAM. Therefore, we would like to postpone our discussion of the DDR3 platforms at this time.

For the reasons mentioned above we selected Asus P5K Deluxe mainboard for one of our first articles, as this is one of the most full-featured products on Intel P35 chipset available today. With the help of this mainboard, we will see how ASUS managed to utilize the potential of the new Intel chipset. Hopefully, Asus engineers’ experience helped them to design a more impressive solution than the recently reviewed Gigabyte mainboard that upset us with its relatively low performance during our overclocking tests.

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