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Intel is known for its very reminiscent mainboards code-names. Even the code-names of its microprocessors cannot boast with the same level of evocation and style. It is quite natural that Intel is already preparing its Socket T mainboard for release in the second quarter next year, although, the very first A-0 revision of the Grantsdale chipset will only be taped out by the 30th week of 2003, in late July. Today I learnt code-names of the upcoming mainboards from Intel at The Inquirer: Battle Lake, Powers Lake, Marblehead, Avalon, Augsburg, Eatonville, and Luxemburg.

Computer freaks who just love style would definitely pay attention to these mainboards simply because of their names. However, the problem with Intel’s own mainboards is that they absolutely do not have any performance tuning capabilities. This is not a big problem for those, who never overclock and tune, nevertheless, dozens of end-users want to have those performance tuning options even if they never use them.

All the mainboards are set to come in the second quarter next year and will support the next-generation Prescott and Tejas processors in Socket T (LGA775) form-factors.

Both Battle Lake and Powers Lake are based on the Grantsdale P chipset. Both support PCI Express, DDR-II SDRAM 533MHz, FireWire (IEEE1394), Serial ATA-150 RAID, GD-P feature, ICH6 and so on. The only difference between the mainboards is their form-factor: Battle Lake is an ATX mainboard, Powers Lake is a microATX mainboard.

Next year there will be a huge bunch of mainboards based on chipsets with the third-generation Intel Extreme Graphics inside. Apparently, Marblehead, Avalon, Augsburg, Eatonville and Luxemburg are all powered by the Grantsdale-G chipset.

Eatonville and Luxemburg seem to be higher-end products because they not only boast with Socket T for Prescott and Tejas processors, but also feature DDR-II SDRAM 533MHz support as well as PCI Express, ICH6, GD-G. Eatonville is an ATX mainboard, whereas Luxemburg is a microATX mainboard. Avalon and Augsburg will support only PC3200 DDR SDRAM, but are quite similar to Eatonville and Luxemburg.

Intel has already begun to prepare for a big market expansion next year, as we realize now. Time for other mainboard makers to open their cards…


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