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Some stores in Tokyo, Japan, showcase mainboards based on Intel’s 945- and 955X core-logic sets which are to be introduced shortly. Demonstration of samples may indicate that appropriate mainboards that will exclusively support Intel’s dual-core Pentium D and Pentium Extreme Edition processors will be available soon enough.

Intel’s 945P/G and 955X chipsets are Intel’s this year family of high-performance core-logic sets that will support 800MHz and 1066MHz processor system bus, dual-channel 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM, Intel’s new GMA950 graphics core (i945G only), Serial ATA II with some new RAID modes by the new I/O controller and numerous other enhancements. The chipsets and mainboards on their base will exclusively support Intel’s dual-core processors. The 955X will be positioned as a high-end offering for Intel’s top chips and will likely offer higher speed compared to Intel’s current premier 925XE platform as well as Intel’s 945-series chipsets.

Intel’s D945GNT mainboard showcased at some retailers in Tokyo, Japan, according to Akiba PC Hotline web-site, provides Socket 775, 4 DIMM slots for dual-channel DDR2 memory, a PCI Express x16 port, two PCI Express x1 connectors and four PCI connectors.

Intel’s D955XBK mainboard also sports Socket 775 chips, up to 8GB of dual-channel DDR2 memory at 667MHz, two PCI Express x16 slots, one PCI Express x1 slot and three PCI slots. Additionally, the mainboard is equipped with an extra Serial ATA RAID controller as well as FireWire chip. The D955XBK mainboard requires a 8-pin additional power connector usually found on very high-end or server power supply units.

It is unclear when such mainboards will be available.

Intel’s first dual-core processor that is expected to be formally introduced shortly and become available in May is Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 which runs at 3.20GHz, features the Hyper-Threading technology, which allows it to execute up to 4 threads in parallel, uses 800MHz processor system bus, integrate 2MB (1MB per core) L2 cache and utilizes LGA775 form-factor. Later during the year Intel Corp. will introduce dual-core Intel Pentium D processors that operate at 2.80GHz, 3.00GHz and 3.20GHz and do not feature Hyper-Threading capability. All desktop dual-core chips are expected to sport EM64T, Virtualization, XD bit as well as Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technologies. The volume of Intel's dual-core chips will not, according to a company's official, be significant in 2005, but is expected to be enough to meet the demand.


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