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ASUSTeK Computer is showcasing a mainboard based on yet unreleased Intel 945P chipset which is believed to be designed for performance-mainstream PCs. The mainboard has two PCI Express x16 slots and officially supports multi-GPU setups, such as NVIDIA SLI, which, in case such mainboards are affordable enough, will enable platforms supporting two graphics cards for customers in budget.

ASUS’ P5LD2 Deluxe mainboard sports LGA775 chips with up to 800MHz processor system bus, up to 4GB of dual-channel DDR2 memory at 667MHz, two PCI Express x16 slots, one PCI Express x1 slot and three PCI slots. The mainboard provides Serial ATA II and Parallel ATA connectors, Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire, may be equipped with a WLAN module as well as sports other modern interfaces.

Akiba PC Hotline web-site reports that multiple retail stores in Tokyo, Japan, are demonstrating ASUS P5LD2 Deluxe mainboard.

Intel’s 945P, 945G and derivative 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 ICH7 I/O controller and numerous other enhancements. Intel’s currently available i955X core-logic is positioned as a high-end offering for Intel’s top chips typically offers higher speed compared to Intel’s previous premier 925XE platform as well as Intel’s 945-series chipsets. Intel’s new generation of chipsets will only support DDR2 memory, which is likely to catalyze system makers and end-users to transit to the new type of memory.

Earlier it was believed that among Intel’s modern chipsets only Intel’s 955X core-logic allowed to split PCI Express lanes for graphics cards and install two PCI Express x16 slots onto a mainboard to allow operation of two graphics cards in parallel, delivering performance advantage over single-card configurations.

Still, multi-GPU setups is not something for mainstream computers, as the majority of PC users either rely on integrated graphics or use affordable graphics cards which satisfy their needs, but do not support multi-GPU configurations.

Intel’s 945-seires and 955-series chipsets are the company’s only core-logic products that support dual-core Intel Pentium Extreme Edition processors and Intel Pentium D chips. The Intel 955X-based platforms are already available, whereas Intel 945 chipset family and supporting mainboards are expected to be announced later this month.

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