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Intel Corp.’s high-end chipset 975X is likely to remain Intel’s top-of-the-range chipset offering for over one year and support not only Pentium Extreme Edition processors, but also Core 2 Extreme chip and even quad-core Kentsfield product! According to a media report, Intel is preparing a mainboard called D975XBX2 specifically for its forthcoming quad-core processor.

A news-story by VR-Zone web-site claims that Intel Corp. is planning to release its desktop mainboard D975XBX2 code-named Bad Axe 2 late this year and implement special “system bus optimizations” “especially for Kentsfield”. It is unclear what kind of mainboard optimizations can be made to enhance processor system bus performance, but it is known that both dual-core and quad-core Core 2 processors – Conroe and Kentsfield – utilize VRD11 power circuitry guideline, which means that theoretically the latter chip may be supported even by the D975XBX platform revision 304 that supports Conroe.

Earlier it was reported that Kentsfield is a code-name for next-generation “extreme” desktop processor from Intel, a breed that is expected to succeed the code-named Conroe chips. It is highly likely that Kentsfield features two Conroe chips on the same piece of substrate, just like Clovertown product for servers. Provided that every Conroe chip features two processing engines, the Kentsfield will have four cores, 4MB or 8MB cache, 1066MHz processor system bus and other characteristics similar to Conroe.

The launch of quad-core chips will coincide with broad availability of Microsoft Windows Vista operating system, which is scheduled to be released widely in Q1 2007.


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