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In a bid to further tap into the segment of performance enthusiasts, Intel Corp. has quietly released its Desktop Board D975XBX2 mainboard that not only allows installing three graphics cards (two in ATI CrossFire mode for improved graphics performance and the third one, possibly, for physics), but also can overclock microprocessor and set memory to work at 800MHz clock-speed, something, which was not officially supported by Intel 975X core-logic originally.

Featuring improved memory circuitry, Intel’s new mainboard now officially supports dual-channel PC2-6400 (DDR2 800MHz) on Intel 975X core-logic, something, which is not available on the D975XBX mainboard and something supported on other Intel 975X-based motherboards formally via overclocking.

But the most important – for computer enthusiasts – new feature of the Intel Desktop Board D975XBX2 is support for overclocking of central processing unit (CPU). An article over TweakTown web-site claims that the new motherboard allows users to regulate CPU voltage from 1.1V to 1.6V with 0.025V increments, regulate processor system bus voltage from 1.2V to 1.5V with 0.025V increments, adjust processor multiplier from 6x to 20x, adjust PSB frequency from 200MHz (800MHz quad pumped bus) to 433MHz (1732MHz QPB) with 1MHz increments. In addition, the mainboard allows to crank up memory voltage to 2.8V with 0.04V increments.

For years Intel has forbidden end-users to overclock its microprocessors and other components of their computers when using a mainboard sold under Intel brand-name. On the other hand, other makers of motherboards have been competing against each other for the best platform for overclocking, leading to creation of very advanced platforms for enthusiasts. Intel, however, was standing still and did not encourage anyone to overclock its processors.

The times have changed, however, when Intel introduced its Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor with unlocked multiplier, allowing end-users to clock their chips faster on non-Intel mainboard. Moreover, several computer makers, including Dell, offered systems with pre-overclocked microprocessors by Intel, which also indicated Intel’s changing attitude towards overclocking. Now Intel seems to have changed its mind tangibly, as the latest Intel Desktop Board D975XBX2 mainboard sometimes named “Bad Axe 2” packs an array of capabilities aimed at enthusiasts.


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