Asustek Computer plans to enable 1600MHz quad pumped processor system bus on its mainboards based on Intel X38 core-logic, whereas earlier it was rumoured that Intel only intends to enable such speed bin for Intel X48 platform. Given that the world’s largest maker of mainboards would hardly compromise stability of its products, it is unclear why Intel preps two platforms with generally similar features.
Asustek’s P5E, P5E3 Deluxe and Maximus Formula (Special Edition) motherboards, which are already listed at Asus’ web-site, will support processors with 1600MHz processor system bus (PSB) officially, despite of the fact that Intel has not formally introduced or announced desktop central processing units with such PSB speed-bin. According to unofficial information, processors with 1600MHz bus will be supported by Intel’s X48 core-logic due out early next year, though, it is uncertain whether enthusiasts bite it, provided that they have the same features on the Intel X38.
Besides officially supporting Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad, Intel Core 2 Extreme and other LG775 processors with up to 1600MHz PSB, Asus P5E and Asus P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP@n will also dual-channel feature DDR2 or DDR3 along with Asustek’s proprietary technologies that boost functionality and performance of motherboards.
Intel X38 chipset will bring the technological “creams” of 2007. It will support dual-channel PC3-10600 (DDR3 1333MHz) with Intel Fast Memory access, PCI Express 2.0 bus with multi-GPU technology capability and some other performance improvements, such as flexible overclocking capabilities and extreme memory profiles (XMP) technology. The X48 chipset reportedly due in early 2008 will add support for 1600MHz PSB along with PC3-12800 (DDR3 1600MHz).
Though, given that Intel has not introduced the X48, it may also feature certain additional technologies that will create more selling points to the updated platform for extreme desktops for overclockers. For example, the new platform could bring-in multi-GPU or multi-CPU capability. Currently Intel’s chipsets only support ATI CrossFire multi-GPU technology, whereas Nvidia SLI tech is only supported by Intel’s Skulltrail platform as well as Nvidia’s proprietary platforms.