There is still quite a bit of time left before the official launch of Core i7 processors with Nehalem micro-architecture. According to Japanese sources, the long-anticipated new processor is scheduled to be announced only in the second decade of November. Nevertheless, the leading mainboard makers have made sure that they are armed and ready for the new platform in advance: they already have ready mainboard designs for LGA1366 processor socket that the first Core i7 models will support.
These mainboards are based on the new Intel X58 Express chipset. It supports not only the new Intel QuickPath Interconnect processor bus, but also up to four graphics slots that can work as "PCI Express x16 + PCI Express x16" or "4 x PCI Express x8". The chipset comes with ICH10R South Bridge that we already know from the "fourth" chipset series. Note that LGA1366 mainboards support triple-channel DDR3-1333 memory, but the actual memory controller will now be in the CPU and not in the chipset.
ASUS prepared P6T Series of motherboards for the upcoming launch. We currently know some details about the P6T Deluxe mainboard. Equipped with six DDR3 memory slots for triple-channel configurations, the P6T Deluxe has three PCI-Express x16 2.0 slots, revolutionary 16-phase power design and traditional advanced heatpipes chipset cooler. In addition, the board has six SATA 3.0 Gbps ports and two SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) connectors, an IDE port and eSATA, dual Gigabit Ethernet and 7.1-channel audio. You can check out the photos of this board here.
Gigabyte’s top solution will be called X58 Extreme and will offer 6 DDR3 DIMM slots and 4 PCI Express x16 2.0 slots. The processor voltage regulator circuitry will include 12 phases, and the chipset and VRM cooling systems will use heatpipe technology, copper heatsinks and ability to be connected to a liquid-cooling contour. X58 Extreme will also boast 6 SATA 3.0 Gbps ports, a PATA port, dual Gigabit Ethernet and eight-channel audio. For more details on this board go to TweakTown.
MSI Company will offer a series of mainboards for LGA1366 with X58 Eclipse as its flagship solution. This mainboard is equipped with three graphics PCI Express x16 2.0 slots and six DDR3 DIMMs. The board has 6 phase CPU power, 10 onboard SATA2 ports and a PATA port for legacy storage devices. The pictures and additional details on MSI X58 Eclipse are available here.