"Expectation is the root of all heartache."

This quote by noted playwright William Shakespeare expresses our opinion about the Intel D975XBX. Although motherboards from Intel have generally been designed and offered for the business, education, or home office user, they have been directing their efforts towards the enthusiast market recently. In fact, Intel has loosened their white collars and taken off the blue suits with the introduction of the Extreme Series product line last year. Well, that might be an overstatement when compared to other enthusiast product offerings based on Intel chipsets, but Intel does recognize the importance of the gaming and advanced user in the marketplace.

The Intel D975XBX, code name Bad Axe, is a follow-up to the Intel D955XBK, which was based on the Intel 955x chipset. The Extreme Series product line includes the Intel D955XBK, Intel D955XCS, and the Intel D975XBX at this time. This product series is a departure for Intel as mentioned earlier and is geared towards the Intel power-user and high-end gamer while maintaining the exceptional security and stability of Intel's desktop board solutions.

The chart above lists the standard feature set available when utilizing the Intel 82975X chipset. The Intel 975X Express Chipset enables full support for two PCI Express x8 slots for multi-view or GPU capability, ATI CrossFire technology, Intel Memory Pipeline Technology (MPT), Intel Flex Memory Technology, 8GB memory addressability, and ECC memory support.

The Intel MPT is enhanced over the 955X iteration to offer improved pipelining to enable a higher utilization of each memory channel, resulting in better performance through increased transfers between the processor and system memory. Intel Flex Memory Technology allows different memory sizes to be populated and still remain in dual-channel mode.

The new architecture also supports both asynchronous and isochronous data traffic, with dedicated internal pipelines and specialized arbitration. In addition, the 975X chipset has improved electricals with optimized ball-out for better latency compared to the 955X chipset. We noticed small, but not significant improvements in our test results.

Intel chose to augment this feature set with additional SATA capabilities via the Silicon Image SiI 3114 chipset, and Firewire 1394a support via the TI TSB43AB23 chipset.

Let's find out if the board met our expectations or left us with heartache.

Basic Features
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  • BigP - Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - link

    Im a self build Virgin - but I'm going in at the deep end. Intel's site makes their Dual Core stuff sound awsome!(a) Is it?(b)Should I look to spend my cash elsewhere when considering a motherboard/processor? Reply
  • Gary Key - Saturday, July 15, 2006 - link

    This board is fine for stock performance and if you get rev-0304 it works very well with Core 2 Duo. Reply
  • FOXY25 - Sunday, February 04, 2007 - link

    hi that are my system setting. My system sometimes make complete restart and i dont know why. I have change entire board with another and nothing. Do y think that could be in memory i have 2x DDR2 1024 MB at 800 Mhz Kingmax. thanks for answer.Foxy


    ====== Board ======
    Manufacturer Intel Corporation
    Product Name D975XBX
    Version AAD27094-306
    Serial Number BQBX645001ND
    BIOS Version BX97510J.86A.1476.2007.0119.1334
    BIOS ROM Size 512 KB
    BIOS Release Date 19.1.2007

    ====== Processor ======
    Manufacturer Intel(R) Corporation
    Processor Name Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6400 @ 2,13GHz (2 Cores)
    Bus Speed 1067 MHz
    Processor Speed 2,133 GHz
    Stepping 6
    Form Factor Other
    Hyper-Threading Technology Status Not Supported

    ====== Cache ======
    L1 Cache Data Cache 32 KB, Code Cache 32 KB Per Processor Core
    L2 Cache 2048 KB Unified Cache (2048 KB Cache Per 2 Cores)

    ====== Memory ======
    Error Correction Single-bit ECC
    Maximum System Memory 4 GB
    Memory Slots 4

    ---- CHAN A DIMM 0 ----
    Socket Designation CHAN A DIMM 0
    Current Memory Type DDR2
    Installed Size No Module Installed

    ---- CHAN A DIMM 1 ----
    Socket Designation CHAN A DIMM 1
    Current Memory Type DDR2
    Installed Size 1024 MB
    Memory Speed 800 MHz

    ---- CHAN B DIMM 0 ----
    Socket Designation CHAN B DIMM 0
    Current Memory Type DDR2
    Installed Size No Module Installed

    ---- CHAN B DIMM 1 ----
    Socket Designation CHAN B DIMM 1
    Current Memory Type DDR2
    Installed Size 1024 MB
    Memory Speed 800 MHz

    ====== Onboard Devices ======
    #Device Type Ethernet
    Device Description Intel (R) 82562 Ethernet Device
    Device Status Enabled
    #Device Type Sound
    Device Description Intel(R) Azalia Audio Device
    Device Status Disabled
    #Device Type Other
    Device Description Silicon Image 3114 SATA RAID Controller
    Device Status Disabled
    #Device Type Other
    Device Description Texas Instruments TSB82AA2 1394A/B Controller
    Device Status Disabled

    ====== Hard Drive ======
    #Model ST3320620AS
    Max. Transfer Mode UDMA 6 (ATA/133)
    Active Transfer Mode UDMA 5 (ATA/100)
    S.M.A.R.T. Status Enabled
    Size 298,09 GB
    #Model ST380811AS
    Max. Transfer Mode UDMA 6 (ATA/133)
    Active Transfer Mode UDMA 5 (ATA/100)
    S.M.A.R.T. Status Enabled
    Size 74,53 GB

    Reply
  • JarrettV - Thursday, February 23, 2006 - link

    Does this board support dolby digital live in the sigmatel audio chipset? I'm looking to replace my old SoundStorm setup.

    Also, does Intel High Definition = Dolby Digital Live support?
    Reply
  • neilfeier - Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - link

    Unlike most users of this motherboard that want to use the dual x8 PCIe slots for graphics, I want to use them for benchmarking a pair of x4 data acquisition boards we are developing. I want to test max rates to and from memory, as well as peer-to-peer transfers between the two boards (assuming the MCH allows this).

    So my question is: Do you think I can I put a x16 or x8 PCIe graphics card in the third x4 PCIe slot hanging off the south bridge? I don't care about graphics performance too much, I just want a dual monitor card that will work in that slot and leave the main two slots free.

    And ideas on this would be helpful. Thanks!
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - link

    I will try it this weekend and report back. Reply
  • neilfeier - Friday, March 03, 2006 - link

    Thanks Gary, I anxiously await the results of your experiment.

    Neil
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, March 09, 2006 - link

    Hi Neil,

    I had video working in this slot. I updated to the new bios release today and will test the performance in a couple of days.

    Thanks,
    Gary
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - link

    Neil,

    Performance is average but it works.

    Gary
    Reply
  • Missing Ghost - Monday, January 30, 2006 - link

    quote:

    The x16 interface supports full duplex transfers up to 8 GBytes/second in x16 operation and single-ended transfers are supported up to 4 GBytes/second in x8 operation.

    error! That's not how pcie works! pcie is always full duplex, and never single-ended!
    Reply

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