The Intel X48 chipset has been the topic of much discussion since rumors of its existence last summer. The release date has bounced from October to March and back again. It appears the motherboard manufacturers are expecting Intel to officially launch the spiritual successor to the X38 sometime in January. Based on this rather firm time-period, Gigabyte decided they had time to go back to the drawing board and update the original GA-X38-DQ6 design.

Gigabyte’s original plans for X48 were to use the same board layout as their version 1.0 X38 boards. When Intel decided to delay the “unofficial” launch this month, Gigabyte changed plans, and will launch a new 1.1 board design. The 1.1 version boards feature a slight layout redesign, new trace paths, improved components, and several new options.

We are not at liberty to discuss two major feature changes, but Gigabyte will be completing a revamp of their BIOS design. Such features as tRD (Performance Level) options will become available to the user along with significant changes in available voltage ranges and memory sub-timing options. In addition, Gigabyte is spending an enormous amount of time tweaking the chipset to extract additional performance from the board.

Gigabyte also feels like these particular changes will improve the board’s performance under Phase and LN2 cooling while addressing enthusiast’s concerns about the lack of certain performance-oriented tweaks available within the BIOS. What the performance improvements over the X38 chipset is unclear at this time, although Gigabyte will be the first to admit that the majority of changes made will only be beneficial when pushing the board to its limits. We look forward to doing just that next month. In the meantime, here are a couple of pics of the new board running in Gigabyte’s labs.


 

 
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  • AmberClad - Monday, November 26, 2007 - link

    What's that orange thing sitting atop the PCIe card there? Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - link

    It is part of the cooling system for Gigabyte's new passive heatsink (version 3) system. Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Sunday, November 25, 2007 - link

    It looks like all of the entries in the blog now have Gary's byline. I know that at least some of them were written by Anand. Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - link

    We are still working on that problem. ;) Reply
  • TA152H - Thursday, November 22, 2007 - link

    Gary,

    Do you have any idea whether the transistors they wasted for DDR2 support on the X38 are gone, or are they still going to chew up power and emit heat?

    I'm thinking about upgrading my development machine, and I'm really not too happy with power hogs. AMD processors suck bad, particularly when power is concerned, compared to Penryn, so I'm definitely going with a Penryn because of the extraordinary power characteristics. The problem is the x38 is a power hog, and I'd rather have PCI-E 2.0 (which limits my interest in the P35 which is bordering on obsolesence at its release). So, I'm hoping the x48 won't be shackled with all the worthless DDR2 transistors. Since it's not going to support DDR2, it's not unreasonable to expect that. Do you have any idea about this?
    Reply
  • TA152H - Thursday, November 22, 2007 - link

    Gary,

    Do you have any idea whether the transistors they wasted for DDR2 support on the X38 are gone, or are they still going to chew up power and emit heat?

    I'm thinking about upgrading my development machine, and I'm really not too happy with power hogs. AMD processors suck bad, particularly when power is concerned, compared to Penryn, so I'm definitely going with a Penryn because of the extraordinary power characteristics. The problem is the x38 is a power hog, and I'd rather have PCI-E 2.0 (which limits my interest in the P35 which is bordering on obsolesence at its release). So, I'm hoping the x48 won't be shackled with all the worthless DDR2 transistors. Since it's not going to support DDR2, it's not unreasonable to expect that. Do you have any idea about this?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - link

    The X48 is just a point upgrade to the X38 and will be available in both DDR2 and DDR3 versions, so the answer is no. Intel has been working on power consumption requirements, but we do not expect any great changes between X48 and X38. Reply
  • TA152H - Thursday, November 22, 2007 - link

    Gary,

    Do you have any idea whether the transistors they wasted for DDR2 support on the X38 are gone, or are they still going to chew up power and emit heat?

    I'm thinking about upgrading my development machine, and I'm really not too happy with power hogs. AMD processors suck bad, particularly when power is concerned, compared to Penryn, so I'm definitely going with a Penryn because of the extraordinary power characteristics. The problem is the x38 is a power hog, and I'd rather have PCI-E 2.0 (which limits my interest in the P35 which is bordering on obsolesence at its release). So, I'm hoping the x48 won't be shackled with all the worthless DDR2 transistors. Since it's not going to support DDR2, it's not unreasonable to expect that. Do you have any idea about this?
    Reply
  • TA152H - Thursday, November 22, 2007 - link

    Gary,

    Do you have any idea whether the transistors they wasted for DDR2 support on the X38 are gone, or are they still going to chew up power and emit heat?

    I'm thinking about upgrading my development machine, and I'm really not too happy with power hogs. AMD processors suck bad, particularly when power is concerned, compared to Penryn, so I'm definitely going with a Penryn because of the extraordinary power characteristics. The problem is the x38 is a power hog, and I'd rather have PCI-E 2.0 (which limits my interest in the P35 which is bordering on obsolesence at its release). So, I'm hoping the x48 won't be shackled with all the worthless DDR2 transistors. Since it's not going to support DDR2, it's not unreasonable to expect that. Do you have any idea about this?
    Reply

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