"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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  • Gary Key - Saturday, February 11, 2006 - link


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

    Actually, depending upon the device PCI-E does support single-ended transfers. I probably should have worded my statement differently.
  • Bozo Galora - Thursday, January 26, 2006 - link

    http://img264.imageshack.us/my.php?image=intoilet3...">http://img264.imageshack.us/my.php?image=intoilet3... Reply
  • Zebo - Friday, January 27, 2006 - link

    It's pretty sad Garys great article is'nt being read more - only 16 replies almost two days later - he can blame intel and thier non-exciting chips ATM. Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, January 27, 2006 - link

    I should have put "Conroe Comes to Town" in the headline. ;-) At least the board is showing the 1333 fsb setting, hint, hint. Intel's products are a little mundane at the moment but at least we have 20 replies now, anything less and I owed my dog a Big Mac. Reply
  • danidentity - Thursday, January 26, 2006 - link

    Do you guys plan on doing a 975X motherboard roundup in the future? If so, when is it going to be ready? Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, January 26, 2006 - link


    Do you guys plan on doing a 975X motherboard roundup in the future? If so, when is it going to be ready?

    We have three more 975x boards to review. I estimate in about three weeks the roundup will be ready.
  • danidentity - Thursday, January 26, 2006 - link

    Thanks Gary. Also, is there any word on whether 975X will support Conroe? Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, January 26, 2006 - link


    Thanks Gary. Also, is there any word on whether 975X will support Conroe?

    We continue to ask this question. As soon as we have an answer it will be front page news. :-) This board officially supports the 1333 fsb that we will see on product launches this summer but whether they will respin the 975x or not is up in the air right now.
  • AGAC - Thursday, January 26, 2006 - link

    The lack of performance, specialy when compared to an AMD similarly priced system should be compensated with a richer array of features. Looks like intel failed at that. Couple that with a higher energy bill, hotter/noisier computer and there you may explain why so many people now have AMD systems. For me, my last intel PC was a Pentium III. It was good for over 7 years, went from my home to my office untill a cheaply configured Sempron recently put it out of it's duties. Reply
  • AGAC - Thursday, January 26, 2006 - link

    Can enyone tell me why? Is this "William Shakespeare inside" some spiner's new trend? And while we're talking about intel's marketing strategy what's all the hype with this viiv thang? Reply

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