Introduction




The introduction of the new P35 chipset today will likely be remembered as the time when Intel fully embraces the 1333 FSB. In the broad scope of events that would be a natural handle for the P35 introduction. However, Intel could have pushed P965 to officially support 1333 MHz for both FSB and memory speeds and called it a day with a suffix. Instead the decision was made to refine P965, improve a number of items in that existing chipset, and couple the new P35 Northbridge with a new spin on the Intel ICH Southbridge family to be known as ICH9/R.

Today is also the technology launch for the new Intel G33 Express chipset, a graphics chipset that replaces the 945G. Since the 945G replacement will mostly be of interest to OEMs like Dell and HP, we will not be evaluating the G33 chipset in this launch review. We will talk briefly about what is new, but reserve board testing to the new P35 Express chipset motherboards that will be of greatest interest to our readers.

With the incredible confusion surrounding today's introductions, perhaps it is worthwhile to talk about what was supposed to happen in the series 3 Chipset launch. The P35/G33 OEM launch was scheduled for May 9th, which was the time OEMs were to receive those new chipsets. The Performance launch is today, May 21st, when reviewers can first talk about performance of the new boards. The official product launch will not happen until Computex which begins on June 4th.

Still to come sometime in the 3rd quarter is the introduction of the X38 chipset, which replaces 975x, and the launch of G35, which will replace G965. The G35 will likely be of interest to mainstream readers, and we plan full coverage of that launch. There will also be a new value G31 chipset that replaces the current 946GZ and the 946GC. All of these new chipset launches are considered by Intel to be the transition to 3 series chipsets, which will pave the way for Intel's move to the 45nm CPU architecture.

Intel 3 Series Chipset
Chipset Launch Replaces Segment
X38 Q3 '07 975X Extreme
P35 June 4th '07 P965 Extreme
Q35 Q3 '07 Q965 Business
Q33 Q3 '07 Q963 Business
G35 Q3 '07 G965 Mainstream
G33 June 4th '07 945G Mainstream
G31 Q3 '07 946GZ, 946GC Value

The current Q series may not be familiar to some readers. It and the upcoming Q35 and Q33 are chipsets targeted at the business market. AnandTech readers will likely be most interested in today's P35 chipset and the upcoming X38 chipset that will replace 975X. Set-top builders will also be interested in the G35 that will be introduced next quarter.

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  • Gary Key - Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - link

    X38 is basically ready, going through some fine tuning now... I understand it will be held until after the 1333CPUs are launched and DDR3 availability is a little more widespread/cost effective. I expect late August right now, but you never know with Intel. ;-) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    Technically Q3 is any time between July 1 and September 30, but if they're saying Q3 right now it probably means some time in August at best. Reply
  • gigahertz20 - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    I applaud ASUS for only including 1 legacy connection on their P5K series, and not 4 like Gigabyte has chosen to do for their P35 board. Death to legacy connections!

    I mean really, why even include those damn legacy ports. The enthusiast that buys one of these boards will not be using them, they are a waste of space. Instead of having them, they should replace them with more USB ports or something useful.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    I still have a parallel based laser printer that works fine for what I need, and I'm quite happy using it until it dies. There are also people that use serial devices that cost a lot of money. I don't think every board needs legacy support, but it's good that there are still options for people that *need* certain legacy devices. I've got several KVM switches that won't be useful if PS/2 ports disappear. :( Reply
  • yacoub - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    Don't they offer USB or eSATA to serial/parallel convertors for those sort of situations? :) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    Sure, but I haven't had the need to try one yet. :)

    Truth be told, my printer has a USB port, but it behaves very poorly using a USB connection. It's a Brother HL-1240, and if the printer isn't powered on when you boot, Windows won't see it unless you unplug it and plug it back into a different USB port. It just works better with LPT, and as I said for my needs it's sufficient. The way I figure it, having the ports there isn't hurting most people. I've never seen anything to indicate they hamper performance, and how many extra transistors are "wasted" on these ports? Maybe a few thousand? Heheh. 45M transistors on the P35 is a bit crazy....

    For what it's worth, between mouse, keyboard, and my LCD (which actually has four USB ports and flash memory readers), I haven't had any need for more than four USB ports on a motherboard. But then, I've got too many PCs around anyway.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    I agree with you, but for another reason.

    I don't like USB at all, because a few years ago I ran some tests, on motherboards ranging from MVP3 based to a KT880, and USB seems to have a negative impact on performance, particularly on memory, in many cases.

    It doesn't make my keyboard work any better, or my mouse, and I'm not sure why I need it for those functions at all. PS/2 ports don't do it well enough? I'm not crazy about this one size fits all approach, especially when it comes with overhead. The current ports work fine.

    USB is a crappy, bloated technology. I'm not sure the "S" should stand for "serial" at all, I think there is a better word that begins with S for it.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - link

    Wake me up when Bluetooth works over PS/2.

    Though one reason to still include PS/2 keyboard/mouse is that it is hard to screw up support for those in Linux kernels. Same can't be said about USB.
    Reply
  • TA152H - Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - link

    Wake me up when I need Bluetooth.

    You could implement Bluetooth easily if USB didn't exist, but you're missing the point anyway. When you have to use USB for stuff that is handled more efficiently by PS/2 ports, it's a bad thing. Or other ports. It adds no function for these devices, and comes with overhead. It's a bad idea, but of course Intel was in the mode of making as many things as possible use CPU power so they could keep selling their latest and greatest.

    It's just a rehash of some dorky Apple stuff that most people here don't remember. The original MacIntoy didn't have any slots, and you'd attach stuff to some serial bus for expansion. Naturally, it didn't work out, and they had to add slots. At least they didn't get rid of slots for USB, they just made it bloated.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    Man, if the P35 boards are going to be around the $250 mark, I'm not looking forward to see the price on the X38 boards.... :-( Reply

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