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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  • yacoub - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    I think HardOCP's conclusion is pretty honest. These boards are a first gen DDR3 setup that has to transition well from DDR2. Performance will be similar, they will offer a few new decent hardware features, but beyond that for most folks they should stick with their P965 or 650i/680i boards and their speedy DDR2 and wait until around a year from now when DDR3 will start to appear that legitimately outperforms DDR2 in a noticeable way and hopefully by then is cost competitive with DDR2.

    Right now we can get 2x1GB matched pairs of decent PC6400 DDR2 for around (and under) $100. When DDR3 reaches prices like that they'll see more converts from the enthusiast crowd. Or when they start showing performance gains on the order of 15-25% over DDR2.
  • tomoyo - Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - link

    I don't think anyone should be thinking about an upgrade from a p965 in the first place, you've already gotten a core 2 duo and are waiting for the next gen of penryn! Obviously the point of this motherboard chipset is for new buyers, especially people who do not have a core 2 duo in the first place. That is exactly what my situation is, I'm sitting on an amd platform still and looking into when a good chipset/cpu combo is out. The P35 is it for myself, I like the higher fsb overclock and full set of features, hopefully the price will come down quickly as well. Also it's finally gotten to a point where we can get a full set of sata devices with no ide involved...which eliminates the jmicron issue.
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    If we were buying a new board today it would be P35 - based on our test results and not our untested opinions. Gaming is faster, memory performance is faster (even with DDR2), and the 1333 processor bus gives current C2D owners a "free" 25% overclcok in most cases.

    We would likely buy a P35 that supports DDR2 memory, because there is a large price difference in DDR2 and DDR3 right now, and DDR2 is just as fast as DDR3 on the P35 at the same speed and timings - and DDR2 is faster on P35 than P965.

    However, we already have our first samples of low-latency DDR3 in for testing. Recommending DDR3 will be about how fast we see price parity with DDR2 as it is definitely the memory of the future.
  • suryad - Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - link

    Any ideas on when an SLI based P35 setup would be released? That is about the only thing that is holding me back from purhcasing a P35 mobo. I want SLI.
  • yacoub - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    "If we were buying a new board today "
    Right. And the HardOCP editorial was writing more for those of us who already own a fairly recent board and are wondering if the performance is significant enough to warrant another upgrade. Conclusion: it isn't.

    You're both right, in other words. If you're buying a new board today, no major reasons NOT to buy a P35 unless it's a DDR3 one in which case DDR3 is cost prohibitive and offers little to no real performance benefit. If you already have a P965, 650i, 680i, etc, no reason to upgrade.
  • tomoyo - Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - link

    Actually that's not true, according to Kyle, he's endorsing the P965 for all users, new or old. I think he's gotten far too distrustful for new products, especially when this one looks pretty promising. Since the P35 is more of an evolution than anything else, it's a good possibility that we'll get some pretty stable products right off the bat. And I'm of the opinion that a cheap 5% performance upgrade and mobo with full penryn voltage support is worthwhile at the right price for any new user. I do think it'll be a good idea to wait about a month and see if there is any fallout before diving in.
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    That was an editorial, not a review. There was not a single test result in that article.

    On the other hand, we are late to NDA because we got 3 new P35 boards on Friday, and we wanted to bring you real test results based on four motherboards. Our comments and conclusions are based on testing a large number of P35 motherboards, and both DDR2 and DDR3 memory on these boards.
  • michal1980 - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    I know, but his conculsion was to get a mature p965, yours a p35. uggh.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    With the testing results provided here (and in our previous articles), we're comfortable in saying that P35 is already quite mature, particularly the ASUS boards. If you already have a P965 board there's not much reason to upgrade, but if you're buying a new board we would take a serious look at P35 offerings.
  • TA152H - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    I was seriously considering getting one of these boards, but I wouldn't even think about it after your review. What the heck is going on with the power use???? The improvement in performance, to me, is a lot less noticeable than the damn noise you'll have trying to evacuate the heat from the motherboard. What a disappointment. The interesting thing is, another site that ran the power use came in lower than the P965, so I'm really confused which is right. My gut instinct is, they are, because this is a 90nm chip with lower specified power use, but I'm sure you guys knew that and were just as confused and made sure your results were correct. I don't get it at all. It's really disappointing, but maybe with future revisions Intel will get the power down to normal levels.

    I now think supporting DDR2 was a mistake, sure it's good today, but prices for DDR3 will come down, and they would come down fast if Intel made it only DDR3 since memory makers would be very motivated to get their act together. Plus, you'd pay LESS for the chipset, and you'd pay less in electricity for it, and you'd pay less for the motherboards since they wouldn't need as extravagant a cooling solution on it (although, I may buy a MSI just to have that roller coaster. I'm not sure why they felt that design was necessary, but I feel like I need it now. ). So, sure, the cost right now of DDR3 would offset it, but that point will be crossed, and for the rest of the life of the chipset, people will be paying for something that is completely unnecessary and useless, which DDR2 support will be. The P965 would have been fine for legacy support, you don't NEED a P35, and for those folks that wanted it, DDR3 would be fine. Maybe the X38 will drop the dreaded DDR2 support since it's a high-end solution and doesn't need to be shackled with DDR2 support. I hope so.

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