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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  • Comdrpopnfresh - Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - link

    The power could be attributed to the DDR3. With it not being so mature there may be a lot of signaling going on that isn't necessary. Also- with all the new technologies, these boards simply have more going on on them. With more transistors on a cpu its is expected they will use more power- more connections and circuits on a board would mean the same. Everything is running faster too. The power consumption doesn't make sense given the lack of matching real-world performance enhancements, but as the article makes good sense in pointing out, Bios are a big contributing factor here.
  • TA152H - Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - link

    Except they ran the power tests with DDR2 on P35 based machines as well, and they were higher than P965 with the same memory. So, obviously, that isn't the cause in this instance.
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - link

    After speaking with the board manufacturers and Intel, our original thoughts (briefings/white paper review) were confirmed that the additional circuitry required on the P35 DDR3 boards and in the MCH result in the increased power consumption on the DDR3 platform compared to the DDR2 platform. This holds true for the P35 DDR2 boards when compared to the DDR2 P965, the additional DDR3 circuity/instruction set is still active even though it is not being used. This is why you will see the DDR2/DDR3 combo boards shortly. However, the BIOS engineers believe that can work a little magic with the SpeedStep and C1E wait states to reduce power consumption, however we are talking just a few watts at best. More on this subject in the roundup, at least we hope we will have more... ;)
  • TA152H - Tuesday, May 22, 2007 - link


    Thanks, it's useful to know. Are they going to shackle the x38 with DDR2 support too?

    Just confirms my earlier opinion, they should have gotten rid of DDR2 support. Intel is an interesting company, they can come out with a great product like the Core 2, and then have some monkey decide to include DDR2 and DDR3 on the P35. You never know if they'll have a clue, or not. I guess it's a good thing they make turkeys like this and the P7, otherwise we wouldn't have AMD. Although AMD might be the cause of this.

    The monkey that decided to do this probably thought, "Oh, look what we can do that AMD can't". It seems to me they did that with the P7, a technological marvel way beyond AMD's capability to design, thank goodness, and the groundbreaking Itanium. Except neither one worked great. AMD's pragmatism has paid off nicely, and even though they can't realistically support DDR2 and DDR3 on the same motherboard, I don't think they really care. Of course, I'm just guessing, when a company does something this stupid, it's always difficult to understand why they did it. It would have been so simple to just have DDR3 support for the P35, and let the P965 handle the DDR2 crowd. It's perfectly adequate.

    Thanks again for the information. It's disappointing, but with Intel you get used to it. They can't do everything right after all, and still be Intel.
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, May 23, 2007 - link

    There might be a more practical reason, such as lack of production capability for DDR3 or HP and Dell threatening to use VIA chipsets instead of P35 in order to keep using DDR2 and keep their prices competitive. I doubt consumers would like their prices increasing by a few hundred dollars for no noticeable performance improvement. And if they only keep the computer 3 or 4 years they will probably spend less on energy than on that DDR3.

    Who knows about X38, I'd guess DDR2 support won't disappear until the chipset revision for Nehalem.
  • TA152H - Wednesday, May 23, 2007 - link

    Well, I agree if P35 were the only choice from Intel, this would be the case, but again, would you buy VIA if you could get a P965? I wouldn't. If the P965 were a lousy, and seriously obsolete chipset, yes, sure, you'd have to come out with something that replaced it. But they could have easily validated it for FSB of 1333, and at the point the only thing really new in the P35 would be the DDR3 support. So, why would you need it?

    I was going to get the P35 rather than the x38 because I figure x38 will be even more of a power hog considering the, to me, useless features it has. I don't plan on getting two high-end video cards, and I don't think I will run anything that requires twice the performance of the current PCI-E, but if they drop the DDR2 support, it might the one to go after. If you ever look at an Athlon 64 CPU, you can see the memory controller is simply enormous, so dropping it on the x38 could be significant. With it being high end, they may decide DDR2 isn't a high end technology so they drop it. I hope so.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 21, 2007 - link

    Could be the Vista factor? I dunno what else to think about the power numbers.
  • XcomCheetah - Wednesday, May 23, 2007 - link

    Could you do a little testing on it... why so high power numbers..
    Secondly if i remember correctly the power number difference between 680i and P965 chipsets was greater than 20W.. but in your current tests the difference is pretty small.? So any guess what has caused this positive change.?

    current power numbers on Anandtech">

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