Intel introduced the G45 chipset this week and we had an opportunity to finally see it in action during an Intel sponsored event. From a home theater and media center vantange point we expect this chipset to do quite well. Our first impressions were terrific as we finally witnessed an Intel chipset provide hardware acceleration for VC1 and H.264 formats via a native HDMI interface.

The GMA X4500 also provides resolutions up to 2560x1600 along with DisplayPort capabilities. The drivers are still under development so we do not know if gaming performance is improved over the G35. However, we know for a fact that all other areas pertaining to display output quality to general desktop performance are improved over the G35. We expect to see boards in late July from all of the major suppliers and will bring you a first look shortly. In the meantime, here are a few screenshots from boards we noticed during our travels today.

Foxconn's top G45 board is the Concerto featuring DDR3, ICH10R Southbridge, and several features they will introduce shortly in their revamped product series that will focus on features for both the enthusiast and digital home user.

MSI's top G45 board is the G45 Platinum featuring their new DrMOS technology and an obvious flair for heatsink design that most people either loved or disliked. MSI also has several other G45 boards planned including a mini-ITX version featuring MODT technology that we will preview shortly.

Gigabyte took a more traditional approach to board design and will be introducing the GA-EG45M-DS2H next month. This board features the ICH10R Southbridge, Realtek ALC889 HD Codec with Dolby Home Theater certification, a TPM hardware chip, and a BIOS that is geared towards the enthusiast when compared to other mATX boards.

We also looked at boards from ASUS, Jetway, J&W, ECS, and others listed in our gallery.



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