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Review: Intel X38 and Foxconn X38A

by James Thorburn on 3 October 2007, 08:58

Tags: X38 Express chipset, X38A, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Foxconn (TPE:2317)

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The 975X has been Intel's official high-end motherboard chipset for the best part of two years, having been launched to coincide with the Pentium Extreme Edition 955.

Since then, however, NetBurst has been banished from the land and the 975X has begun to look rather dated. For instance, the 975X lacks support for DDR2-800 memory, as introduced with the P965 chipset, and also can't work with 1333FSB CPUs, as first supported by NVIDIA's nForce 680i SLI.

In fact, 975X has been overshadowed to such an extent - by Intel and third-party alternatives - that there is little or no reason to even consider such a board using this chipset.

Intel first introduced its Bearlake family of chipsets back in May with the P35 and G33. The P35 is more than capable of equalling the best that 975X can offer. Even so, it's not until today with the introduction of the X38 chipset that we've been able to look at Intel's real contender for the high-end throne.

Can X38 offer enough to tempt users away from highly-popular boards based on the P35 and nForce 680i SLI? They'll be tough acts to follow, but we're taking a look at an early sample of Foxconn's X38A motherboard to try to find out...