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Intel rolls out P965/ICH8 chipset

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Computex 2006 Intel has officially launched its first 'Broadwater' chipset, the P965 Express, pitched at the upcoming Core 2 Duo dual-core processor - aka 'Conroe' operating on a 1066MHz frontside bus.

As expected, the P965 supports dual-channel 800MHz DDR 2 SDRAM with bandwidth-optimising Fast Memory Access (FMA) technology, which can re-order memory access commands to ensure the bus is used as efficiently as possible.

intel p965 express chipset

FMA is also intended to provide the integrated graphics core in the upcoming G965 Express chipset with a route to system memory, one of ways the the successor to the GMA 950 core will deliver improved performance. Intel has yet to launch the G965, so details of the new GPU remain scarce, though motherboard maker Gigabyte, for one, has suggested it will be dubbed the GMA X3000.

The P965 is designed to operate with Intel's ICH8-R or ICH8-DH South Bridge chips. The R variant supports the latest version of Intel's Matrix Storage Technology, which brings a pair of external 3Gbps eSATA ports to the table and ups the SATA port count from four to six. Both ICH8 parts also add Intel's Quiet System Technology (QST) automatic fan-speed control system. Intel didn't say so explicitly, but it's clear from the chipset architecture diagram, parallel ATA's not part of the story.

The Vista Capable chipset is Viiv-certified, Intel said, and supports HD audio, now with dual audio-stream support for multi-room sound. It can host up to ten USB ports, any or all of which can be disabled to improve data security in business systems based on the part. ®

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