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Intel de-cloaks Bearlake chipsets

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Computex Consider Intel's latest chipset family, 'Bearlake', launched. Formally dubbed the 3 series, the chipsets have had a semi-official status since April, but at the Computex show in Taipei, Taiwan yesterday, Intel made them a real product.

Intel's G33 chipset schematic
Intel's G33 chipset

The discrete P35 and integrated G33 have been leaving Intel's factories for two months now, but the Q33 and Q35 chipsets, both aimed at business PCs, have just begun shipping to motherboard makers - well ahead of schedule, Intel claimed.

The gamer-centric X38 chipset still hasn't made it out the door, however. But the chip giant promised to start selling it within the next 90 days.

The P35 and G33 - technically the 82P35 and 82G33 chips - support 800, 1066 and 1333MHz frontside bus clock frequencies and an x16 PCI Express external graphics card connection - though the G33 also has Intel's GMA 3100 graphics engine built in. Both support up to 8GB of DDR 3 memory in dual-channel configuration.

Intel's P35 chipset schematic
Intel's P35 chipset

P35- and G35-based systems will also incorporate HD audio and 3Gbps SATA drives - but not IDE/parallal ATA peripherals unless the manufacturer has added support for this old technology itself. Gigabit Ethernet and support for 12 USB 2.0 ports are also part of the standard package.

Depending on which I/O chip the 82P35 or 82G33 is paired with, you may also get RAID hard drive acceleration and data-safety technology. Other options include support for Intel's Turbo Memory Flash cache technology, and its Quiet System Technology, which regulates fan speed to keep the host PC as quiet as possible.

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