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Intel X48 chipset to ditch DDR 2?

Supports DDR 3 memory only

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Intel's X48 high-end gaming-oriented chipset, the anticipated successor to the only-just-released X38 chipset, is set to debut in Q1 2008 - supporting DDR 3 memory only, it has emerged.

According to leaked Intel presentation slides posted by Chinese-language site HKPEC, the X48 will not support DDR 2 memory, though it will up the frontside bus clock frequency to 1600MHz.

It will handle DDR 3 DIMMs clocked at 800, 1067, 1333 and 1600MHz - the latter using Intel's so-called XMP (eXtreme Memory Profile) specification, designed to make overclocking a less hit and miss operation.

X48-based boards will sport up to four DIMM slots, two per channel. However, only two 1600MHz, 1.8V DIMMs can be added to the board. Anyone using 1600MHz memory will only be able to connect up a 1066MHz or 1600MHz FSB processor. Only non-ECC memory modules are supported.

The X48 supports two x16 PCI Express 2.0 slots and connects to Intel's ICH9 southbridge chip, which brings six 3Gbps SATA ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 12 USB ports and six PCIe lanes for configuration as two x1 ports and either a x4 connector or four more x1 slots.

The first X38 motherboards began to be launched this week, less than a month after it was first claimed Intel was readying the X48.

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