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Intel says X48 will ship mid-March

Delayed chipset's debut defined

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Intel's upcoming gaming-centric chipset, the X48, could finally make it to market by the middle of March, the chip giant has apparently told its mobo-maker customers.

Perhaps co-incidentally, Asus yesterday announced a pair of X40-based boards, adding its name to the list of vendors who've unveiled such products, a list that already includes Gigabyte and MSI.

According to a DigiTimes report, Intel has told companies like these that the X40 will arrive mid-March for sure - undoubtedly it's pegging the release to the increasingly less relevant to consumers CeBIT show.

For its part, Asus will offer the P5E3 Premium Wi-Fi-AP and the Rampage X40 boards. The former can take DDR 3 memory at 2GHz, while the latter runs it at 1.2GHz. The Rampage has two CrossFire-enabled PCI Express x16 slots, while the Premium has three. It also has two eSATA ports in addition to the standard six internal 3Gb/s SATA ports common to both boards. The two products both have a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Intel only released the X48's predecessor, the X38, back in November 2007. Originally scheduled for a January 2008 launch, the X48 was reportedly rescheduled to allow motherboard makers and their retail partners to clear out stocks of the older product.

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