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Intel's X38 "BoneTrail" mobo pictured

Intel's X38 "BoneTrail" mobo pictured

BoneTrail follows on from BadAxe2, and we're hoping that it'll continue the enthusiast friendly trend set by its predecessor.

While we were at Corsair's suite today, we managed to spot Intel's upcoming replacement for the popular "BadAxe2" motherboard, which has been the chip giant's flagship mobo for what seems like an eternity.

Naturally, the board will be based on the X38 chipset and will eventually support ATI CrossFire. The board, which Intel has dubbed "BoneTrail", was installed in the confines of a Silverstone chassis, but there were a few things we observed.

First and foremost, the northbridge is passively cooled with what bares similarities with the aluminium finned design used on Intel's "BadAxe2" board. This is potentially good news for those thinking that X38 couldn't be passively cooled, but that's obviously not taking overclocking into account.

We also noticed that there were no heatsinks covering the PWMs surrounding the CPU socket. This is strange, because the BadAxe2 was famous for its "flaming" PWM heatsinks. Of course, it may just be that this particular board didn't have them installed because it looks to be in a pretty early state.

The add-in port selection looks to be the same as the BadAxe2, meaning three PCI-Express x16 slots and three PCI slots laid out in an alternating pattern. We already know that the northbridge supports at least 32 PCI-Express 2.0 lanes, but considering Bearlake's reputation for golden nuggets, we wouldn't be surprised if there are some X38 secrets untold at this time.

Corsair's engineers hadn't overclocked the board because the BIOS was in a very early (and I guess, unstable) state, citing that it would have been unfair to try and get such an early design stable. Intel has less than 90 days to go before it ships X38, so there's plenty of work for the BIOS team to do before then.

Overall, the layout looks good, so let's hope it delivers on the BIOS and enthusiast-friendly features front. Share your thoughts in the forums.

8 Comments

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Tulatin 6th June 2007, 20:09 Quote
Seems standard, but where'd the mosfet heatsinks go? You'd think a board that caters to a quadcore, 4gb of ram, and triple(!) 150w slots would need them...
zhangmaster12 6th June 2007, 21:24 Quote
what waterblock is that?
Tim S 7th June 2007, 02:12 Quote
Corsair's that comes with the Nautilus 500
bwlonsdale 7th June 2007, 16:02 Quote
It looks like just two PCI slots, not three, same as the BadAxe and BadAxe2.

Got me excited for a moment there, I could have stuck a soundcard in the third slot along with my two tv tuners...!
./^\.Ace./^\. 7th June 2007, 16:25 Quote
I can't wait to see what kind of overclocking you could do with that chipset :D, also for the last guy why two TV tuner cards? :? one is enough for me :D
bwlonsdale 8th June 2007, 10:36 Quote
I have my BadAxe board in my media center - it's been the most stable board I've ever bought. The two tuners are so I can watch and record TV at the same time (yes, I watch way too much TV.... )
./^\.Ace./^\. 8th June 2007, 20:27 Quote
I think there is a program that lets you record your TV wile you are watching it :? the only problem is there is a slight delay for the image. so if your show starts at 5:00 you might see it start at 5:05 :(
zoom314 8th August 2007, 16:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwlonsdale
It looks like just two PCI slots, not three, same as the BadAxe and BadAxe2.

Got me excited for a moment there, I could have stuck a soundcard in the third slot along with my two tv tuners...!

If there are 3 pci slots, One of them could be under the video card.
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