Intel X38 to arrive with two new technologies

August 8, 2007 // 3:15 p.m.

Tags: #2 #core #ddr2 #ddr3 #duo #extreme #g33 #g35 #intel #launch #lga775 #memory #motherboard #overclocking #p35 #q3 #q4 #quad #tweaking #utility #x38

In the next month or so, Intel will be launching its new X38 chipset which we've already had a brief look at during Computex. There will be two new technologies featured - these are called Extreme Memory and Extreme Tuning Utility and are aimed at enthusiasts.

Interestingly though, the two technologies won't be exclusive to X38, with P35 and next-generation Intel Centrino 3-series chipsets being compatible as well.

The Extreme Memory technology will be similar to Nvidia's SLI Memory in that it will offer an extra EPP (enhanced performance profile) setting for improved performance over the standard SPD memory settings. EPP adjusts the voltages, clocks and memory allowing the combination of memory and motherboard to work far more efficiently together.

However in what relation to EPP, Extreme Memory will take is as yet unknown. The real kicker is that Extreme Memory will be exclusive to DDR3, so those who've already invested in DDR2-based P35 boards will be out of luck. However, don't discount the enterprising Taiwanese when it comes to biting the hand that feeds them and "adapting" something to a more popular technology (ref: The i875 versus i865 chipset PAT saga a few years ago).

Sources note that Intel is currently working with Kingston Technology and OCZ Technology, but expect the likes of Corsair, Team Group and other popular manufacturers to jump in on the action as well.

The Extreme Tuning Utility on the other hand is seemingly inspired by another Nvidia innovation: nTune, and is designed to provide an interface to enable the changing of BIOS settings directly from within the operating system.

Motherboard manufacturers and Intel partners have the ability to customise the interface so expect more over the top and hard to use skin customisation to what could have been a simple, clean and easy to use software. This software will initially only be available on the X38 chipset, but it could be rolled out to other 3-series motherboards later if necessary.

So, is Intel just playing catch up to Nvidia's lead or will they have something truly industry leading when this technology arrives? Are you also fed up of the overuse of the word "extreme"? At least Intel insist on spelling extreme with an "e" for a change, I suppose. Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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