It's fair to say that there has been quite a bit of secrecy surrounding Intel's 3-series chipsets, with a number of hidden features being unveiled over time.
Today, another hidden gem was uncovered, as we learned that the P35 chipset actually already supports the PCI-Express 2.0 specification.
Previously, we were under the impression that Intel's new mainstream chipset only supported previous versions of the specification, and we were going to have to wait for Intel's X38 chipset before we saw the second generation of PCI-Express.
To complicate matters even further, last week we were given information that suggested a rough release schedule for AMD's RD790 chipset
, which would have come to market before Intel's X38 chipset.
Thus, it looks like there was a fight kicking up for being first to market
with a PCI-Express 2.0 enabled chipset, but with the news that P35 does
already support the new PCIe standard, it looks like that fight is over before it really got started.
Maybe this latest hidden feature in the 3-series chipsets was a case of Intel toying with AMD? Of course, as a high end chipset, AMD's RD790 isn't going to compete with Intel's mainstream chipsets. Thus, true competition from Intel on the multi-GPU front won't come until X38 launches in September. Even then though, X38 won't support quad-CrossFire like RD790 does... or maybe it will?
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