Bridge Creek brings Conroe to the desktop

Written by Wil Harris

March 10, 2006 | 00:16

Tags: #975 #conroe #ddr2 #platform #vista

Companies: #intel #microsoft

Intel's mainstream platform for the launch of Conroe will be called 'Bridge Creek'.

In slides presented at IDF today, Intel laid out its plans for the future of its motherboard chipsets of the next 9 months, including how its next-generation processor will fit into the grand scheme of things.

Conroe will be available on the current LGA775 socket - meaning that you can buy a system today that will support it, without being forced into an upgrade. It will support 975 boards, which today are high-end but which will filter downwards in price.

We currently don't know if Conroe will happily drop into Nforce 4 for Intel boards, but we would estimate so: 975 boards require just a BIOS flash to support the new chip, so hopefully the same will be true for NVIDIA chipsets.

Intel's next generation mainstream chipset will have a number of improvements over its current implementations. Tentatively called the 965 chipset (to correspond with 975, and hark back to the days of 875/865), it will support the UDI graphics socket that we discussed earlier, as well as the next generation of Intel Extreme Graphics. Rather than being useless rubbish, next-gen Extreme graphics will be fully verified to give the best graphical interface in Vista, meaning that you won't need a dedicated add-in card to get the 'premium' Aero Glass graphics.

The chipset will support DDR2 800 in the mainstream, and there's no ruling out that Extreme Edition parts might use even faster memory.

Conroe, and its associated platforms, are currently scheduled no more accurately than 'Second half 2006'. We'd repeat our thoughts that it's going to be sooner, rather than later. Talking to Intel people here in San Francisco, they're clearly eager to get this out and into the market as soon as humanly possible.

Do you currently own a 975 board? Will your next system upgrade be Intel? Let us know your thoughts over in the forums.
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