Core 2 is the ever evolving platform for Intel. While the Pentium name does still sit on the shop shelves, Pentium 4 processors are avoided like a Paris Hilton TV special - we have seen all their goodies, and they do not impress us. Core 2 has made Intel popular again, gone are the days of Athlon dominance, now AMD has to work on something new, which they have not been doing as of late, falling behind in just about everything they do.
Chipsets for the Core 2 are coming out hard and fast now - Intel has five of their own, nVidia has four, ATI/AMD has even got one for it, while VIA and SiS do have chipset to support Core 2, we haven't seen much from them. Intel's next generation chipset is now ready for launch at Computex 2007 early next month, codenamed P35 Bearlake we got our first look at this chipset a little while ago in our exclusive performance preview back in March.
Now motherboards based on Intel's P35 chipset are hitting shop shelves in Taiwan and other places around the world, we are able to start testing and providing reviews.
Today we have been given the first of what we hope to be many retail boards based on the Bearlake P35 chipset. It is set to replace the Intel P965 chip as the mid-range monster with some updated features and specs such as support for upcoming 45nm Wolfdale and Yorkfield processors, PCI Express 2.0, updated ICH9 Southbridge as well as support for DDR-3 memory.
MSI are first up with their P35 Platinum motherboard based on the P35 with ICH9R Southbridge with DDR-2 memory support. Let us see how it stacks up against P956 which is what it is intended to replace.