Intel's Core architecture has managed to grow to the point where AMD is once again struggling to keep up. It seems like AMD is back where it was when the K6 was on the market; simply an alternative, not a contender.
Core 2 processors have an array of chipsets to choose from now, both from Intel and NVIDIA; and this certainly isn't a bad thing, but we won't be seeing any chipsets coming from ATI, since AMD now owns them. While NVIDIA has a couple of chipsets for the Core 2 CPUs, it's been mostly Intel pushing out new chipsets. P965 started it all, and from there we have had the P35, G31, G33, X38 and now the X48, with new chipsets in the P45 and G45 coming very soon to add to the already impressive array.
Intel originally planned for the X38 chipset to be the big kahuna for the Core 2 platform, but unfortunately its extremely poor overclocking, heat generation and lack of support for the 1600MHz FSB made Intel go back and bring up a new chipset. X48 however is not actually a new chipset, rather a hand picked X38 silicon that works at higher FSB clock speeds along with a lower voltage draw than that of the X38. But this also means it carries a premium with it, thus Intel decided to give it X48 naming.
To date we have already tested the MSI X48 Platinum motherboard based on the new DDR3 version of the X48 chipset, and today we have our second DDR3 supporting X48 from ASUS. We used this same board in our DES Vs. EPU article, that being the P5E3 Premium WiFi. How well does it stack up? Let's take it for a spin and see.