Articles published today by Anandtech (see below) and The Inquirer (see link), suggest that many of the current socket 478 motherboards, including those fitted with the 865PE or 875P chipset, may not support Intel's Prescott processor when it's launched later this year.
After meeting with a manufacturer in Los Angeles yesterday, we were told that the first batch of Prescott processors will not be compatible with any motherboard currently available on the market today. Before Prescott undergoes a complete socket overhaul in Q2 2004, all Prescott processors will be of the Socket 478 variety, shipments of which will start in early Q4 of this year. But due to a mandatory voltage regulation spec change from VIN 1.0 to VIN 1.5, these Socket 478 Prescott processors will not be compatible with any Socket 478 motherboards. Motherboards based on 865PE and 875P chipsets are among those not compatible with the first Prescotts we learned.Asus' P4P800 appears to be one of the exceptions, with a new power design that is said to support Intel's next generation Prescott CPU.
We know of many users that are currently purchasing motherboards based on the assumption that, because Prescotts will be Socket 478 until Q2 next year, current Socket 478 motherboards will be compatible until then. However, this assumption is highly unlikely to be true based on the information we were given on Wednesday. Intel and motherboard manufacturers may be able to find a workaround, but we wouldn't count on it."
More information @ The Inquirer