The Intel 975X Chipset
Crossfire enabled Intel Chipset: The 82975X MCH
The Intel 975X Chipset is codenamed Glenwood, which is similar to the 955X. The two chipsets are pretty similar, the most significant change being the implementation of 2 x PCI Express x16 Graphics on the 975X, and at the same time, the 975X Chipset is also Crossfire-Ready. This might seem like a weird move to some, as ATI has decided to enable other chipsets other from the RD480 to accept their Crossfire cards, but to others, this might be taken as a measure by ATI to expand their market share against Nvidia. Upon insertion of the 2nd PCI-E graphics card, the PCI-Express lanes will auto-switch to 8×8 mode.
NVIDIA has issued an official statement stating the non-support of SLI on chipsets other than their own nForce chipsets. It’s only with a specially configured and non-certified Forceware 78.01 that Anandtech has successfully managed to enable and run SLI on the 975X platform.
8GB DDR-II Memory Support
Another change that Intel has brought into the 975X chipset is the support for DDR-II 2GB Memory Modules. That essentially means that the 82975XMCH will be able to support up to 8GB of Memory with 4 slots. This should not affect the general user or gamer too much, as Windows under normal conditions will not be able address more than 4GB of memory, unless that particular x86 platform executes in PAE (Physical Address Extension Mode). More information can be obtained via some googling.
Presler Support and Optimizations to Intel MPT Technology
Other optimizations brought about by the 82975X MCH includes the support for the upcoming Dual Core processors that’s based on the 1066Mhz front side bus. The first of these processors that will be introduced into the market will be the Intel Pentium XE 955 processor. Based on the Presler core, the Pentium XE 955 will be based on the 1066mhz core and clocked at 3.46Ghz, with a multiplier of x13. In this very review of the P5WD2-E Premium, we will be pitting it against the Intel 975XBX Reference board using the XE 955.
With that, Intel also did optimize the Intel Memory Pipeline Technology that enhances memory bandwidth.
Next, let’s take a look at the feature set of the P5WD2-E Premium.