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New Intel P67 Motherboards Shown Off


New Intel P67 Motherboards Shown Off

All the motherboard manufacturers we've seen at this year's Computex were showing off not just one prototype but several finalised motherboard designs based on Intel's upcoming P67 chipset. This is despite the CPUs that this chipset will support not being available until next year.

The new 'Sandy Bridge' CPUs use the new LGA1155 socket, which is incompatible with all previous sockets, making this the third incompatible socket that Intel has released in as many years. A fact that, although perhaps understandable on a technical level, is nonetheless extremely annoying.

As for the Sandy Bridge CPUs, they're going to be Intel's first chips to integrate the CPU and GPU on a single piece of silicon – the current LGA1156 chips have a GPU on the same package as the CPU but they're two bits of silicon – like the AMD Fusion chip we just saw.

All the boards seemed fairly dull with little of the fancy overclocking features to be found on current high-end boards. This is hardly surprising, though, as it generally takes several months for the motherboard engineers to work on these solutions. One thing notably absent, though, was USB 3.0. At least, some of the boards had USB 3.0 but because Intel hasn't supported the standard natively in its chipset – something the latest AMD chipsets already do - 3rd party controller chips are needed, which ever so slightly raises the manufacturing difficulty and cost of the board.

All we need to do now is wait half a year before the things actually arrive.


June 4, 2010, 6:15 pm

And with LGA 2011 showing up next year, it'll be 4 sockets in 4 years for Intel. Fantastic.

Hans Gruber

June 4, 2010, 6:34 pm

Yeah, isn't it wonderful upgrading just about everything all at once each time you want a faster CPU?


June 4, 2010, 6:52 pm

I was under the impression that the latest AMD chipsets support SATA 3, not USB 3 natively?

Tim Sutton

June 4, 2010, 9:19 pm

A few years ago this constant socket changing and fragmented upgrade path issues would have annoyed me, but I recently bought a i7 860 system, and I don't think I'll need to even think about upgrading for at least 5 years.

Gaming, video encoding and photo editing are my major PC tasks and despite multi-tasking furiously I've yet to break 35% processor usage.

Basically for home PC users I think the game has changed a bit. Processors are much more powerful now than most users need, so much so that a wisely bought new system will easily last in its original state until it's practical to buy an entirely new setup.

Possibly graphic card aside that is, though I don't think my HD 5870 will struggle for a good long while either.

I don't mind the proliferation of socket sets. If upgrading is taken out of the equation, then more choice in which board and processor you'll be using for years to come is a good thing, right?


June 4, 2010, 11:15 pm

@Tim I do agree with you that your system will last a long time but you have to remember not everyone bought/built a system the last year. Im waiting to build a new PC (my Q6600 has lasted long enough) and this new socket makes me want to hold off.

I don't want to buy a new system only to find it EOL in a few months. Hugely frustrating and Intel are only doing it because they are creaming AMD and don't worry people will ditch them. I hope AMD's new Bulldozer CPU's can stand up against intel, I would jump, especially if Fusion turns out to be as good as it looks. When the new SSD's come out towards the end of the year I will be chumping at the bit to rebuilt. Don't want to have to reinstall windows twice in a few months though.

On the boards, at least this means when they do get released they should be fit for purpose and it won't take 6 months before one comes out thats worth buying at a decent price.


June 5, 2010, 4:13 am

@Tim: Yeah, it does seem that processor tech is currently advancing faster than the average user's need for it, more so than I can remember. However, I'd bet you'll be thinking your i7 is pretty mediocre in 5 years time. It might not seem that way now, but it's funny how yesterday's sports car always looks like tomorrow's hatchback. You won't find too many proud owners of Athlon 64s or P4s these days. In fact, my colleague is just about to throw his Prescott out of the nearest window...

Tim Sutton

June 5, 2010, 6:05 am


I totally understand the dilemma, but I really do think that building a decent i7 machine now will future proof you for a long time.. it'll certainly have a longer lifespan than any new PC has had in my tech life so far.

Gaming is hardly the most important thing in the world but the hardware requirements for playing the latest games tend to be a fairly accurate reflection of the PC pecking order, and the latest games are lagging many generations behind processors. Mass Effect 2 for example will run (Well. Walk.) on a 1.8GHz Core2Duo, a low end chip from 2006.

I think it's quite hard to make a bad decision when it comes to buying i7. Though I'm sure AMD will be back, if only to stop ATI from getting all the love at family barbeques.


History does suggest you're absolutely right :-) But... I'm just not sure that many home users will need exponential increases in capability over i7 in the next 5 years.

The current generation of consoles will still be with us so games won't require hugely more power than they do now (and as I said above, what they need now is a fraction of what an i7 has), any switch to 3D OS's will pressure graphics cards rather than processors and probably most significantly of all.. most programs are still not optimised for multi-core systems.

If developers haven't yet found the need to use 50% of what a 2007 Q6600 has to offer, then really, an i7 with its 8 execution threads will surely be running just about everything until its little cooling fans fall off.

Having said all that, I'll almost certainly still buy an i9 though. Damnit.

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