INTEL HAS A LONG HISTORY of making good chipsets, the most storied of which is easily the 440BX from oh so many years ago. With few exceptions, Intel's chipsets have been pretty solid since, even if many were largely ignored by enthusiasts during the Prescott era. But that era is long gone, and the Core 2 Duo has spawned a revival of enthusiast interest in Intel core logic. Over the last year, most of that interest has centered around the mid-range P965 Express, whose speedy performance, ample features, low power consumption, and availability on a slew of mid-range and high-end boards alike have made it a fast favorite among enthusiasts.
As much as we love the P965, its 1066MHz front-side bus is ill-equipped to handle the next generation of Core 2 processors. Those new chips will ride a 1333MHz front-side bus, and in preparation for their arrival, Intel has created the P35 Express chipset, otherwise known as Bearlake. The P35 Express features native support for 1333MHz front-side bus speeds, and it's compatible with future processors built using 45nm process technology. More interestingly, it's also the first core logic chipset to offer support for DDR3 memory.
Does Intel's new P35 Express meet the lofty standards set by the legendary 440BX and the possible legend-in-the-making P965 Express? Is the transition to DDR3 one you'll want to make? Keep reading to find out.