WHEN INTEL UNVEILED its P965 Express chipset at Computex, many were left wondering if any motherboard manufacturers would bother building boards based on the older 975X Express. The P965 was a newer design-one built on fancier 90nm process technology-and its ICH8-series south bridge chips offered a more advanced array of features than the 975X's year-old ICH7s. At the time, motherboard makers questioned whether they'd bother building 975X boards for enthusiasts, and they seemed to be leaning toward making high-end boards based on the P965.
Abandoning the 975X in favor of the newer, flashier P965 was a bold idea, but one that was ultimately sunk by the P965's lack of support for CrossFire multi-GPU configurations. However, ATI recently began supporting CrossFire on the P965, raising the question of whether there's much point to the 975X anymore. To find out, we've collected the P965 and 975X Platinum motherboards from MSI. Both boards support CrossFire and Intel's latest Core 2 processors, but the 975X Platinum costs about $20 more. The question is: why?