Gigabyte is so enthused by Intel's upcoming P45 chipset, it flew a multi-national crew of media from their respective home bases to its own headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan for two days of hands-on testing. During the event, Gigabyte gave us access to four SKUs based on P45 and an early look at a fifth extreme series board that will show off the P45’s flexibility in a $300+ package.
We’ll get the bad news out of the way first. Because Intel hasn’t yet launched the P45 chipset (Gigabyte predicted the official unveiling will take place at Computex during the first week of June), none of the benchmarks we ran were allowed to be published—nor should they be, since all of the P45 boards made available at the event were based on early PCB revisions, not-quite-complete BIOSes, and Eaglelake drivers loaded onto pre-configured Windows XP partitions. Not quite the controlled environment we’d normally use. The same story goes for overclocking results, though to be honest, what we saw wasn’t necessarily representative of what we’d hope to get out of shipping hardware anyway...