After the original reports
that the next generation Intel Bearlake chipsets aren't certified with Intel Pentium socket 775 CPUs, we consulted the super secret roadmaps ourselves and can confirm it!
Intel has, so far, not certified the entire
upcoming bearlake chipsets to work with the old netburst architecture Pentium chips. This means the new P35, X38, G31, G33, G35, Q33 and
Q35 chipsets won't officially support Pentium D, Celeron D, Pentium 4 or Pentium Extreme Edition CPUs.
The Netburst CPUs are inherently compatible with the Core architecture, but Intel has decided enough is enough, certifying and optimising the next generation of its chipsets for use with the more recent Core architecture only. It seems it's up to individual manufacturers to decide whether they are willing to add the microcode and test their new boards with the older LGA775 CPUs.
With no very cheap Intel Core 2 CPUs available yet (at least, compared to the Celeron range) this may force an expensive upgrade for customers, but to an ultimately far superior Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad CPU. However, future quad releases and the new 1333MHz FSB "50" CPUs are due very soon, and we've already reported that Intel is planning some massive price cuts
later this year.
In a way this is hardly surprising as Intel wants to push forward its quad core and kill off its Netburst line of bad memories come the end of the first half of this year. It can make money on both fronts, as people are forced to upgrade CPUs and motherboards. But then again, it makes technological sense since a having of a brand new DDR3 chipset with PCI-Express 2.0, paired with a Pentium 4, or heaven forbid a Celeron D CPU, will cripple its performance.
Will the optimisation for Core architecture afford for some large performance increases on the P35 and X38 performance motherboards? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.