IntroductionGigabyte GA-G1975X i975X motherboard
Motherboard chipset development is an ongoing process that is sometimes extremely visible (for example, nForce 4 SLI) or slipped in without much a whimper. Intel is known for aggressively marketing a new chipset, be it for desktop or workstation environments. In terms of consumer-level designs, every man and his dog knew when, say, Intel launched its i925X/i955X chipsets, and review websites and print magazines covered the launch in detail, with Intel readily supplying press kits complete with reference motherboard, obviously, and accompanying CPUs and RAM.
Now think of the highest-specified Intel chipset for the home PC market. Intel's PCI-Express-based i955X automatically comes to mind. However, right now, i955X has been superceded by another chipset that has been introduced without all the usual hoo-hah surrounding a launch. Say hi to Intel's i975X, and the first taste we got of it wasn't from the usual Intel reference route, rather it was from a chipset partner with a full retail motherboard.
We were keen to see exactly how Gigabyte Technologies had engineered a retail i975X-based motherboard so early. Read on to see what we thought of it, and, just as importantly, how it may affect your purchasing actions if you're looking to upgrade to a cutting-edge Intel motherboard.