If you want to build a new desktop system, you should look no further than Intel Core 2 processors. If you choose a platform, you should consider Intel's own P35 chipset, which officially offers 1333 MHz FSB support and is compatible with upcoming 45 nm systems processors. This leads to a fairly future-proof platform, with some currently available models already supporting DDR3 memory.
As new as this chipset is, the decision for a P35-based motherboard is not enough. Most major manufacturers have already launched several different models that run on the chipset. For example, ASUS currently offers a dozen motherboard models, all of which are based on the Intel P35.
We have summarized some of the better examples of a large article by comparing them side by side. Although we have nine motherboards for comparison, they come from only four different manufacturers: Abit, ASUS, ECS and Gigabyte. These boards range from $ 90 to $ 230.
As mentioned earlier, there are a number of Intel P35 motherboards that support DDR3 memory, and although we have some of these boards available, like the ASUS P5K3 Deluxe / Premium and the Gigabyte P35T-DQ6, we deliberately exclude them from the comparison. Right now, you will be reset at around $ 400 with just 2GB of DDR3 memory, which is pretty ridiculous. Therefore, it is (for now) pointless to buy a DDR3-capable motherboard given the price premium. That leaves us with the nine motherboards we are testing today that only support DDR2 memory.
For this P35 summary, we tried to include a high-end version and a budget version motherboard from each manufacturer. The boards will go through the usual tests and we will also compare their overclocking capabilities side by side. Before we jump to the benchmarks, we'll briefly list the features and go through the layout and design of each motherboard.
We originally planned to install some MSI motherboards that were to be supplied by the manufacturer. Unfortunately, when we explained our plan for a comparison with competing boards, they got cold feet and withdrew. I'm not sure what exactly to make of it, so do what you want with it. Since the news came at the last minute, we didn't have time to buy these motherboards without further delaying the article. We apologize for the omission.