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Intel chipset 965 v. 975X

  • Motherboards
Last response: in Motherboards
November 22, 2006 1:24:03 PM

I am confused -- but I'm used to that! :) 

According to the article Nov 13, the 975X is characterized as older than the 965 but the 975X is referred to as "high-end" v. the 965 "mainstream."

the older board officially supported speeds only as high as DDR2-667 (though many performance boards offered higher settings). But unlike the high-end 975X, the "mainstream" P965 no longer allows splitting its PCI Express x16 graphics interface into two x8 pathways for native Crossfire support. One other aspect of being a "mainstream" component is that the P965 is reputed to provide slightly lower performance in some applications than its 975X predecessor - though comparison to our most recent reviews may prove otherwise.

Part of my confusion is that the numbers seem out of logical sequence to me. I would have thought 975 came after 965. :?

I am scouting around thinking about getting a new mobo and getting one of the Core 2 Duo or maybe even a Core 2 Quad Core. What I'd really like to do is get a mobo that would allow me to purchase now a D8xx or D9xx to save some money and get cranked up and then buy one of the newer processors when prices settle a bit.

So, my ideal mobo would support Dxxx thru Core 2 Quad and I don't know whether I should be looking at 965 or 975X boards.

I am not a gamer so I won't need more than one video card, but I'd rather have a discrete video card than onboard video.

I'm not in a big rush to do this, and I know I might have to wait to see about support for the Quad.

Can someone help me make sense of the chipset issue?

Thanks in advance.

More about : intel chipset 965 975x

November 22, 2006 2:05:39 PM

The 975 is older than the 965. Go figure. Then again this is the same Intel that has possibly muddled the E6xxx naming series. The 975 is more for overclocking and high end. Therefore it would be more expensive (higher tolerances = higher prices). The 965 is typically cheaper than the 975 as has been noted.
My theory of why the chipsets are ordered so is this: Since the 975 is more "powerful" than a typical 965, and was introduced earlier, and Intel in all it's vast wisdom decided to put in the less expensive 965 later, they probably didn't want to cause confusion by naming it the 985. Convoluted? Yes. Just a theory? Most definitely.
As for which one is better for your purposes, if you plan to go quad core, the 975 is the better chipset. If not, then a decent $140 Gigabyte DS3 will suffice.
Hope this helps.
November 22, 2006 2:05:44 PM

Someone else will probably give a much better and detailed comparison, but this is how I understand it "in simple terms" and as a "general rule" (allowing exceptions):

1. P975 is the older set
2. P975 is the choice for Conroe 6600 and higher
3. P975 is the choice for maximinzing dual video cards (vs 965)

4. P965 is the newer set, but marketed as less than the P975
5. P965 is the choice for Conroe 6300 and 6400
6. P965 is typically the better choice for overclocking. (I still haven't heard any real world reports of 680i being able to beat the best P965 overclocks)

I predict some possible future confusion too with some newer Intel chips. Those E4300 will be newer Duo Core 2 chips, but marketed and priced lower than the P6300. To make matters more confusing, there is some speculation that these lower-end chips will actually overclock more than a 6300 - which if true, will kind of muddy a person's view as to which is the better chip.

So I think if you have a low end 6300 chip -> go P965.
If you have the top end chips -> look into P975
Something in the middle chip -> choice is more difficult. :) 

NOTE/EDIT: just noticed above poster's reply with regards to P975 being the better oc's chipset. Perhaps I should say in my post that the P965 is the better oc chipset for 6300/6400, and I don't know about chips higher than that. (I'm currently planning on getting a 6400, so that's the one I researched the most).
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November 22, 2006 2:06:35 PM

Actually your way of explaining it makes more sense than mine.
November 24, 2006 5:47:27 AM

Thanks to both of you for the replies. I should have figured the number sequence wouldn't make sense. :)  After all, when the Dual Core is followed by the Core 2 Duo, you have to know all they're trying to do is boggle your mind. :roll:

Seriously though, I do appreciate both of you weighing in on my question. Your answers will help me a lot.
November 25, 2006 3:49:25 AM

In short (since performance differences are so marginal), 975X isnt recommended unless youll go Crossfire and mild overclock.
For ANY other purpose the P965 will perform just fine and for much less money.
November 25, 2006 10:45:50 AM

Quite true. you'll be paying for the extra stability that you don't exactly need.

975 = OC chipset
965 = Everyday Performance
November 25, 2006 2:04:43 PM

Quite true. you'll be paying for the extra stability that you don't exactly need.

975 = OC chipset
965 = Everyday Performance

Quite the opposite. 975X reaches a max wall at ~450Mhz while you see P965s hitting 500Mhz on an every day basis. The only real advantage of 975X is that its able to do loseless Crossfire and P965 (due the avaialable lanes) doesnt, like if Crossfire wasn't unworthy enough...
As far as 'performance' goes they go they about 300 marks away from eachother while 680i is the the last one...
November 25, 2006 2:07:02 PM

Eh? Is that so. Hmm, makes me want to see exactly where the wall is on my Bad Axe
November 25, 2006 2:10:57 PM

What will you be using to change Vcore?
November 25, 2006 2:13:37 PM

The BIOS, what else? A soft OC tool? Meh to that.

Wait... you don't mean.... oh hell no. Major score deduction on the review.
November 25, 2006 2:22:34 PM

Let's just say you will be getting many surprises the considered Intel guys prepared for you 8)
The lastest BIOS might help you out, but youre heading for overclocking dissapointment otherwise.
November 25, 2006 2:38:57 PM

Son of a... damn you Intel. Damn you
November 25, 2006 3:15:40 PM

Although there may be some differences between the 965 and 975 with regard to ultimate overclockability, there are other factors that enter into the equation, i.e., efficiency...power per watt.


interesting read...
November 26, 2006 7:52:13 AM

Hey kinda on the same topic but

there's the MSI 965 which got THG rewards in the 'shootout at the 965 corral'
which im eying to buy and OC an E6400 but i aslo see MSI's 975X for only 40$ more. So which one is better? was MSI's 975X reviewed?
November 26, 2006 9:06:49 AM

MSI winning so many awards at tomshardware just smells too fishy to me...
November 26, 2006 9:25:48 AM


It gets interestinger and interestinger. :) 

I didn't know about 680i ---
November 26, 2006 9:53:47 AM

The mess up part is that Nvidia is chargin about $120 per that chip, so is making the mobo itself very expensive.

Also the 965 chipset is more likely to support C2Q more easily than 975.
November 26, 2006 4:49:39 PM

MSI winning so many awards at tomshardware just smells too fishy to me...

This coming from the dead fish....
November 26, 2006 5:25:38 PM

meh people are getting E6600 with the Abit-AW9D MAX (975chipset) up to 3.5ghz-4.0ghz easy

so i dont know of this wall...mind u this is one of the few boards that can do that thoug >_>
November 26, 2006 5:40:53 PM

I took my Bad Axe out of its box yesterday, and as Dario warned me, there we're some... interesting... surprises that Intel had in wait for me. No VCore menu, and a VDIMM that's at 2.2V. Thats the boot voltage of my OCZ.
Totally pissed me off.
November 26, 2006 6:11:19 PM

That Abit overclocks as well as a good P965 (not an excellent tough), but 4Ghz on a E6600 is nothing to brag about...
November 26, 2006 6:13:47 PM

That Abit overclocks as well as a good P965 (not an excellent tough), but 4Ghz on a E6600 is nothing to brag about...

true its not but just saying...ill prob go with abit for my new mobo anyways (which will most likly be a aw9d max).....i like them and havent heard to many bad things about em...
November 26, 2006 6:15:15 PM

You can still play with Vcore just a notch, use software to change because the board somewhat supports it a bit, be extremely careful though.
All of that plus the 399Mhz max FSB almost makes me feel pitty for Intel in Da Blog...