Conclusion: 975X Is The Best Second Choice For Enthusiasts
From a system performance point of view, there is not much that the 975X chipset can change. The only reason why our 975X system performed slightly faster in our tests is its elevated system clock speed; it came factory overclocked by almost 2%. Having taken this into consideration, it performs exactly like the 955X because they share the same basic silicon. Thus, the balance of power remains at its current state: AMD leads, Intel follows.
Despite this, there are some reasons why an enthusiast user may prefer the 975X over the 955X. While the latter has not been a real competitor to NVIDIA's nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition dual graphics chipset in the enthusiast gaming space, the 975X plays this role far better thanks to its twin PCI Express slots for dual graphics configurations.
Missing driver support prevents the 975X from supporting NVIDIA's SLI for the time being, but we successfully managed run two X850XL graphics card from ATI in CrossFire dual graphics mode. And just like that, ATI has its Pentium market penetration instrument for CrossFire. For now, the 975X is the perfect chipset for running an Intel processor and ATI graphics, while the nForce 4 Intel Edition is the one to choose for an Intel processor and NVIDIA graphics.
Technically, there is hope for NVIDIA followers. Should the firm decide to support the 975X tomorrow, this platform could all of a sudden be the most flexible solution available for gamers who are not strictly tied to either ATI or NVIDIA graphics. But that means going with an Intel CPU, and the new choice cannot alter the fact that the best choice for the enthusiast remains a system based on an AMD processor.