Options: P35, X38, X48
P35 Express Chipset
The P35 has been Intel’s mainstream desktop chipset since 2007. Considering the few advantages of the new P45, it might very well remain a great value-oriented choice for mainstream users who don’t want to wait another six months until AMD’s AM3 and Intel’s LGA1366 interfaces take desktop PCs to the next level.
X38 Express Chipset
The main reasons for going after the X38 are PCI Express 2.0 support and the Extreme Tuning feature, which allows motherboard manufacturers to directly access northbridge operating parameters through a dedicated software interface. Since X48 has been around for a while, X38 motherboards are being discontinued.
X48 Express Chipset
The X48 is the latest enthusiast chipset from Intel, supporting all the latest features, including 1600 MHz bus speeds for the fastest Extreme Edition processors. However, Turbo Memory with user pinning is not yet an X48 feature, as this chipset comes with the ICH9R southbridge. That’s not a disadvantage, though; interface performance is faster with the older southbridge.