Intel 45nm Yorkfield Runs On 975X Motherboard

We've gotten more than a few inquiries from readers, since we launched our Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 (aka Yorkfield) article, about whether or not the new 45nm quad-core chip from Intel will play nice in legacy motherboards.  The party line from Intel is that while technically, Yorkfield quad-core processors are not supported by chipsets like the 975X and P965, some motherboard manufacturers may choose to validate and support the product. 

We've recently been able to prove out that on at least one 975X board, the Asus P5W64WS Pro, using one of Intel's new 45nm Core 2 Extreme QX9650 processors and more than likely any 45nm quad-core Intel processor is a go for this motherboard.
 

 


     

     
 

As you can see in the POST screen above, the motherboard is in fact requesting a BIOS update for the proper CPU microcode, but after a simple strike of the F1 key the board boots flawlessly and we've been running benchmarks on a Vista installation for a week or so successfully and without incident.  In the bottom right hand screen shot, we're showing a CPU-Z identification of the motherboard chipset that was taken alongside the large CPU identification shot above.  As you'll note, we're running the standard 1,333MHz FSB for the chip, based on a quad-pumped 333MHz base frequency.  We should note, however, that the board does not have the necessary memory dividers to run memory at standard frequencies, so there will be some memory overclocking (or underclocking) going on.

So, the moral of the story?  Check with your motherboard manufacturer for possible support of the new 45nm Yorkfield-based Core 2 quad-core processors from Intel, to see if you're going to get lucky.  However, if your motherboard comes equipped to run a 1,333MHz front side bus, your chances are pretty good.  We're hoping Asus will send us an official BIOS update for the board as well shortly.  Stay tuned!


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