Intel P35 Bearlake Motherboard And DDR3 Memory – Asus and Corsair

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Performance Summary:
Over the course of our testing, we saw the new Intel P35 chipset and DDR3 memory combination offer up gains in the 2 - 5% range in various applications.  This was largely attributed to the new Intel MCH and its improved access latency characteristics.  There were several occasions where the P35 chipset driven Asus P5K3 Deluxe out-paced its 965 counterpart with the same DDR2 memory running in its DIMM slots.  In terms of DDR3 memory, it's obvious the technology is still maturing somewhat but at its higher clock speeds, especially with a correspondingly higher FSB, there are significant gains to be had. 


Intel's new Bearlake chipset family is off to a great start with the P35.  Our first time out with this new chipset showed surprisingly good stability and performance with obvious headroom for growth. One look at a 1733MHz DDR3 clock speed and you can't help but get a little bit excited for what the future holds.  The only caveat will be how quickly latency settings can be brought in line.

At this point in the game, if you were building a new system for work or pleasure, its probably doesn't make sense to spring for a DDR2 driven version of one of these new P35 motherboards, like the Asus P5K we tested.  The product simply will have a more finite life-span with the inevitable migration to DDR3.  In addition, DDR3 has a bit of growing-up to do for the next few months, so we'd recommend users wait and see what second generation products coming down the pipe will offer perhaps.  Refinements in motherboard design are bound to be forthcoming, as well as tighter timings for DDR3.

Though, if you're itching for something to tinker with and spending a little extra cash on being an early adopter isn't out of the norm for you, we'd say jump in, the water is just fine.  The P35 chipset with its snappy new memory controller impressed us more-so than many chipset product launches of late and we've seen plenty.  What's perhaps more exciting is the upcoming X38 chipset with PCI Express 2.0 technology and a few extra lanes integrated with the chipset to boot.  It's always hard to judge the entry point with a new platform but these are good problems to have.


  • Faster MCH Memory Controller
  • DDR3 1333 - 1700MHz
  • Faster ICH9R Southbridge
  • Lower Power
  • 1333MHz FSB    
  • High Latency DDR3
  • Pricey for early adopters  

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