Most of our readers would be very familiar with Intel's 3-Series core logic chipsets, the P35 and its high-end sibling, the X38. However, soon after Intel launched their desktop Penryn processors last year, they also released a quiet update to the X38 chipset - the X48. Now, it seems to us that Intel has taken a stealthy approach to chipset announcements of late as there hasn't been any fanfare. And while the X48 chipset and motherboard product samples have been around since late September 2007, we're not really seeing these models updated on either Intel or their partners' websites.
Still, the X48 is real and its here. Initial rumors floating around the Net painted a picture that the X48 could be a special niche segment for the ultra-elite that removed DDR2 support, and instead would only support 1600MHz FSB with DDR3-1600 XMP memory, requiring a platform upgrade for the hardcore enthusiast.
However, the reality is that there isn't much to talk about, which explains the silent rollout. In a nutshell, the Intel X48 chipset is just the X38 with official support for native 1600MHz FSB. And the chipset was incidentally launched in conjunction with the very exclusive and limited Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770, chip-zilla's first 1600MHz FSB processor. That's about it really. DDR2 support is still around as well, as is evident from the Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6, one of the earliest X48 boards to have been spotted 'in-the-wild'.