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Intel P45 Express - Preview
by Marc Prieur
Published on June 27, 2008

Intel took advantage of the Computex to announce the P45 Express, the successor to the very popular P35 Express. What’s new?
The P45 Express
Engraved in 65nm versus 90nm for the previous versions, this chipset is supposed have lower power consumption. Voltage has been reduced to 1.1v versus 1.25v for the P35. Otherwise, in terms of functions, Intel was content to provide the strict minimum. Thus, for the MCH the FSB stays limited to 1333, the remaining 1600 being reserved for the X48, while DDR3 support goes from DDR3-1066 to DDR3-1333 with of course DDR2-800 included. Note that in practice, this mode already functioned on P35 motherboards and some manufacturers even made the effort to advertise this.

So in short, it’s more in terms of PCI-Express that we should expect the real innovation of the P45. Indeed, up until now only the X38/X48 enabled having a second high performance graphic port via the support of two PCI-E x16 2.0 ports. Actually, the P35 only had support for a single x16 port in PCI-E 1.0 while the second integrated to some motherboards was cabled in x4 and relayed to the ICH. The P45 is limited to 16 PCI-Express lanes; however, they adhere to the 2.0 norm, thereby doubling the bandwidth, and can be used in two ports cabled in x8 or the same bandwidth as an x16 port in the 1st version of PCI Express.

As for the ICH, there was no big change to the ICH10. In its standard version it supports six SATA in AHCI, while the classic ICH9 only supported four SATA without AHCI. Otherwise, we had to opt for the more expensive ICH9R to have six SATA in AHCI. The ‘’R’’ version of the ICH10 is of course still in the catalogue and, like its predecessor, it offers RAID support.

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