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Intel is planning to release the successor the popular P35 chipset in a few weeks, the aptly named P45.  From a feature standpoint, the P35 and P45 are somewhat similar.  But the P45 will have official support for 1,600MHz FSB processors, PCI Express 2.0, and the chipset is being manufactured 65nm as opposed to 90nm, which should being power consumption and heat down a bit.  The P45 will also be paired up with a new ICH10-series southbridge, which offers more SATA connectivity.

Asus showed off a few P45-based motherboards at CeBit a while back, but they weren't quite ready for prime time.  We have, however, just gotten our hands on the retail-ready version of the Asus P5Q Deluxe, which should be available soon.



Asus P5Q Deluxe

As you can see, the P5Q Deluxe sports a passive, all copper cooling system, very similar to the P5E3 series of boards.  It's got  three physical PCI Express x16 slots, dual PCIe x1 slots, and a pair of PCI slots.  Audio duties are handled by an ADI HD codec, and the I/O backplane is loaded with six USB 2.0 ports, dual LAN jacks, a PS/2 mouse or keyboard port (notice the two-tone colored port), digital and analog audio outputs, Firewire, and eSATA.

If you look between the second PCI and PCIe x16 slots, a flash memory card is visible, which features the "Express Gate", Linux-based mini-OS we told you
about here.

We haven't fired the board up just yet, but will be soon.  Once we're done with testing, we'll be publishing a full review, so stay tuned.  Something tells us that new 65nm northbridge is going to fun to overclock.


Why would Asus put the 3rd PCI-e x16 (black on right?) right next to the 2nd PCI-e x16? If you got a dual slot cooler on your graphics cards, which a lot do, then it is totally useless. Can't go 3-way Crossfire if one wanted to.

Also, from what I can tell from looks alone, it doesn't look like their own Asus Xonar D2X will be able to fit into the top PCI-e x1 slot since it will hit the RAM. Kind of disappointing how their products aren't "perfectly" compatible with each other. A crossfire setup with double slot coolers alone will mean one can't use the Xonar D2X.