Intel looks set to follow the release of its 'Bloomfield' 45nm processors - all based on the 'Nehalem' architecture - with a gamer-oriented chipset, the X58.
The chipset's specs aren't known, but it's not hard to guess. The northbridge will be 'Tylersburg', the chip that links to the host processor over Intel's new HyperTransport-like QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) bus.
Tylserburg provides the system with a PCI Express 2.0 bus - memory is managed by the 1366-pin CPU's own, on-board DDR 3 memory controller. Expect X58-based boards to offer four x8 PCIe slots and support AMD's CrossFire X multi-GPU technology.
Intel is believed to be keen to support SLI too - whether it does so will hinge on the outcome of negotiations with Nvidia.
In turn, Tylersburg connects to the ICH10 southbridge, which handles the system I/O - all the customary HD audio, USB, Gigabit Ethernet and SATA ports are provided.
The X58 should ship in Q4, alongside Bloomfield, which is expected to debut in three version clocked from 2.66GHz up to 3.2GHz. All three CPUs contain 8MB of L3 cache shared across all four cores - each core has its own complement of L1 and L2 cache; 256KB of the latter - and support all the usual Intel extension technologies except TXT (Trusted eXecution Technology). They're all said to have a power and thermal envelope of 130W.