Our readers with a good eye might have noticed that our previous benchmark numbers used a BIOS dated 8/14/2006. We have since updated our Bad Axe 2 motherboard BIOS to the 10/23/2006 drivers that came out this week and they work just fine on our Rev303 motherboard.
Legit Reviews did some research, which is very hard on unreleased products, and figured a few things out that might interest our enthusiast audience. Intel shipped the members of the press Rev303 motherboards, which means the boards all the review sites are using motherboard that is a number of revisions old. Intel marketing does not discuss motherboard revision changes or processor stepping changes with the press, so it’s usually never discussed. Legit Reviews always tries to use retail shipping products in reviews and did a little research as to what makes these new revisions better.
Intel D975XBX2 Revisions -304 to -400:
Improvements for the Blue SATA ports
Fine tuning of the watchdog timer circuitry
Intel D975XBX2 Revisions -400 to -503:
Improved DDR2 800MHz memory support
Several BIOS updates
It seems that from the Revision 303 to Revision 503 a number of changes have been implimented that could change the overall performance of the board. Intel said back during IDF that EPP support would be available in future BIOS revisions and while we have seen it in older BIOS versions it was not included in the public version for some reason.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions:
Intel has the Intel D975XBX2 motherboard on their site, which usually means they should be available at retailers very soon. The first official ?production? boards for the Intel D975XBX2 Bad Axe 2 motherboard will be the Rev502 and Rev503 versions that are listed on Intel’s site. We called a number of vendors and couldn’t find any for sale today, but a couple retailers told us to check back next week. It seems that the retail boards will be even better than what the press has, which means Intel’s next generation enthusiast motherboard should be better than we have already seen published in articles around the world!
In the mean time Legit Reviews is left wondering if we should publish our own internal performance numbers with our D975BXB2 Rev303 motherboard or change over to a retail motherboard that is shipping and supports Intel Core 2 Quad processors like the abit AWD9-MAX motherboard. If you have any thoughts on the subject please voice your thoughts in the forums.