High-end desktop Nehalem CPU, motherboard pictured

The folks at Bit-Tech have gotten up close and personal with a Nehalem processor and "X58" motherboard from Intel's next-generation enthusiast platform, and they've snapped plenty of pictures. The motherboard sports the same LGA1366 socket we've already seen in other leaked Nehalem mobo shots, which it couples with a Tylersburg (a.k.a. X58) chipset and six DDR3 memory slots. Those slots hook up directly to the Nehalem CPU's triple-channel memory controller, while the X58 chipset is essentially reduced to the rank of I/O hub.

Surprisingly, Bit-Tech learned from MSI that the X58 is in fact "significantly hotter than current chipsets." MSI lays the blame on the chipset's "super-fast" Quick Path Interface links, not to mention its 36 lanes of PCI Express 2.0 connectivity. Intel will reportedly team up the X58 with the same ICH10 south bridge we've seen on early P45 motherboards, though, so there should be nothing new on the connectivity front.

Another point of note is the CPU socket area. Quoting MSI again, Bit-Tech says the LGA1366 socket will introduce a new heatsink standard and will more than double the real estate mandated for socket and heatsink use. Some of the site's photos show a heatsink "volumetric gauge" that indeed looks very voluminous, like a Scythe Ninja after too many trips to McDonald's.

Based on the latest word from Intel's Pat Gelsinger, Nehalem will hit production in the fourth quarter of this year.

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