P55 motherboards, Lynnfield info run loose at Computex

COMPUTEX — On Tuesday, we got to see Intel's upcoming Lynnfield processors in action. Since then, during our encounters with motherboard manufacturers, we've seen a generous collection of boards based on Lynnfield's companion chipset, the P55 Express.

In the image gallery below, you'll see photos of future P55 boards from Asus, Gigabyte, and Biostar. Gigabyte had no fewer than four on display, although it intends to release only two to coincide with the Lynnfield launch.

Speaking of which, after our chats with several parties close to Intel, we got a pretty clear idea of the time frame for Lynnfield's release. Look for the chips to reach stores in August or September—more specifically, late August or early September.

Our sources also hinted that Lynnfield will bear the same Core i7 branding as Bloomfield. That fits with what Intel told us on Tuesday. The Core i5 name may not be a complete fabrication, though: our sources referred to Clarkdale—Intel's 32nm dual-core CPU with integrated graphics—by that name.

Speaking of Clarkdale, will these P55 boards work with it when it rolls out late this year or early in 2010? We actually got quite a mixed response when asking that question around the show. Intel told us its own P55 boards won't be forward-compatible, but third-party manufacturers' boards probably will be. Gigabyte, meanwhile, said it won't bring Clarkdale compatibility to its P55 offerings largely in an effort to reduce consumer confusion. (Folks will expect integrated graphics features, but they'll need a motherboard with a display output hooked up to the CPU socket for that to work.)

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