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It's not surprising we're sighting so many X79 boards with their final trimmings in place so close to the big launch we're all eagerly anticipating. But on all accounts, not just with launches, it's nice when someone does that little something more to help stand out and ECS have certainly pulled that off with some images they've pumped out of their upcoming X79R-AX motherboard.
Okay, all eyes to the left... the LEFT! Ummm, hello? Is anyone reading this? ....Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the girl doesn't come with the motherboard....
Now that I have your attention again, here's another image without any evil distractions so we can get down to business.
EVGA have slapped the performance/enthusiast world with a shocker: the SR3, dual-socket LGA2011 2P enthusiast desktop/workstation motherboard in the E-ATX form factor. Socket 0 is wired to eight DDR3 DIMM slots (two DIMMs/channel) while socket 1 to four slots (1 DIMM/channel).
In LGA2011 2P systems, the processor residing in socket 0 is wired to the PCH, while the processor sitting in socket 1 is wired to the one on socket 0 using two QPI links, closing the daisy-chain. Socket 0, apart from its 4GB/s DMI link, sports a PCI-Express 2.0 x4 (another 4GB/s) link to supplement the DMI link, this is so the storage controllers don't get bottlenecked with just DMI.
Both processors contribute to the PCI-Express lane budget of the motherboard. The board features seven PCI-Express x16 slots, which four are capable of PCI-Express 3.0 x16, every slot is PCI-Express 3.0 x8 capable. NVIDIA 4-way SLI support is there, and the motherboard is set to support Sandy Bridge-EP Xeon processors.
Shane has been teasing us for a few hours on Facebook today with some MSI X79 board shots, but now we have the skinny to give you some much needed news on MSI's LGA2011 board. MSI has provided a few board shots of their upcoming Sandy Bridge-E board, MSI X79A-GD65. The board sports the usual LGA2011 gear like quad-channel memory and includes CPU power circuitry above the DIMM slots, as well as a decently large heatsink.
The board also features on-board power buttons, one touch overclocking, on-board POST display and on-board USB 3.0. PCI-e slot wise we have five full-size PCI-E slots as well as a 1x PCI-E which is in the middle. CrossFire and SLI support is of course included, eight SATA ports total with a split of 4/4 for SATA 2/3.
GIGABYTE has just walked into a room and they've got their latest board on them, as they've walked through the metal detectors, a security guard has asked them "Do you have any metallic items, keys, loose change", and just as they've whipped their trench coat open to not reveal an arsenal of weapons as Neo did in The Matrix, they've shown a gun against their thigh underneath their stocking.
Enter, GIGABYTE's X79 series motherboard, the GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2. Just look at that heatsink array... it is shaped like a damn pistol! GIGABYTE, why have you done this? It just makes you even more awesome than you were before. The G1.Assassin 2 sports the X79 chipset, which is set to support the upcoming LGA2011 socket CPUs. The board itself features Bigfoot Networks' Killer E2100 platform, as well as an on-board Creative Soundblaster X-Fi digital audio processor.
But its the revised 'Locked and Loaded' heatsink array that will attract people to this motherboard. You can't call the board an Assassin if its not deadly. The previous Assassin board sported an AK47-themed clip, and now this one takes it up a notch to a pistol. 'Locked and Loaded', GIGABYTE surely are ready, taking aim at the competitors motherboards, literally.
EVGA have unveiled their new X79 Classified (E799) motherboard for the socket LGA2011 which is specifically designed for overclockers. EVGA chose to unveil their top-tier board at the GeForce LAN 6 and have unveiled quite the beauty indeed. The X79 Classified uses the traditional LGA2011 motherboard layout, but with wide open spaces to make insulating it (against condensation) much easier. The CPU power seems to sport some high-grade VRM design, where it draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors apart from the 24-pin ATX (that is nicely right-angled).
The X79 Classified also sports four DDR3 DIMM slots, one per memory channel. A 4-phase memory VRM, a large contiguous heatsink covers most hot components in the central-right region. Expansion slot wise we have four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (two are x16 capable, all four are x8 capable, depending on the population used), and one PCI-Express x16 (electrical x4). X79 Classified is NVIDIA 4-way SLI capable, too.
Closing in on the big X79 / Sandy Bridge-E launch in mid November and today we get a peek of another X79 board with all the final fancy trimmings in place. This is ASRock's entry into the next-gen LGA2011 field with its X79 Extreme7. It inevitably won't be the only X79 from ASRock to turn up at launch, but it's the first we get to take a good look at pre-launch thanks to some chaps over at XFastest.
Sporting a 16-phase VRM with high grade chokes and server grade poscap capacitors, you know this is one serious piece of hardware straight off the bat. There are six DDR3 slots total, split into three on either side of the socket that are powered via a 4-phase VRM and are ready to provide some of that lovely quad-channel DDR3 goodness. The overall heatsink design looks super serious (and rather awesome!) with there even being heatsinks over the memory VRM areas that are connected to the heatsink over the CPU VRM via heat-pipes.
If you'd like to get your early adopter shoes on now, and head out the door, you could camp out at your local IT retailer and wait for one of the newly announced ASUS motherboards that are equipped with PCI-Express 3.0 The motherboards are capable of supporting Intel's Ivy Bridge chips which are set to debut next year.
The three Z68-powered boards will be called P8Z68-Deluxe/GEN3, P8Z68-V Pro/GEN3 and finally, P8Z68-V/GEN3. All three boards will sport two PCI-Express 3.0 slots, LucidLogix's Vertu graphics-switching technology and of course, USB 3.0. The boards will hit shelves and e-tailers alike in October with the Deluxe model priced at US$310, V-Pro sets you back $250 or so and finally, the V with a price of just $220.
A couple weeks back we saw MSI make a bold claim that GIGABYTE's "PCI-Express 3.0" implementation on many of its motherboards is, to have put it bluntly, "Fake". MSI even went to the extent of creating a number of detailed slides to express their views on why GB is supposedly misleading its buyers with the "Ready for Native PCIe Gen.3" tag on as many as 40 of its motherboards.
Of course, it wasn't difficult to imagine GIGABYTE would respond at some point in relation to this claim, and sure enough, that occured just the other day.
With that being a somewhat wishy washy response in unsurprising defence, what I felt particularly news worthy was ASRock's comedic approach to the whole situation, with a new advertisement showing up via its Facebook page that puts its own range of PCI-E 3.0-ready boards up on a pedestal, not that they ever really came down off it seeing as they were one of the first to roll in PCI-E 3.0-ready boards anyway.
Aww... no love for the poor ole' Z68X-UD7 here.
As we nudge closer to the highly anticipated X79 / Sandy Bridge-E launch, we're seeing more and more sightings of X79 boards in pretty much complete form. The X79R-AX Black Series from ECS is the latest X79 board to hit the lime light with pictures showing up on the web just recently.
This LGA2011 motherboard gives the full array of features you'd come to expect from this platform, including a strong looking 14-phase VRM setup and kaboodles of connectivity. There are four x16 slots on the board, providing the ability to run 4-way SLI or CrossfireX. Electrically, those slots work in a x16/NC/x16/NC configuration when using just a single card or in 2-way, x16/NC/x8/x8 for 3-way and x8/x8/x8/x8 for 4-way action.
There are a total of 12 internal SATA ports on the board, and two eSATA. Four DDR3 DIMM slots are split with two on either side of the LOTES socket. The board uses some cost-effective TI-made USB 3.0 controllers, with four USB 3.0 ports on the rear and two more available via an internal header.
A pleasant surprise came from GIGABYTE during IDF this past week with both word and somewhat evidential backing to their plan in FINALLY entering the glorious world of graphical mouse-driven BIOS'.
Despite being one of the largest players in the motherboard market, it could never have been predicted that GIGABYTE was going to stick to the ancient old workhorse known as AwardBIOS so long after almost every motherboard manufacturer, including the less influential mobs like BIOSTAR etc. had already turned to UEFI BIos coding.