Just like clockwork, Intel released its newest addition to the Core architecture family late last year. And while supporting the same basic instruction set as the original Core processors, Core i7 really is a step away from tradition. Since the introduction of the early x86 processor all of the Intel based CPU's have relied on the Northbridge chip to supply the memory controller. This was true up till late 2008 when Intel finally joined AMD who has had the memory controller integrated directly onto the CPU since 2003.
Core i7 is Intel's first CPU to finally integrate a memory controller directly into the CPU and because of this a whole new socket and motherboard architecture needed to be designed. All previous Intel chipsets were now useless to run the brand new CPU since it now has an external FSB but communicates with the chipset through a whole new interface called Quick Path Interconnect (or QPI). Because of this Intel has released its X58 chipset aimed at the top end of the spectrum.
We have already seen both GIGABYTE and ASUS put their offerings on the table; today we have yet another high-end board from a very highly regarded company, MSI. On the chopping blocks today is the MSI X58 Eclipse SLI. This board promises to have it all and then some. But as expected, a board of this calibre certainly comes at a price. You can currently purchase it from Newegg at 349.99 USD. But is it worth every penny? Let's take a look and see.