Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts
Starting off with the price, it's probably the one area that gave me the biggest surprise. Considering the bundle we've got, the fact it's based on a higher end (server) chipset and just the generally strong feature set, I was expecting something in the $400 range.
Not only is the board listed for $329.99 over at Newegg, the deal is made even sweeter by the fact that currently a $30 rebate is being offered, hence bringing that price down to a pretty amazing $299.99. This is actually a really aggressively priced board that hits at a price point that feels lower than it should be, even if you ignore the current rebate offer.
The performance of the board is strong and lines up ultimately where you'd expect. We don't have the best 3960X CPU on hand at the moment, so overclocking results for you could well be stronger than what we saw here today, but we hit what tends to be the wall for our particular CPU, which is good. We didn't come in under that CPU clock speed wall, so we're pretty happy.
When it comes to the features, we've got a strong line up thanks to the eight SAS ports that are brought to the table via the C606 chipset. Along with that we've got all the usual inclusions like USB 3.0 and dual Gigabit networking to name just a few things. The other big feature, though, comes in the bundle via the included WiFi / Bluetooth card that adds another layer of connectivity to the board.
Overall GIGABYTE has put together a really strong motherboard that's a great option for anyone who is looking at going down the path of an LGA 2011 build. The toughest decision when it comes to buying a new high-end PC at the moment is do you go down the LGA 2011 path with a X79 / C606 based chipset or follow the impressive LGA 1155 based CPU's with an Z77 chipset, which has proven itself extremely well.