Before we take a look at the features of this specific motherboard, let’s first have a look at this new chipset from Intel. This is the new X79 chipset that will be replacing their previous enthusiast level chipset, the X58.
This new chipset supports Intel’s latest 2011 socket processors and these will be replacing their venerable 1366 socket processors. These new processors feature a whole host of upgrades over the previous generation of Core processors and deliver nearly server level performance at the high end of the spectrum. For a full understanding of everything that these processors have to offer I suggest that you read the 2011 socket review that was written by our editor and chief, Elric Phares.
One of the first things that you’ll notice about the boards that support this new architecture is that they feature ram slots on either side of the processor socket. This is to facilitate support for quad channel memory and reduce the latency that would be caused by having all of the slots on one side of the socket. This new memory architecture is capable of speeds of up to 2400MHz with overclocking and support for up 64 gigs of memory. This is an amazing amount of memory that can now be installed on consumer level motherboards.
This new chipset also features Intel’s Platform Controller Hub technology. What this means is that instead of the traditional dual chip design that features a north bridge and a south bridge, this uses a single chip to handle communications between the processor and the various interfaces. This streamlines the way the processor interacts with these interfaces and has the potential for increasing the speed at which that these interfaces can be accessed. This chipset also has support for up to 40 PCI express 2.0 lanes and 8 lanes for PCI express 3.0. With the ability to use this new interface it guarantees that this motherboard will be ready for the graphics cards of the future. With the amount of lanes available it also will give motherboard vendors the maximum amount of expansion options for their boards.