This new chipset from Intel is their replacement for the venerable x58 chipset that has been so popular with enthusiasts. It comes with some amazing new features and a dramatically different look. This new look isn’t just more esthetically pleasing, it also has a very functional purpose. This new chipset fully supports Intel’s latest 2011 chipset that replaces their previous 1366 enthusiast level chipset.
One of the first things that you’ll notice about this new chipset is that it features dual or quad ram slots on both sides of the CPU socket. This looks really cool, but it serves the purpose of reducing latency with ram sticks that are further away from the socket. If you had all of the slots located on one side of the socket you’d end up with really poor latency results with your ram installed closer to the edge of the board. This new architecture also allows for four memory channels to enable better communication between the processor and the memory. These boards are capable of using up to 64 gigs of memory. This is pretty amazing and way more than the average user would ever need. These channels are also capable of speeds up to 2.4GHz of DDR3 with overclocking.
Intel has also incorporated their Express Platform Controller Hub technology into this new chipset. This isn’t anything really new for Intel, but it does set it apart from their competition. This technology utilizes a single chipset to handle all of the functions that would normally be handled by a South Bridge and a North Bridge chipset. In this way Intel has effectively reduced the amount of power necessary for these dual chips and it also reduces the overall heat. This is great because we noticed that throughout our testing this chipset never got hot to the touch. Intel’s X58 chipset, on the other hand, was notoriously hot. This also leaves more area of the motherboard available for other features like Debug LEDs and switches. This chipset also features support for 40 PCI3 2.0 lanes and 8 PCIe 3.0 lanes. This is really good for expansion of multiple graphics cards and other peripherals. PCIe is now supported by AMD’s latest graphics cards, but Intel has yet to release a processor that makes this technology available.