The launch of Sandy Bridge-E is getting closer and more motherboards are appearing all the time. It looks like the entire selection of X79 boards from Gigabyte from the minor UD3 to UD5, UD7 and G1.Assassin 2. All motherboards sport digital PWM for more efficient and stable power.
Sandy Bridge-E will be Intel’s coming flagship that together with socket LGA2011 will be the spiritual successor for Nehalem/Westmere and LGA1366. Gigabyte has a whole armada with motherboards coming for all segments and price ranges.
Like all other X79 motherboards Gigabyte’s versions have memory slots on both sides of the socket. This is since the processor supports four memory channels, but also 40 PCI Express 3.0. This means that many lanes are laid out around the socket, so they have to be on both sides. Sandy Bridge-E and LGA2011 will without a doubt be the most advanced platform ever released by Intel for retail.
Gigabyte G1.Assassin 2 has already been detailed, but sports four memory slots and not eight we thought it would. The board also get integrated Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi with 128 MB dedicated memory and Bigfoot Networks Killer E2100 Gamin NIC for networking and 128 MB dedicated memory. The board comes with eight SATA ports whereof two or four are SATA 6.0 Gb/s and three PCI Express 3.0 slots.
Gigabyte X79-UD7 will more or less be the successor to GA-X58A-OC that targets mainly overclockers. The motherboard will only get four memory channels, but this is completed by four PCI Express 3.0 slots where graphics cards with big coolers can fit. On the right there are physical buttons for the overclocker on a test bench. This board has ten SATA ports whereof two or six are SATA 6.0 Gb/s.
Gigabyte X79-UD5 looks to be the board for the broader audience, and not just for gamers and overclockers like the ones above. This board has eight memory slots, and three PCI Express 3.0. We see the same number of SATA ports as UD7, whereof two or six are SATA 6.0 Gb/s.
Last we have Gigabyte X79-UD3 that will be the entry model. The board has four memory slots and four PCI Express 3.0 slots. The number of SATA ports are down to eight, whereof two or four or SATA 6.0 Gb/s.
Gigabyte looks well prepared for the launch of Sandy Bridge-E that is slated for mid-November, with no less than four motherboards we believe it will have pretty full coverage for the new platform. Neither Intel nor motherboard makers seems eager to market PCI Express 3.0, which feels odd, but then again noone knows for certain if it works as it should. Once again this is something we have mentioned many times, there are no expansion cards to verify that the standard works as it should.
Source: Sin’s Hardware
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