The Ivy Bridge-E collection of CPUs is half a year away, but motherboards compatible with those chips are also compatible with Sandy Bridge-E units, which are already available. ASUS has just revealed one such motherboard.
The name of the new motherboard from ASUS is P9X79-E WS
, indicative of the X79 chipset used by all LGA 2011 platforms (LGA 2011 is the name of the CPU socket).
ASUS is rather like EVGA in this respect, as the latter has also launched an E-ATX X79 motherboard, the X79 Dark
ASUS' own motherboard is made for servers and workstations.
One feature is the large memory support: the P9X79-E WS has eight DDR3 memory slots, which makes 64 GB the maximum DDR3 random access memory capacity (2400 MHz O.C speed supported).
Just as impressive is the number of PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots: seven. Even EVGA stuck to six, and not all of them are of full size, unlike here.
In other words, there is plenty of room for a couple of Ares II Dual-GPU HD 7990
cards, and there will be space enough for other add-in cards, even PCI Express SSDs like ASUS ROG RAIDR
Another important asset is the 10+2 Phase DIGI+ circuitry, with high-end components that provide the motherboard with high stability even in serious overclocking scenarios.
Then there is the set of 10 SATA ports, six of which are SATA 6.0 Gbps connectors and four of which are SATA 3.0 Gbps.
Other specs include Power On, Off and Reset buttons, quad-SLI and CrossFireX multi-GPU support, a large aluminum heatsink block, an 8-pin power connector for the CPU, the normal 24-pin motherboard power input.
Finally, the back panel has dual Gigabit Ethernet, eSATA, a bunch of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports and 7.1 channel audio.
We'll have to wait for retailers to start accepting orders before we learn the price. Sadly, no ETA (estimated time of arrival) was given.