Best New X79 Gaming Motherboards Socket 2014 - 2015
Review of New X79 Motherboards
Part of gaming, for me at least, has always been to see how far I could stretch my rig. With the new enthusiast series X79 chipset and socket 2011 CPU from Intel, benchmarks for overall performance have seen great improvements.
In this post I'll review the best new X79 chipset motherboards and include a learning section where you can find out the basic differences between this chipset and others.
Learn about X79 Motherboards
What's the difference anyway?
According to CPUBenchmark.net using a new Sandy Bridge-E type CPU can improve your CPU performance by over 30%. The new Sandy Bridge-E CPU also have 4 memory channels of DDR3-1600 which gives you up to 100% increased memory bandwidth when compared to triple memory channels, as well as 40 PCIe 2.0 or 3.0 lanes. Finally, there's a reason to look at performance series products again!
What about the differences in the motherboard design that's been fitted for use with socket 2011 CPU?
Cross Generational Compatibility
X79 motherboards are not only compatible with Intel's new Sandy Bridge-E CPU they are also compatible with Intel's Ivy Bridge-E processors set to release in Quarter 4 of 2012. Thanks Intel.
Support for PCIE 3.0
PCIE 3.0 Doubles the bandwidth from 8GB/s with PCIe 2.1 to 16GB/s with PCIe 3.0. This should improve the overall speed and functionality of your PC. Will it improve your performance while gaming? Probably not, but it is useful in GPU compute applications. In addition the Intel X79 can support up to 40 lanes of PCI express 2.0 while the Z68 only supports 16. So basically the new chipset will support up to five graphics cards in 1x16, 2x8, and 2x4 configuration.
Quad-Channel DDR3 memory
LGA 2011 motherboards can 4 or 8 DIMM slots with up to 128 GB of ram compatibility. No, that's not a typo - 128 GB of ram capacity. Of course, you might have to look a little bit or pay more than a little bit to come up with 8 of those and you'll have to find the right X79 motherboard that supports it. MSI's GD65-X79A is one such capable motherboard.
Best X79 LGA 2011 Motherboard 2014 - 2015 - Asus X79 Rampage IV Extreme
My favorite X79 motherboard so far is the all new Rampage IV Extreme from Asus. Although it's somewhat expensive, for me as an overclocker, I prefer Asus or Gigabyte boards and have had a lot of success easily overclocking with Rampage series motherboards in the past and this particular one is already an OC3D award winner.
The complete digital VRM design allows you to achieve incredible performance with adjustable CPU and power management frequencies and it supports up to 4-way SLI/CrossFireX. The board even includes its own overclocking zone which makes it super convenient and easy and I now that I've experienced it I'm not sure I could go away from the OC key.
Additional Technical Details:
Extreme Engine Digi+ II 8+2 Phase Power Design, 8 x DIMM Slots, Quad-channel DDR3 2400(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz Support, 4 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (dual@x16; triple@x16/x8/x16; quad@x16/x8/x8/x8), AMD 4-Way CrossFireX and NVIDIA 4-Way SLI support, Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, OC Key, Subzero Sense for temperature monitoring, and ROG UEFI BIOS.
4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 24 GB of system memory. 4 channel memory architecture. Support for DDR3 2400/1866/1600 MHz memory modules. Audio: Realtek ALC898 codec. High Definition Audio. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel. Support for Dolby Home Theater.
Support for S/PDIF In/Out. LAN: Intel 82579V. 4 x USB 3.0, 14 x USB 2.0. Storage Interface: 6 x SATA 6Gb/s. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s; Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10. Expansion Slots: 4 x PCI Express x16 slots (x16 x16 X8 x8). 3 x PCI Express x1 slots. Support for 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way SLI, 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way CrossFireX technology.
Storage Interface: 6 x SATA 6Gb/s. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s. 2 x eSATA 3Gb/s; Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10. 4 x USB 3.0, 14 x USB 2.0. Expansion Slots: 3 x PCI Express x16 slots (x16 x16 X8). 2 x PCI Express x1 slots, 1 x PCI slots. Support for 3-Way/2-Way SLI, 3-Way/2-Way CrossFireX technology. Memory: 8 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 24 GB of system memory. 4 channel memory architecture.
Support for DDR3 2400/1866/1600 MHz memory modules. Audio: Realtek ALC898 codec. High Definition Audio. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel. Support for Dolby Home Theater. Support for S/PDIF In/Out. LAN: Intel 82579V. 2 x 1394.
DIGI+ Power Control - Flexible precise adjustments for System Stability, High Power Efficiency and Improved Performance Scaling on both CPU & RAM. ASUS SSD Caching - One click away from experiencing the benefits of both SSD and HDD without any capacity limitation.
Thermal Radar - Real-time thermal detection for a better cooling solution. 8-Channel HD audio CODEC. TUF Capacitors, Chokes and MOSFETS - Certified by military standard to ensure ultimate durability.
Thermal Armor Technology - Improves air flow with an innovative vent design and integrated turbo fan on two focal points. 8 x DIMM, max up to 64GB, quad-channel DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066 Support. 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (@ dual x16/x16) with NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI and Quad-GPU CrossFireX support; 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (@ x8) + 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1 + 1 PCI.