X79 Express: A cut down PatsburgOn the chipset side, there’s a new chip on LGA 2011, the X79 Express. Initially designed for the Xeon platform, the X79 Express chip is actually the chip codenamed Patsburg. In its X79 Express version, it has all the same features as on the P67 Express.
Nevertheless, note that in addition to 4 SATA 3 Gb/s and 2 SATA 6 Gb/s Patsburg also has an additional storage controller which doesn’t work on X79. Depending on the different versions of the chip, more or less of the SCU (Storage Controller Unit) features are enabled:
- A: additional 4 SATA 6 Gb/s on the SCU
- B: SAS 6 Gb/s support on these 4 ports
- D: additional 8 SATA/SAS 6 Gb/s on the SCU, additional PCI-E Gen 3 link with the CPU
- T: RAID5 support on the 8 SCU ports (RAID 0/1/10 on the other versions)
Unfortunately, while initially the X79 Express chipset was going to come with configuration B, at the end of the day it doesn’t have an SCU. We don’t know what prevented the integration of the SCU. Is it a deliberate marketing choice or simply a bug, with Intel having sacrificed the SCU so as to make sure the 2011 launch date was respected?
The fact that there’s an unused space marked ‘SATA 6—9’ on the DX79SI motherboard (still a pre-version) confirms this modification made a few months ago.
A Socket LGA 2011 (not cut down)
In addition to the processor and the chipset, the LGA 2011 platform also introduces a change to the socket itself! As its name indicates, it now has 2011 contact points! This is 47% more than on LGA 1366, a result of support for a fourth memory channel and the inclusion of the PCI-Express controller on the processor.
LGA 2011, LGA 1366 and LGA 1155: it’s big!
The CPU fixture system is also different, with two notches on either side of the processor. The other major development is how the cooler is fixed on, with the fixture system screwed straight onto a metallic base that surrounds the socket, which means the plate at the back of the motherboard doesn’t have to be changed (which can be a painful experience).