IT.com.cn has published the first information on what is reported to be the chipset designed for the LGA2011 platform, which will replace the current LGA1366. The X79 is slated for the fourth quarter and will enable use of the forthcoming Sandy Bridge ‘E’s which will have 8 cores, 20 MB of LLC cache and 4 DDR3 channels (against 4 cores, 6 MB and 2 channels on the LGA1155s). The number of PCI-Express lanes supported by the CPU will also go up which will enable the support of two PCI-E ports at x16 or four at x8, against 1x16 or 2x8 with LGA1155. In addition they should meet the PCI-E 3.0 standard which doubles the bandwidth per lane.
Looking at the chipset, the X79 still won’t support USB 3 but will favour the storage sub-system with 14 SATA ports available, 10 of which will meet the SATA 6 Gbits standard and 8 of which will be both SATA and SAS! Of course the DMI bus at 2 GB/s in each direction won’t be enough for all these ports and it will be possible to connect the X79 to the CPU via 4 additional PCI-E lanes, which will enable throughput at 4 GB/s. The X79 will also support 8 PCI-E 2.0 lanes, although we don’t know if the four that can be linked to the CPU will be included in these.
Such specs confirm the very high-end orientation of this platform, which is likely to be out of reach for most budgets, both in terms of motherboards and processors.