Computex: All the X79 motherboards
Written by Damien Triolet
The Asrock X79 Extreme 4 has 3 PCI Express ports in 16x format. While two are cabled at 16x, the third is limited to 4x and connected to the chipset. An additional controller is included for the support of two USB 3.0 ports.
Asus is showing no fewer than 6 versions of an X79 prototype motherboard. The standdard CIX79 and the, LE, EVO, PRO, PLUS and DELUXE. They all have the same base but come with varying details: digital audio out, FireWire, Power buttons, debug led, USB 3.0Ö
The ECS X79R-A seems almost finalised. Itís a high end model with four PCI 16x ports (cabled at 8x when they are all used), 2 USB 3.0 controllers and Bluetooth.
Gigabyte are showing the GA-X79A-UD3. The card has five PCI Express 16x ports, two of which are actually cabled at 16x. One of these drops to 8x when the third port, also at 8x, is used. The last two are at just 4x. An NEC controller takes care of the USB 3.0 support.
MSI is showing three different cards based on the X79 chipset. The first, the X79A-GD65 has three PCI Express connectors in 16x format, one of which seems to be cabled at 4x. Two NEC controllers manage the USB 3.0 support. The X79A-GD70 is similar but employs better quality components, mainly in terms of the CPU power stage which is a good deal sturdier. Finally, an X79A-GD80 prototype has the particularity of having no fewer than four PCI-Express 1x ports in addition to the 16x format ports.
The Sapphire PB-CI7X79N is probably the highest end model on show. In contrast to the other manufacturers, Sapphire has decided to use an NVIDIA NF200 PCI Express switch although itís limited to PCI Express 2.0. As a result, of the six 16x format ports, only two are PCIE 3.0 compatible, one at 16x and the other at 4x. The four other parts share 32 PCI Express 2.0 lanes, either at 2x 16x or 4x 8x. USB 3.0 is of course supported via four ports at the back of the card and via an additional connector for a bracket or ports at the front.
Finally, a model a little bit different, the P270WM from Clevo, which aims to offer a (trans)portable socket 2011 very rapidly.
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