Despite everyone at Computex talking about Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge E processors arriving in the August/September timeframe alongside X79 motherboards, the rumor mill has recently hinted that there could be a delay. We've heard mumblings about the platform's PCI Express 3.0 implementation not being ready for prime time. There's also word that the X79 chipset, which was slated to have a staggering 14 Serial ATA channels, has been cut down considerably.
Intel remains tight-lipped on the subject, but Turkish site Donanim Haber has come upon pictures of a new Gigabyte X79 motherboard that may shed some light on the matter. The board proudly proclaims its PCI Express 3.0 support, so that's still in the cards in some form. However, given Intel's history with the gen-two spec, it's probably not safe to assume that the next-gen PCIe implementation is running at full speed.
Looking over the board reveals six edge-mounted Serial ATA ports and at least two Serial Attached SCSI connectors. The X79 was supposed to have up to eight SAS ports, but that always seemed like overkill for high-end desktop systems.
That's not to say the Gigabyte board, referred to as the GA-6PXSV, is entirely free of excess. There are eight DIMM slots onboard—two for each of Sandy Bridge E's four memory channels. You also get PCIe x8 and x4 slots in addition to a pair of x16s. Amusingly, the port cluster appears to be peppered with a pair of serial ports. There's no new information on when we'll see boards like this one in the wild, though.
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