Just two days after Intel lifted the lid on Sandy Bridge-E, CPUs are already in stock at Newegg. The flagship Core i7-3960X is available for $1050, which is $60 more than Intel's 1,000-unit price for the chip. The cheaper Core i7-3930K has been similarly marked up; it costs $600, $45 more than what's quoted on Intel's official price list. Neither CPU is sold with a heatsink, so you'll need to add your own. The selection of LGA2011-compatible coolers looks pretty thin at the moment, though, and the Intel-branded RTS2011LC water cooler doesn't seem to be available for sale just yet.
Fortunately, there's plenty of variety on the LGA2011 motherboard front. Newegg has a bunch of X79 boards in stock, including several of the models we reviewed in our recent roundup. One of our favorites, the Asus P9X79 PRO, costs $330. A Sabertooth model with a five-year warranty is available for $10 more.
At $300 online, the MSI X79A-GD65 (8D) we reviewed is less expensive than those two Asus models. The Intel and Gigabyte boards that we tested aren't listed yet. Newegg does have Gigabyte's X79-UD3 in stock for $270, but that board is limited to four DIMM slots. Four-DIMM X79 boards are available for as little as $225 if you can make do with a microATX form favor. The cheapest ATX offering, an ASRock X79 Extreme4, sells for $235.
A quick visit to Intel's support site reveals that the company still hasn't released an official Rapid Storage Technology driver for the X79 platform. The beta RST driver made available to the press isn't on Intel's public download site, either. Searching the support site for X79 reveals only the chipset driver, dated August 27, lending further credence to the theory that the X79's storage component delayed the platform's release. Props to Intel for having hardware available to purchase so quickly after Sandy Bridge-E's release, though.
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|I'll take old-school over Optimus Prime's nutsack covered in neon lights any day of the week.||+68|