How many Intel motherboards have you owned, One, Three, Five? Odds are maybe not a one. Yes it’s a loaded question, due to the fact that I am actually speaking about a Genuine Intel Motherboard and not a motherboard made by another manufacturer with an Intel chipset. The do it yourself community has shunned Intel motherboards for years, mainly due to cost but most recently due to the fact that other manufacturers have included more innovative technologies on their boards as well as more efficient chipset cooling. I am not sure about you but I didn’t want to spend my money on a board that always had less and was usually more. As recently as last year some top of the line Genuine Intel Motherboards had those thin wafered heatsinks on the Southbridge and inefficient finned thermal solutions cooling the VRM, PWM and MOSFET. That’s not even mentioning how few USB and SATA connectors offered.
Q1 of 2011 when Intel launched their second generation Core processors we were introduced to a new socket (LGA1155) and chipset (P67 and Z68) but there were only rumors of replacing the performance line, the aging socket LGA 1366 and X58 chipset. It is now Q4 of 2011 and the wait is over the Intel performance line is getting a facelift with a new socket and chipset as well as a powerful processor line which includes both four and six cores. The new socket is LGA 2011 and the chipset is called X79 and with this Intel has introduced a new line of motherboards one in specific is the DX79SI Extreme Series. Once you lift up the top flap of the box and look through the clear plastic window you will notice a very pleasing change.
The Intel DX79SI Extreme Series motherboard is packed with features. The DX79SI supports the Second Generation Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition Processors on a new Socket which is LGA 2011. Its new chipset is X79 express which features DMI unidirectional connectivity to the processor. It supports Quad, tri, dual or single channel memory up to 2400MHz (OC) and has a memory capacity of up to 64GB. For connectivity the Intel DX79SI includes six high speed USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0, dual Intel Gigabit LAN, eight channel audio including optical and a Back to BIOS button for easy access to the BIOS when performance tuning. There are three PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots for SLI and CrossFire video performance, two SATA 6G and four SATA 3G ports for hard drive connectivity as well as an additional eight USB 2.0 headers. Most important is Intel’s move to the DrMOS (MOSFET) power phase solution and driver to ensure more efficient power stage switching and to keep it cool they have added voltage regulator heatsinks.