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This is the fastest platform on the market and our scores prove it. Our X58 bench did manage to score a few wins but for the most part Intel’s new X79 chipset was the clear champ. Initial costs of a new system with these parts are going to be rather high. The plus side to this is that Intel’s previous products will probably get a price reduction. Personally I wouldn’t mind upgrading to a new X58 board and processor if the prices come down enough. I’ve used the competitor’s products for quite some time now but they just don’t have anything that interests me anymore.
Performance versus cost is going to be a downside to these new products until they can demonstrate their worthiness. Until then I’d imagine that most people will probably either stick with what they have or upgrade to an “older” Intel platform if the prices come down enough. These are rather difficult economic times and there just doesn’t seem to be enough of a performance increase to warrant such an upgrade. If things improve this could change very quickly. In my opinion I think Intel has proven that they are the reigning champs in any category and this new chipset just destroys any hopes that their competitors had of ever catching up. I’d imagine that their prices will probably drop a bit as well in order to compete with Intel. Either way more competition means better prices and better choices for all of us.
These boards were very easy to set up. One thing that really impressed me is that throughout the testing there wasn’t anything on the board that became too hot to touch. As with the previous X58 boards they were notorious for the amount of heat that they produced. I had always recommended that if you purchased one of these boards that you either had adequate airflow or you water cooled it. This board was totally different and I’d imagine that the amount of airflow that you’ll need won’t require any kind of aggressive cooling solution at all. Our processor that came with this platform was packaged with its own all-in-one liquid cooling solution. We noticed temperatures on the processor remained between 32 to 64 degrees Celsius. This represents the full spread from idle to full load throughout our testing. These temperatures do make it clear that for these processors you’ll still need a decent heat sink.
This platform now represents the pinnacle of the enthusiast level market and this new board from Intel is a great way to prepare for it. Only time will tell how well it will be received by this market and whether or not it will translate into profits for Intel. One thing that is still debatable is whether or not this new platform will signal the end for AMD. With their disastrous Bulldozer launch they really need to make sure that their next processor lives up to the hype that they at least generated for Bulldozer. If it doesn’t they may find themselves becoming a strictly GPU manufacturer and low end processor company. Come to think of it they are nearly half way there now. We have seen what Intel’s offering is capable of with their new chipset. Stay tuned to find out what the other vendors have done to give it an even bigger boost in performance and what amazing features they are able to cram onto the PCB.