Introduction and Features
Courtesy of MSI
My first Sandy Bridge-E motherboard review of 2012 showcases the talents of Intel's latest i7-3820 3.6GHz quad-core processor and MSI's X79A-GD65 (8D) ATX motherboard. The enhancements included in the LGA 2011 platform combined with MSI's unique optimizations to the board's overclocking, gaming, and power management capabilities should make for an exciting testing experience.
Courtesy of MSI
MSI currently has six motherboards that support the LGA 2011 socket and the X79A-GD65 (8D) is considered one of their higher-end offerings at $289.99. This board targets users who want to take advantage of three PCI-E x16 slots for AMD CrossfireX or NVIDIA SLI configurations. It also gives users the ability to use up to two SATA 6GB/s and four SATA 3GB/s devices courtesy of the X79 chipset. MSI also used a second ASMedia controller to add two more SATA 6GB/s ports to the board. All of these SATA3 ports support Intel's Rapid Storage Technology, but the SATA3 devices managed by the X79 chipset can only handle RAID 0 and 1 versus the ASMedia chip that handles RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10.
Subject: Motherboards | February 15, 2012 - 11:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: x79, sandy bridge-e, quantumian-1, foxconn
Eagle-eyed readers will recognize this board from the "From the Forums" post that we presented to you last week. It seems that our stalwart Forum member is not the only one to locate Foxconn's uniquely named X79 board, the Quantumian-1 from their Quantum Force lineup. NinjaLane has a quick look at the board here and cover some of the features immediately observable on the motherboard. If you are looking for hard numbers though, Windwithme's Forum post is still the way to go.
"In this preview we will be looking at one of the latest motherboards in the Quantum Force lineup the Quantumian-1 X79. The Quantumian-1n is an enthusiast level motherboard designed for high-end gaming and overclocking using the full set of features common to Quantum Force motherboards."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock X79 Extreme9 LGA 2011 @ [H]ard|OCP
- ASRock X79 Extreme9 Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- ASRock Extreme9 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- ASUS Rampage IV Formula BF3 Edition Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- GIGABYTE GA-X79-UD7 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte X79-UD3 @ Funky Kit
- Biostar TPower X79 @ Bjorn3D
- Intel DX79SI: Super Energy-Efficient LGA 2011 Mainboard @ X-bit Labs
- MSI Z68A-GD65G3 Motherboard @ Rbmods
- ASUS P8P67 Pro Intel P67 @ PCSTATS
- Sandy Bridge-E Memory Performance Guide @ Legion Hardware
- ASUS Maximux IV Extreme Motherboard Review @ OCIA
- BIOS Option Of The Week - PCI/VGA Palette Snoop @ TechARP
Subject: Systems | February 15, 2012 - 06:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Cyberpower, Zeus Lighting, Zeus Thunder, sandy bridge-e, amd fx
BALDWIN PARK, CA (February 15, 2012) – CyberpowerPC Inc. www.CyberpowerPC.com, a manufacturer of custom gaming machines, today announced its Zeus series -- a powerful new line of desktop computers that offer the power of thunder with Intel’s new i7-3820 CPU; the speed of AMD’s lightning fast FX CPUs; the refined design of NZXT’s Switch 810 chassis, and legendary Advanced Hydro Liquid Cooling.
The initial Zeus rollout includes six models. The Zeus Thunder 1000, 2000, 3000 and MAX will all feature Intel’s latest CPUs, including the new 2nd Gen. Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E quad-core CPU operating at 3.6GHz, a 10MB L3 cache and HyperThreading support. The Zeus Lightning series consists of the 1000 and 2000 models with the AMD FX series native 8-core desktop processor, which allows you to immerse yourself in the most advanced 3D games and achieve extreme mega-tasking with ease.
High definition gaming will be no myth because the Zeus series is outfitted with leading edge graphics from AMD and NVIDIA. They not only deliver excellent gaming performance but provide great versatility and speed in video transcoding. You can also harness the power of multiple video cards with your choice of CrossfireX or SLI graphics performance.
The CyberpowerPC Zeus series does not forget the memory and uses low-latency high capacity memory modules from top tier brands such as Kingston HyperX or Corsair Vengeance DDR3 memory. Solid state drives (SSDs) are also a standard feature with a choice of Intel, Corsair Kingston and OCZ models to provide super fast system response and quick loading times.
To become the supreme ruler of gaming as the Zeus name implies, you need an elegant and refined chassis to house your weapons. The CyberpowerPC Zeus series employs the NZXT Switch 810 full tower hybrid chassis. PC enthusiasts can easily modify this classy-white case for liquid cooling, silent performance, or extreme airflow. With a quick switch, the hybrid fins on the NZXT can open up to allow maximum air flow or close for enhanced sound reduction. The Switch 810 chassis is also loaded with front panel ports for enhanced connectivity, which includes dual USB 3.0 ports and an Integrated SD card reader convenient for on-the-fly file transfers.
Each Zeus gaming PC has the option of up to 10 120mm case fans for supreme cooling and is also “hydro-ready” for intricate water cooling solutions. CyberpowerPC’s Advanced Hydro Liquid Cooling can be added to any Zeus system to cool both the CPU and GPU(s). With the Advanced Hydro Liquid Cooling kit, you can opt for a 240mm or 360mm radiator for ultra cooling.
Base price of the Zeus Thunder series with Intel CPUs starts under $1329. Base price of AMD-based Zeus Lightning systems is $999.
All CyberpowerPC gaming systems are available worldwide and can be customized with a number of performance hardware and components such as Solid State Drives, Blu-Ray drives, gaming memory, gaming peripherals, business and productivity software, and more.
Every system is meticulously built with precise cable routing to ensure optimal airflow and a clean aesthetic appearance. CyberpowerPC loads every system with Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Operating System for an enhanced gaming and multimedia experience. All CyberpowerPC desktop gaming systems include an industry-best 3-year limited warranty.
Layout and Features
From the Forums is a new segment here on PC Perspective where we dive through the best content on the PC Perspective Forums and bring it to the main stage here on pcper.com. Even though this content isn't direct from our editors it brings value to the reader and so we wanted to push into the spotlight! Our forums are some of the best online if you are looking for community fun and gaming or have a particularly annoying issue you are trying to work out on your latest build. Be sure you stop by to see what our members are up to today!!
Windwithme has been a member of the PC Perspective Forums since mid-2009 and has continually contributed with in-depth reviews of hardware including motherboard, graphics cards SSDs and more. Though English is not his native language, and because of that some of his text will seem odd to US readers, the content is great and we are glad to have Windwithme as part of our community! Enjoy! You can find the original thread for this content right here.
If you have any feedback on this new feature, please drop us a line in the commments below!
Ever since Intel officially launch Sandy Bridge-E new platform in 2011 November,
several motherboard companies successively roll out new motherboard based on X79 chipset to support Intel next generation high-end platform.
Due to the continuous effort of self-own brand management made by FOXCONN, Quantum Force series still dominant high-end motherboard.
FOXCONN X79 Quantumian-1 still provides various choices for the market though the quantities of Quantum Force series are not as various as they are in the past time. Soon after the release of Intel X79 chipset, FOXCONN promptly roll out corresponding X79 motherboard. Quantum Force was naming in a special way which the Intel code won’t be shown on the models.
This time, Quantumian-1 which belongs to the series of Quantum Force still follows the high-end style both in material and design.
The patterns shown on exterior packing of high-end product are always different which exhibits the great efforts on art design.
The full picture of FOXCONN Quantumian-1
Quantum Force is common to use black and red to create contrast visual sense.
Currently, there are more and more motherboard brands adopt these two colors to match.
It is known that the market segment of Quantumian-1 x79 is positioned as high-end product line.
Besides, the corresponding specification, design and featured over clocking function have also been highly highlighted.
- Product manual
- easy guide
- nVIDIA SLI 3Way bridge
- IO shield
- SATA connectors and cables both in red and yellow
- DC power cable SATA
Configuration and Exterior
Puget Systems has slowly grown to be one of our favorite system builders for those looking to buy rather than build their own PC. Using off-the-shelf components might seem like a negative but in our mind mixing an upgrade path with small niche features like noise dampening material and a great overall customer buying experience really hit the spot. For the Sandy Bridge-E launch late in 2011 Puget wanted to send over something just a bit different than normal - a workstation class computer.
The result is the Genesis I based on the Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition processor from Intel, the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe motherboard, 32GB of memory and 250GB Intel 510 SSD.
Puget Systems Build Process
One of my favorite things about the Puget Systems system purchase process is the customer service you get. The website isn't anything unusual but is completely functional for even novice users. Despite my knowledge of hardware I actually appreciate the fact that Puget does NOT inundate buyers with a selection of 30 motherboards and even the graphics card options are limited to a handful of selected "best choice" by the staff.
We have previously taken a look at Serenity and Deluge systems from Puget and have been impressed with the build quality and attention to detail they apply. Each build is continually updated throughout the process and communicated to the buyer via emails with a site portal for photos of your specific rig and even including thermal images of the PC running under load and idle. It is nice touches like this that really show the company cares about its customers and wants to them to feel attached to the process.
Subject: Motherboards | January 13, 2012 - 08:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asrock, x79, X79 Extreme4, lga2011, sandy bridge-e
[H]ard|OCP starts out their review of the ASRock X79 Extreme4 with a tale of two motherboards and the quality issues that they discovered. In part it is a warning and in part it offers contrast to the decent quality of the review model that they received. The board did display a few minor problems during testing, which prompted [H] to caution anyone picking this or any other ASRock board that they may need to deal with the RMA process. Assuming you get a working board the Extreme4 offers a great experience for you. The two PCIe 16x slots and single 8x slot are all PCIe 2.0 which may disappoint some who plan on upgrading their CPU or installing a PCIe SSD card. Apart from those two main issues, [H] were quite happy with this board.
"After the last couple of ASRock boards, I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to see another one. The ASRock X79 Extreme4 not only surpassed my admittedly low expectations, but proved to be the exact opposite of the last two motherboards. Grab a sandwich and read on. You don’t want to miss this one."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Intel DH67BL Intel H67 Express Motherboard Review @ PCSTATS
- Intel Core i7 3820 and ASrock Extreme4-M @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte G1.Assassin 2 @ Guru3D
- ASUS's Dual Socket 2011 Workstation Motherboard - Z9PE-D8 WS @ VR-Zone
A New Chip for a New Year
When Intel launched the Sandy Bridge-E platform in November, there were three processors listed on the specification sheet. The Core i7-3960X is the flagship, 6-core processor with the ~$1000 price tag, the Core i7-3930K still had 6-cores but a much lower cost and similar clock speeds and the Core i7-3820 was the only quad-core option and was listed for a Q1 release. We reviewed the Core i7-3930K in December and found that it offered nearly the same performance as the more expensive unit at about half the price.
Today we are getting a preview of the Core i7-3820 that will be released likely in early February and will come with a much more reasonable price tag of $285 to fill out the LGA2011 socket. The question that we must ask then is can the quad-core Core i7-3820 compete against the currently available quad-core Sandy Bridge parts that fit in the widely available LGA1155 socket? We not only have to consider performance but also the features of each platform as well as the total cost.
Same Feature Set, New Die
While most of the features of the Core i7-3820 are going to be identical to those of the previous SNB-E processors we have seen, there are some important differences with this chip. Let's see what is familiar first. The Core i7-3820 is based on the Sandy Bridge-E design that works on the LGA2011 socket and the X79 chipset and motherboards currently on the market. It includes a quad-channel memory controller and 40 lanes of PCI Express that are actually capable of PCIe 3.0 speeds. HyperThreading is still enabled so you are getting the benefit of being able to run twice as many threads as you have cores.
There are some very important changes on this CPU as well though starting with a quad-core design. This directly pits this Sandy Bridge-E part against the currently existing Sandy Bridge processors running on the Z68/P67 chipset and LGA1155 socket. Also, the L3 cache on the Core i7-3820 is at 10MB, 5MB less than the Core i7-3960X and 2MB less than the Core i7-3930K. We are basically talking about a processor that bridges the gap between the original SNB and newer SNB-E parts and it creates some interesting battles and comparisons.
The Low Cost Sandy Bridge-E
In the conclusion to my original story looking at the performance characteristics of the Sandy Bridge-E platform, I wrote this:
I am most interested in the Core i7-3930K (as I think most of you will be), but we are going to have to wait a bit to see if we can get performance and power results for that part.
Well good readers, I am here with that information! After getting my hands on the Core i7-3930K processor that makes up the other 50% of the available options for the X79 chipset motherboards, I can definitively say that THIS is the processor you want. Unless you are crazy-go-nuts rich.
With a clock speed only about 2.5% lower than its bigger brother yet a price that is 44% lower, the LGA2011 socket definitely has its enthusiast favorite.
The Sandy Bridge-E Summary
I am not going to bother reprinting everything that we discussed about the new Sandy Bridge-E processor architecture, the X79 chipset and platform changes here though if you haven't read about them before today, you should definitely take a look at my earlier article.
Here is a quicker summary:
The answer might surprise you, but truthfully not a whole lot has changed. In fact, from a purely architectural stand point (when looking at the x86 processor cores), Sandy Bridge-E looks essentially identical to the cores found in currently available Sandy Bridge CPUs. You will see the same benefits of the additional AVX instruction set in applications that take advantage of it, a shared L3 cache that exists between all of the cores for data coherency and the ring bus introduced with Sandy Bridge is still there to move data between the cores, cache and uncore sections of the die.
Turbo Boost technology makes a return here as well with the updated 2.0 version in full effect - there are more steppings in scalability on this part than on the Nehalem or Westmere CPUs.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards | November 30, 2011 - 04:13 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: z68, x79, sandy bridge-e, msi, GTX 580, GTX 560, giveaway, contest
This is a pretty big week here at PC Perspective as we released our highly anticipated review of the Intel Sandy Bridge-E and X79 platform. If you haven't read that over, you need to do so, right away!! But we also have some impressive gear to giveaway thanks to our friends at MSI and their "Gear Up with MSI" campaign!
What are the prizes? I know that's what you want to know first...
- 2nd Prize
Wow, these are some stellar prizes! First prize basically gets the components required for one of the fastest gaming rigs on the planet while the 2nd prize will be able to play Batman: Arkham City with all the top settings!
So what do you have to do to win these prizes? The steps are simple:
- Make a comment on this post thanking MSI for this kick ass contest!! That's pretty simple right? You don't have to register, though we would appreciate it!
- Like MSI on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MSI.ComputerUS
- (Just a hint, they have a lot of Facebook-specific contests throughout the year!)
- Like PC Perspective on Facebook: http://facebook.com/pcper
- Follow PC Perspective on Twitter: http://twitter.com/pcper
- Circle PC Perspective on Google+: http://gplus.to/pcper
- (Another hint, comments on our G+ post about this contest get another entry!)
We will pick random winners in our pool of entries on Wednesday, the 7th of December! Sorry, US and Canada residents only for this one! If you don't have a Facebook/Twitter/Google+ account commenting here will still enter you.
Oh, and if you haven't seen the other contest MSI is running around the release of Batman: Arkham City, you should check out this page on their site. Posting a photo of yourself dressed up like Batman has never been so lucrative!
The Grand Prize for MSI's Batman Photo Contest!!
Winners Announced!! Sorry about the late update, but we did pick our winners! The first prize went to use "Equinox2355" and the second prize went to "Deman". Thanks to everyone for participating and we'll have more contests very soon!!!
Podcast #179 - Sandy Bridge-E Review, X79 Motherboards, a new NAS device from Western Digital, Aquarium PCs and more!
Subject: Editorial | November 17, 2011 - 09:17 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: x79, western digital, storage, sandy bridge-e, podcast, nvidia, NAS, Intel, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #179 - 11/17/2011
Join us this week as we talk about our Sandy Bridge-E Review, X79 Motherboards, a new NAS device from Western Digital, Aquarium PCs and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malvantano
- 0:00:24 Introduction
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 0:02:00 Intel Sandy Bridge-E Review - Core i7-3960X and X79 Chipset Tested
- 0:27:45 X79 Motherboard Roundup Video Preview
- 0:28:53 Alienware M17x (R3) Gaming Notebook Review: It Glows!
- 0:30:25 Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W Power Supply Review
- 0:31:20 NVIDIA Reports Q3 2012 Results
- 0:39:15 Western Digital launches Sentinel Series of NAS devices, bringing enterprise features to the small business.
- 0:46:20 The mineral oil in this Aquarium will be hard on the fish but not your components
- 0:53:45 Antec Announces P280 Enclosure
- 0:54:50 Win a Free Copy of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim from PC Perspective
- You missed it, but Jared H. didn't!
- 0:56:15 Bulldozers at Knights Corner; duelling server chips
- 0:59:45 More Free Stuff Friday: XFX Radeon HD 6870 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- 1:00:12 The Intel 32 in 32 Challenge on Facebook
- 1:01:22 Free Stuff Wednesday: Gigabyte G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Giveaway!!
- 1:02:15 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
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