Intel Core i7-3960X Review
Intel DX79SI In Detail
With the addition of the four extra DIMM sockets the power has moved to entirely DPM, greatly reducing the footprint of the power phases.
Demonstrating how much of the controllers have moved to the CPU, the middle heatsink rests solely upon a couple of solid state capacitors.
CPU power is thankfully still provided by a single 8 pin 12V connector, ensuring that upgrading to the X79 doesn't require an entirely new system.
There are so many headers that it's nearly impossible to find a bit of room across the bottom of the DX79SI that doesn't contain some expansion headers or whatever. A nice touch is the POST code display being right next to the power buttons for easy reading.
Beneath that large skull motif cooler we have two main chips. The Winbond reports the voltages and temperatures and the like. On the right we have the heart of the beast, the X79 itself. It looks just like the old Pentiums. How far we've come.
This little button on the left has some clever trickery behind it. It allows the system to boot directly into the BIOS using default settings, without actually losing the configuration you've done yourself. How amazing this is cannot be understated. How often have we overclocked, then the system hangs or wont POST and you have to start again with a CMOS clear and waste ages going back through the various bits and bobs necessary to obtain large overclocks. With this you just press it and you're back up and running. It's wonderful, and really should be a feature on every motherboard made from now on, it makes the job that much easier. Indeed we think it's of such importance that Intel need to make its inclusion part of the contract that allows people to base their boards upon the X79 chipset.