Confucius once wrote “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” Today we have seen from within a marvellous array of choice, superb overclocking potential and finally a solution that will suit the needs of many a pocket looking for that all important upgrade they have been holding back on. On the arrival of new technology of this magnitude, it is sometimes hard to sit back and gather thoughts after witnessing some pretty remarkable performances being produced. After all that we have collated today; the results speak very clearly, this is without doubt yet another winner that Intel has brought to the fore.
From a Multimedia aspect, this mainboard has got a whole load of bang to it. Overclocking potential is great and we are sure that many will bring to the fore some remarkable results. There are several outstanding reviews out on the world wide web that have covered this points with some substantial depth. Here we maintain stock levels as part of the SPEC remit and accuracy in reporting is of a paramount as results must be clearly and precisely re-enacted. Though with the mainboard and CPU at stock level’s the synthetic results gained from both Nvidia’s® GTX580 and the Sapphire Technology® Radeon 6970 are quite astonishing to say the least. Therefore both companies must be rubbing their hands with glee at what has been achieved. However, one must take into due consideration the helping hand within the systems I/O from Crucial’s supply of its superfast C300 SSD and the almighty new Crucial Ballistix, DDR3 PC3-17000. We took the system to the maximum at stock and ran it without falter for 10 days flat out. Therefore to conclude this sector; kudos and a hands down winner for all the supplying manufacturers concerned.
After many years of paying premiums for mid entry level workstations we have solutions that are affordable and have the power within to provide the end-users a substantial stable workstation that will last for sometime to come. We have over the last few month completely stressed this unit to it’s fullest without any complications. The mainboard has to offer plenty of room for expansion in whichever way it is utilised; as a home gamer, SoHo Workstation. Or, and more probable within the corporate market place as a stand alone desktop unit as there is so much power within. More probable the studios, CAD/CAM and DCC market as the system shown within fully combined and once more reiterating, a sound solid fast system.
Onboard Audio replay was very good producing a crisp pleasant sound back to the ear. The onboard LAN, fast and efficient as we did not encounter any problems whatsoever hooked up within our tasking units here. A couple of additional points of note here also, the supplied SATA cables are of very good build quality and great to here the resounding “click” of the cable firmly locked into place whether on the mainboard or the actual hard drive. The retail packaging that the mainboard was delivered in was resilient and held all the components firmly in place. The bundled software that came with the mainboard is a respectable set of packages, though time did prevent us from investigating them as the mainboard extreme tuning utility and monitoring package both look very good. Therefore a good overall bundle supporting the mainboard.
Switching stances each of the professional graphic’s card performed well above everyone’s expectations returning results from the SPEC tests some very impressive results. Within SPECapc for SolidWorks 2007™ we witnessed what has to have been the fastest result to date by Nvidia’s Quadro® 5000. The driver optimisations from both ATI and NVIDIA has embraced the new technology marvellously. One point of note is that ATI’s drivers are now catching up, so we should see a change here soon on previous results. Though once more we have to take into consideration the whole systems I/O, without this we would not be seeing such excellent performing scores from both companies supplying the professional graphic cards.
Consequently and once more we have to reiterate the objectivity of choice. Choice to the budget user that sees the complete unique benefits this mainboard has to offer – Firewire and Bluetooth on the same mainboard. This novel concept we see normally upon notebooks therefore the beneficial choice to the end-user means more simplistic productivity. Choice in CPU, whether budget entry or a more upscale CPU that brings them in close proximity to to the high-end i7 chips. We must recount just how much Turbo boost is hidden under the hood at default – yes 3.8GHz is something to behold. So once more “bang for buck” is here without spending a fortune for those on a budget. Those wishing to move up a gear but have not got the funds to reach the high-end i7 CPU’s then without doubt the Intel® Core™ i7 2600K Processor is tremendously powerful and will last the end-user for many years to come.
We also see choice within our multimedia graphic cards. Whether ATI’s CrossFire or NVIDIA’S SLI both multi card scenario’s will keep many a gamer happy for hours. Though those wishing to use a single GPU solution from either of the latter companies will see huge differences in performance uptake. As for the professional cards, in a tandem array, we need to further investigate, so watch this space for more news. Whichever way this is article is perceived, the purchaser is on a “win win” solution. By means of importance we have to remember that the Dual Channel memory choice means a upgrade path when the timing and budget is right as the baseline memory bandwidths we have shown presents a very respectable result.
Penultimately we come back to the vogue “need for speed and the option of choice”. Previously this was for the few who could afford, now it is well within the reach of the many.
Finally we return for one last recount. We have just skimmed over the iceberg of what really lays underneath, as the timescales shifted we had to work to meet the new deadline so a more in-depth article will follow soon covering much more than today’s brief appearance. We have fast affordable CPU’s, Mainboards with a whole remit of functionality which will flummox many. Upgrades are easily achievable and, the “need for speed” is there now for everyone to enjoy. An exceptional piece of post-Christmas marketing by Intel’s public relations team. Overall Intel has surpassed itself with this technology upgrade allowing many to have what they could only read about or place on their wish lists. Sandy Bridge is without doubt the fastest CPU on the block within this sector of CPU’s and for a reasonably priced CPU you get that superb performance we all dream about. Putting your confidence in motherboard auto-overclocking and the i7 2600K and 4GHz is easily reached. For those who want more it’s all within your grasp, and yes on fresh air, without any fancy cooling arrays.
EDITORS CHOICE for MID Range Performance CPU
EDITORS CHOICE for Performance Memory
Page 1 – Sandy Bridge Introduction
Page 2 – Sandy Bridge Introduction Continued
Page 3 – New Intel® Desktop Boards
Page 4 – Mainboard Pictures and System Builds
Page 5 – Completed System Builds and Software Used
Page 6 – SiSoftware Sandra 2011
Page 7 – POV-Ray for Windows v3.7 RC1 (64-bit)
Page 8 – Nvidia Geforce® GTX580
Page 9 – Sapphire® Radeon HD 6970
Page 10 – ATI FirePro® V8800
Page 11 – NVIDIA Quadro® 5000
Page 12 – Conclusion and Awards