Intel® Core™ i7-990X – Conclusions and Award

Intel builds upon its success, and today has be no different than any previous viewing we have seen. The improvements are not only successful but delver with them a whole load of improvements across the remit. To quote Albert Einstein; Any intelligent individual can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

Today this has been most certainly the instance, There have been many rumours flying around of what this new i7 CPU can do and cannot do. What it cannot do, we have not been able to find – it has in every which way we turned, shown us differently. The results shown within speak very evidently for themselves as a picture paints a thousand words.

Notwithstanding we have to take a moment to reflect on the new mainboards performance. The slick black PCB of course not forgetting our friend the “Skull” is feature rich in many aspects which should keep many happy for a long time as we see so much versatility laid out on the mainboard. The heatpipe cooling which covers the key components is a very welcome addition to this top end mainboard and should ensure longevity of those critical success factors of the mainboard, especially when operating at peak outputs. There are many routes of upgrades, too many to mention here though many readers will have thought through already very carefully their chosen paths. One final point is that the mainboard does come supplied with a WiFi/BlueTooth Module. This will be for many a most welcome addition and a great saving.

The supplied components to back up the mainboard are up to Intel’s normal high standards, our recent outing with Sandy Bridge we did like the new SATA cables and once more pleased to see these resilient parts in place. The supplied software CD came with a good decent bundle of Intel’s own proprietary overclocking tool (Intel® Extreme Tuning Utility (Intel® XTU))and system monitoring which is a good bonus for the overclocker. Other packages included AV software which meant for those not having any form of protection can get up and running straight away online doing what needs to be done. What did take our attention was the updated and upgraded supplied and online manuals. These have been smartly updated and more precise for many beginner on their first outing of building their own. 

The need for speed. Yes it’s continuously there, as the facts within are indisputable that this is without doubt a much faster CPU and the significant gains are to be seen. Many though will argue that price is a contributing factor, not so. Take into account a mainboard that now supports much faster stock memory and double the capacity, SATA 6.0 Gb/s and USB 3.0 we have something to sit back and admire in complete awe. It brings forth the next question just how much faster can we get at stock, is it all worth you ask. Our automatic answer would be yes in our opinion. This just could be an answer to many walks of life looking for the ultimate in system performance, maximising complete productivity output – after all that is what we all strive for. Time will tell so our crystal ball advises us.

Within the multimedia aspects of the mainboard both the Sapphire Radeon 6970 and Nvidia Geforce GTX 580 performed explicitly. So we have once more an option of choice, not only with a single high performing GPU but the choice of Crossfire and SLI modes, a most welcome sight to be seen. Once more we see that the target markets have been addressed, balanced equally and a gamers delight most certainly.

The Professional Cards from both ATI® and Nvidia®, well these both have taken significant leaps forward in performance, not only from the offerings that the whole system has to offer but the actual driver packages recently released.  We did stipulate in our last article that ATI® has improved in certain areas,  now they have excelled in their own rights across the board which will regain confidence of many end users.  Nvidia® has achieved the similar results also with their new driver package, though what we do note is the significant leap up in OpenCL performance.  Double the OpenCL performance, a significant achievement in such a short time scale and quite an accolade.  This did catch us totally unawares as it will with our readers.

Moving up a gear and the section most will have been waiting for, this has been a dream to see at work. Notwithstanding we must suggest that a mission critical systems should be balanced accordingly on an Intel platform that supports ECC and a Xeon CPU. However there are those who proceed down the route of having the most from both worlds allowing shift hardware changes on the fly, therefore here we see the success factors of the configurations within. The DX58SO2 does offer the option of both ECC and Non ECC memory configurations and supports the almighty Xeon, though in ECC mode you are limited to a maximum of 24GB. Once more options for choice and affordability for those on tight budgets.

Within many previous articles we stipulated, fast is good, we want fast.  There will be a cry of “what of the cost” from many consumers and analysts, if you wish bleeding edge technology of this magnitude then we do most certainly have to pay – though once more to reiterate – fast is what we certainly have here today. Therefore cost is most certainly not a factor anyone would care to consider in gaining the superb bound in technology and performance output.    Intel have brought to the fore a combined magnificent set of components which will have many happy waiting purchasers lining the doors waiting to fill their pockets with the goodies.

Finally we have to take away the unmistakable facts that Intel has produced a successor to the throne in the top bin CPU ratings.    Yes a premium price has to be paid, it has to be reiterated time is money and the least hindrances in completing a monstrous render/redraw output, here is where the precise well-groomed will win out. The Intel® Core™ i7-990X , this is the beginning of something phenomenal, the unequivocal evidence prevails. award for Intel® Core i7- 990X Extreme Edition 3.46GHz Desktop CPU award for Intel® Core™ i7- 990X Extreme Edition 3.46GHz Desktop CPU


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