Those wanting to build the ultimate performance system will naturally turn to Intel’s new LGA2011 platform which recently made its debut with the Sandy Bridge-E processors. This highly refined architecture takes the original Sandy Bridge design and pumps it full of steroids, while adding a few new things. Moreover, the platform is expected to support enthusiast-level Ivy Bridge processors that are slated for release by the end of 2012, adding to the platform's longevity.
The current series' flagship CPU known as the Core i7-3960X boasts a massive 15MB L3 cache and six cores clocked at 3.3GHz. As we found on our review last November, the i7-3960X is 20-30% faster than the Core i7-2600K, though at $999 it's over 3 times more expensive. There is also a slightly slower and considerably more affordable option. The Core i7-3930K is already selling for $599, and a third alternative, the Core i7-3820 is set to be released in the coming months.
So if you're already spending $600+ on a processor alone, you'll want to make sure your motherboard is equally impressive. Today we are checking out five high-end X79 motherboards from Asus, Asrock, ECS, Intel and MSI.
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