Leak reveals Intel's X79 plans

A slide of what Intel is dubbing a chip for enthusiasts has appeared on a Chinese website.

It.com.cn got its paws on the slide which claims to outline the company’s next platform for enthusiasts.

Now they would have to be extremely enthusiastic enthusiasts as there is little to see here-  move on please.

The X79 will be the successor to the popular X58 platform. It’ll hit the shops in time for the Christmas rush. The X58 has been around for three years now so has been needing a refresh.

According to the slide the chip will have four-core and six-core Sandy Bridge-E processors and improvements in connectivity as well as memory bandwidth.

There is the usual LGA 2011 socket and the PCI-E hub moved from the northbridge to the processor die.

The chipset gets a DMI connection to the processor but also has an additional PCI-Express 2.0 x4 link to the processor’s PCI-E hub, for a total bandwidth of 8GB/s to support the integrated 10-port SATA 6Gbps controller plus four 3Gbps ports.

At the moment, Chipzilla’s high-end 6-series chipsets only have two-port 6Gbps SATA and four 3Gbps ports. You can set Eight of the SATA 6Gbps ports up as a serial-attached SCSI, and RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 are also supported.

Given that this is arriving late in the year you have to wonder why it does not have an integrated USB 3.0 controller or Thunderbolt. You still have 14 USB 2.0 ports to play with.

X79 based motherboards will have two PCI-Express x16 @ x16 or four PCIe x16 @ x8 slots. They should have at least four DDR3 slots because Sandy Bridge E CPUs have quad-channel memory.

Expect to see an integrated Lewisville gigabit Ethernet PHY chip and audio codec that can handle dual stream HDMI and DP audio.

As you would expect the processor and the memory will have overclocking facilities but it does not appear to allow for BClck/QPI/bus overclocking. With this caveat, it is hard to see why an overclocker would want it.

All up enthusiast seems to mean someone with deep pockets but little in the way of common sense. With these features it should be a very expensive chip but have little in the way of useful performance for those who like to tinker.