The Intel LGA 1366 six-core Gulftown processor is now reality. The current model available, the Core i7 980X, is a little on the pricy side, but we expect some less expensive models in the future.
The new 32nm six-core processor is designed to work just fine with the 1.5 year old Intel X58 Express chipset. There are numerous X58 boards on the market, from mild to wild, and all are quite mature enough to have any and all bugs worked out. The new Gulftown processor, with its 12 data threads, is definitely just a drop-in upgrade for those enthusiasts that already run Core i7 9xx series processors.
The problem is the other new technologies that have just emerged, SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3. Most of us had no idea that either was in the works when the Core i7/X58 emerged. Going to the expense of buying the new Core i7 980X, you definitely want the latest data transfer technologies, and with an older X58 board, the only way you will get them is with PCI expansion cards.
But, the motherboard manufacturers are ready for this, and some have already released new models of X58 boards supporting SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3. Today I will be looking at the ASRock X58 Extreme 3, their new top-of-the-line board. It not only supports SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3, but also supports eSATA 6Gb/s. Read on to check out the ASRock X58 Extreme3!
A deluxe motherboard deserves deluxe packaging, and ASRock provides it. Not a lot of ASRock motherboards get this treatment. The X58 Extreme3’s box has a holographic design throughout (not seen in the photo) and is covered with features and specs.
Inside the board is protected from the accessories by a cardboard divider.