Ivy Bridge-E needs to be accompanied by the Intel series 7 chipset, X79 is what it's called. For those that are wondering, the internal codename for this chipset is Patsburg (Patsburg-X I think more specifically). Compared to X58 with a Gulftown processor there have been significant changes, especially since the Northbridge is housed inside the actual processor these days. That means that Ivy Bridge-E will connect directly to the X79 Express chipset through the DMI interconnect. For X79 natively you will only get two SATA 6 Gb/s ports and four SATA 3 Gb/s ports supported native by the chipset. So that is six in total for which you may configure RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 if that pleases you. Motherboard manufacturers can, and likely will add Marvell, ASmedia and JMicron controllers to get that number up as for the most high-end chipset this seems a little too "mainstream". The chipset only supports USB 2.0, not 3.0. A choice we do not understand for Intel's best offering anno 2013. You get 14 ports made available to you. USB 3.0 support once again will need to come from 3rd party controllers with extra core logic and thus overall costs mounted onto the motherboard.
Overclocking Ivy Bridge-E
Good news for Ivy Bridge-E based platforms is overclockability. Way back the original Sandy Bridge processors at the default baseclock (BLCK) were rather horrible to overclock. It has a lot to do with how the processor deals with the embedded graphics subsystem. If you were lucky you'd be able to increase the baseclock maybe 5 to 10 MHz multiplied at best. This is why the K and now X model processors have been introduced, easy overclocking by increasing the multiplier up-to a multiplier of 57. This feature of course remains the same for Sandy/Ivy Bridge-E with the X (Extreme) and K models. However, you should be able to overclock on the baseclock a little better now as well thanks to a new buffer chip that allows for 33 MHz increments.
Meanwhile we'll all still overclock based on the multiplier as it is 10x more easy and efficient to do so. We have limited overclockability for this review, as we are using an engineering sample motherboard that is not yet finalized. But even with that in mind it did not stop us from trying. We'll show you the overclocked results throughout the article.
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