First, let’s talk about the what the X79 chipset is limited to compared to the Z87 series boards. The first noticeable item is that the X79 chipset only houses two native SATA III 6 Gb/s ports vs the 6 native from the z87 series. However, as with most users, having only two may not be a big concern, especially with this P9X79-E WS board which houses 10 SATA ports. We will go over more of this information in a little bit.
Other features that you will notice is the internal memory controller. While the Z87 gave it a better controller, the X79 chipset isn’t bad either, offering native DDR3-2400 compared to the Z87 DDr3-3000. Let’s also not forget the Quad vs Dual channel memory configurations.
But the X79 has many more features that offer bigger benefits like the PCIe lanes. On this X79 based board, we will see PCIe X16 lanes across the board supporting up to 4x (X16) PCIe lane speeds. While the Z87 chipset will be dropped down when running more than 3 cards in SLI or Crossfire configuration, the X79 will maintain all cards at X16.
So if you plan on running 3 or even 4 high end graphics cards, the X79 chipset will give your graphics cards better bandwidth to work with. Also with the recent hype of bitcoin mining machines, we are sure these miners are gonna like the full lane speeds available to them.
So let’s take a quick glance at the Intel layout chart for x79 Vs Z87.
Skipping forward, let’s take a look at the motherboard and see what it has to offer.