The answer to the question of which CPU/motherboard combo from Intel
delivers the most extreme desktop performance is the Intel Extreme Edition Core i7-3970X (3.5GHz, 4GHz Turbo) CPU and the Extreme Series Intel Desktop Board DX79SR (Stormville), which are now available.
The 6-core Ivy Bridge beast of a processor offers up 15MB cache, 4 channels of DDR3 memory, integrated graphics, and of course it supports Hyper-Threading. The chip costs $1,059 in the box.
As for the DX79SR motherboard, it features 8 DIMM slots and support for up to 64GB of system memory (DDR3-2400+ OC) as well as three PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots, two PCIe x1 slots, one PCI slot, up to six USB 3.0 and fourteen USB 2.0 ports, two FireWire ports, and eight SATA ports (four each at 6Gbps and 3Gbps). There’s an infrared receiver/transmitter on board, as well as a WiFi module/Bluetooth module and plenty of overclocking features.
The cost of the board is upwards of $300, which makes the two products a pricey combination, but there’s no doubt plenty of enthusiasts will splurge on the high-performing pair.