I’ve been running around the Computex show floor all morning and finally managed to build enough of a lead ahead of my meetings to sit down and write up some of what I’ve seen.

Ian is going to be meeting with most of the motherboard makers at the show but I just stopped by ECS’ booth and got a look at its lineup of three Socket-FM1 Llano (A-series APU) motherboards and a Socket-2011 Intel X79 motherboard for use with Sandy Bridge-E due out later this year.

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SNB-E has four 64-bit DDR3 memory channels which makes routing a pain. Motherboard manufacturers are dealing with the incredible number of traces by splitting the channels up and routing half of them on one side of the CPU and the other half on the other. LGA-1366 boards by comparison had all six slots on a single side of the CPU, but there were "only" three channels.

 
ECS is going to be shipping both ATX and microATX Llano boards later this summer. As I mentioned earlier, Llano will first launch as a quad-core mobile solution with dual-core and desktop versions following later.
 
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  • JMS3072 - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    X58 had three channels, with 2 DIMMs apiece. Reply
  • kanabalize - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    Is it not, it is cheaper to relocate the VRM nearer to the south bridge?

    no need the long heat pipe across the socket...???
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    The problem there is probably routing the power. The CPU takes ~100A of power (more if overclocked); which means lots of (or very thick) traces in order to get it from the VRM to the CPU socket. You want to keep them as short as possible so the main VRM bank need to be in the CPU area. Reply
  • kanabalize - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    ok i understand.. Reply
  • yorty - Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - link

    X79 have four channels,with 4DIMMs apiece?`` whatever X79 is more powerful than X58 Ok. expecting for X79 ! cool`~ Reply
  • Pneumothorax - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    With the poor memory/socket design of SB-E looks like a good case for water cooling...
    Also is this compatible with 1366 coolers?
    Reply
  • Silky Salamandr - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    Pretty much any cooler like the most popular ones at 120mm will now have problems clearing ram on both sides?

    I see the all in ones like the H70's stock going up.
    Reply
  • ypsylon - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    Wrong.

    Running Cogage Arrow with 3x38mm 120 SilenX fans right now on MSI Eclipse SLI. No problems whatsoever. Of course it must be standard RAM without fancy heat spreaders but in fairness there is no point using extreme RAM (1800+) because 1333 performs exactly the same as 2000 in every day jobs/gaming. Still ~1cm of space between fan and top of RAM radiator. And there is ~2cm between CPU radiator bottom and top of RAM.

    IF CA and similar coolers work now, they will work with X79 given proper mounting holes. And let's be honest. ECS is not exactly top of the range. We will see much better boards from Asus, Gigabyte or EVGA for sure where clearance is much better. I'm more worried about RAM slots touching VGA card - why not to change orientation from vertical to horizontal, even at the expense of one slot?. This board is nice preview how stuff possibly will look, but there is plenty of designs flaws. With X79 I also want to see migration to XL-ATX (Gigabyte), eATX (Asus) or E-ATX (everybody else) is the way to go. Standard ATX is too small.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    SNB-E has four 64-bit DDR3 memory channels which makes routing a pain. Motherboard manufacturers are dealing with the incredible number of traces by splitting the channels up and routing half of them on one side of the CPU and the other half

    not only that, but also much more expensive...
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Wednesday, June 01, 2011 - link

    What I am wondering is did Intel really put all four memory channels on the same side of the cpu package? Can you say DUH? Do they even think about motherboard pcb routing and manufacturability? Reply

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