X79 Motherboards from Gigabyte & MSI at IDF 2011by Anand Lal Shimpi on September 13, 2011 10:39 PM EST
IDF isn't a traditional trade show in the sense that the majority of the show isn't built around a wide open show floor with tons of booths and product demonstrations. The majority of the show is built around Intel's own tech sessions that offer the audience information on things Intel is involved in. There is a daily tech showcase however to allow Intel's partners to show off some of their goods.
Although Sandy Bridge E is still a couple of months away from launch, Intel's partners were allowed to show systems as long as they didn't divulge clock speeds or allow for anyone to play with the USB ports. Both Gigabyte and MSI had boards on display which you can check out in the gallery below.
Major themes? Cheaper boards have 4 DIMM slots (1 DIMM per channel) while the more expensive boards will have 8 DIMM slots (2 DIMMs per channel). All mentioning of PCI Express Gen 3 seems to have been forbidden (note the last image where PCIe Gen 3 has been marked out on the board). There are currently no PCIe 3.0 devices on the market which makes validation a bit of a problem at this point.
Pricing is still unknown but we can expect motherboards to be priced north of X58 solutions.