Included in the Intel Press kit was their high end X79 mainboard, baptised Siler. Everybody that is a bit comon with previous Intel boards knows that these boards are build around one central theme : stability. If you are looking for an abundance of features, most users would avoid buying an Intel desktop board and look for other manufacturers alike Asus, Gigabyte, MSI,... Secondly Intel mostly avoids any overclocking feature and hide their bios features as far as possible. Though this Siler seems to break a bit the normal Intel way of approaching things. Tri SLI/Crossfire-x, eight dimm slots supporting up to 2400Mhz overclocked ram speeds, power and reset buttons,... There's even an overclocking assistant in the bios, that allows presets up to 4.6Ghz. And last but not least an Intel Extreme Utility soft tool for Windows. Very unlike previous Intel boards I have worked with.
Here are some shots of the board we used during this review :
If you are used to eg Asus biosses you will be in for a nasty surprise. No idea which bios engineer likes the structures for the Siler's bios menu. They are just a complete wilderness to wade through. Why not make one tab with voltages, one with all sorts of clock settings, one for the rams,... ? But since this was the only X79 board that arrived in due time for a thorough test we had to stick with this board. Luckily it was pretty stable during most of the testing. Though sometimes pretty stubborn in booting, once we messed with ram timings and co. My Hyper ram kit doesn't cooperate at all with the current biosses. The PSC based kits ran pretty good. But the weird thing was that all rams needed exuberant voltages to stabilise. How about 1.71 iso 1.65 for 2133Mhz ? Or even 1.75 for 2400Mhz rated kits that should work perfectly at 1.65Vdimm. I'll await a highly tweakable board from the other vendors to test these high specced rams on. So there will be an update to this initial review.