When Intel introduces a new generation of CPUs, the chips usually come with an updated core-logic platform. That platform is dutifully adopted by motherboard makers, which roll out fresh models to meet the latest CPUs. The recent Ivy Bridge-E launch didn't fit the pattern, though. Intel's new family of high-end desktop processors arrived solo, without a new platform attached.
On the one hand, that's pretty awesome. Folks who bought X79 motherboards for Sandy Bridge-E a couple years ago should be little more than a firmware flash away from being able to drop in the new Ivy-based hotness. It's hard to complain about getting more mileage out of Intel's most expensive desktop socket.
On the other hand, I'm kind of bummed out. Although motherboard vendors have updated their X79 offerings since that platform debuted in 2011, it's been a while since the most recent round of revisions. We've been spoiled by the first crop of Haswell motherboards, which boast more mature firmware and software, extra connectivity, and snazzy new features. Older X79 boards look especially dated next to the latest 8-series designs.
Asus apparently agrees. The motherboard giant has released the X79-Deluxe to ensure that Ivy Bridge-E has access to the innovations packed into its latest boards. Naturally, we had to take a closer look.
Network connectivity rounds out the X79-Deluxe's hardware payload. Excess abounds here, too. There are dual Gigabit Ethernet controllers: one from Intel and one from Realtek. 802.11ac Wi-Fi is provided by a Broadcom adapter, and the board also supports Bluetooth 4.0.
Asus' accompanying Wi-Fi software is particularly robust. In addition to offering the usual client and access-point modes, it has remote desktop and media streaming functionality.
Wonder if anyone is understanding the significance of the LTE acquisition?
It's a deal that went relatively unnoticed, Broadcom acquired LTE-related assets from affiliates of Renesas Electronics for $164 million. LTE, which stands for long-term evolution, is a communication standard for mobile devices, such as those produced by Apple and Samsung. Very powerful stuff here. = ^.^ =