First sighted in January, ASUS' P9X79-E WS socket LGA2011 motherboard is ready to take on the new breed of Core "Ivy Bridge-E" and Xeon "Ivy Bridge-EP" lines of processors, even if initial versions of its BIOS don't advertise that support. Based on Intel X79 Express chipset, the board is built in the 305 x 267 mm SSI-CEB form-factor. The LGA2011 socket is powered by a 10-phase VRM, with 2+2 phase memory VRM. The CPU socket is wired to eight DDR3 DIMM slots, four on its either sides, supporting up to 64 GB of quad-channel DDR3-2133 MHz memory. The board features a total of seven PCI-Express x16 slots. 4-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX are supported. Storage connectivity on the P9X79-E WS includes two SATA 6 Gb/s ports from the X79 PCH, four SATA 6 Gb/s from a Marvell-made 4-port SATA 6 Gb/s AHCI/RAID controller, four SATA 3 Gb/s from the PCH, and an additional two eSATA 6 Gb/s from an ASMedia-made controller. There are just four USB 3.0 ports on offer, all ASMedia-made controllers. Other connectivity includes two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, both driven by Intel-made controllers, 8-channel HD audio, legacy connectivity such as PS/2 and RS232 COM (header), and a pinch of overclocker-friendly features in the BIOS and on-board. The P9X79-E WS from ASUS is priced at US $499.99.