Good socket clearance to the first PCIe slot for large heatsinks – which is a problem on a lot of X79 boards we've seen
Proprietary Digital VRM DIGI+ Power Control units, covering 8 Phase power for CPU Core (VCore), 2 Phase for the CPU Integrated Memory Controller (VCCSA) and 2+2 Phase for the system DRAM (VDIMM)
Goodbye dinosaur PCI slots! We only see PCIe 3.0 compliant slots here and they're hardwired x16+x16+x8 from the CPU for 3-way SLi/Crossfire
Conveniently placed Power/Reset switches at the bottom of the board. The Clear CMOS button is also placed in such a way that it won't be accidentally pressed, but yet not too difficult to locate in a cluttered case
As with previous generation P67/Z68 boards, we also see the inclusion of the MemOK! watchdog, which helps bypass DRAM boot related problems by loading conservative memory presets
Storage wise we get 2 x 6Gb/s and 4 x 3Gb/s SATA Ports from the X79 PCH and 2 x 6Gb/s from the Marvell 9128 controller, which supports IRST-like SSD Caching
I/O Panel of the P9X79 Pro (Intel 82579V Gigabit LAN, two powered eSATA (eSATAp) from an ASMedia ASM1061 controller, four USB 3.0 ports from a pair of ASMedia ASM1042 controllers, although two of the rear ports share bandwidth with the two front ports courtesy of a VLI VL810 USB 3.0 hub and finally audio from a Realtek ALC898 audio codec.
One feature that system integrators would like is the USB Bios Flashback (Bios Update by USB) without the need for CPU, memory or video card to be plugged in