As for the motherboards, well, we found a Chinese listing for MSI's X79A-GD65 8D model (that's the one with eight DIMMs if you need to ask) for 2,999 RMB (US$472/S$587). A different online retailer in China has the Asus R.O.G. Rampage IV Extreme listed for a massive RMB 5,999 (US$945/S$1,175) which is more than the Core i7-3930K CPU. We find that price a little bit hard to swallow, although the board is at least in stock if we can trust the online retailer in question.

asus rampage iv extreme Sandy Bridge E and X79 available for (pre )order

In Europe we found three ASRock boards available for pre order, namely the X79 Extreme4 for €192.40 (US$272/S$338), the X79 Extreme4-M – so far the only mATX X79 board we're aware of – €178.86 (US$253/S$314) and the X79 Extreme7 for €264.72 (US$375/S$465). Interestingly, Intel's own boards are also listed for pre-order; something you wouldn't expect considering that Intel is quite tough on its partners if they are too early with pre-orders for their own products. As such, Intel's DX79SI goes for €266.33 (US$377/S$468) which is the high-end model, whereas the DX79TO is listed for around 1,800 SEK (US$285/S$355) in Sweden.

msi x79a gd65 8d Sandy Bridge E and X79 available for (pre )order

We're already seeing some manufacturers dumping the price of their X58 boards and you can pick up – if you're brave – one of Foxconn's Flaming Blade GTI X58 boards for as little as €69.90 (US$99/S$125) in Europe from several retailers. We just can't help but feel that Sandy Bridge-E will be a phenomenal flop for Intel, as so far there's very little that indicates that there will be any real performance advantage for high-end consumers over Sandy Bridge. The cost is also outside of a lot of people's reach, more so than the LGA-1366 platform ever was. As we mentioned, there will be a fairly limited supply of CPUs initially and the new stepping's should sort out various errata's. On top of that there will be a re-spin of the X79 chipset at some point in the future – unless Intel changes its mind – which should include the additional SCU SATA ports, although it'll most likely not have the SAS ports that were once part of the platform.