x79 X79 to have 10 SATA ports after all

This is slightly embarrassing, but we have to start by apologizing here, as we got some information mixed up, but then again, no-one else spotted it either so there you go. It turns out that Intel's X79 chipset will have a total of 10 SATA ports after all, although there still won't be any SAS support.

This is slightly embarrassing, but we have to start by apologizing here, as we got some information mixed up, but then again, no-one else spotted it either so there you go. It turns out that Intel's X79 chipset will have a total of 10 SATA ports after all, although there still won't be any SAS support.

The mistake came to light when looking at a couple of slides from an updated presentation detailing Intel's Patsburg chipset, as the -A version of chipset will have an additional four SATA ports via the SCU. This was an oversight on our side and if you remember the chipset diagram that we've already posted a couple of times, it's even listed as a feature on there.

patsburg X79 to have 10 SATA ports after all

So what we're looking at is four SATA 3Gbps ports and two SATA 6Gbps ports which are part of Intel's standard AHCI setup as per the current 6-series chipsets. The other four ports are added via the SCU, but unlike early details of the X79 chipset suggested, we're not getting any SAS support and we're still four ports short. One major difference between the X79 as well as the -A version of the Patsburg chipset compared to the higher-end versions (-B/-D/-T) is that there will be support for RAID 5 for the SCU ports, something that's an optional feature on the higher-end SKUs. Note that it's not possible to run a RAID between the SCU and AHCI ports at BIOS/UEFI level, although it should be possible to stripe drives across the controllers in the OS.

Once again, apologies for this little snafu, especially as the information was right in front of us. To make up for things a little bit, we've also gotten word that Intel's will be bringing out a new stepping of the Patsburg chipset in late Q4, as there are still a few kinks to work out in the versions beyond the -A SKU. The company is also actively working on validating PCI Express 3.0 support in the platform, but there's no word as to when we'll see actual support. Once all of this has been done, we might, with a bit of luck, finally see a version of the X79 chipset that delivers everything that was promised, well, ok, it wasn't really promised, but it was part of what people expected to get from the X79 chipset based on various roadmap leaks.