Summary: Gone is the old days where you had to send your board off to get the bios updated for the latest CPUs, or have an older chip laying around to do the update.
Pros: Very nice board, lots of very nice features. Lots of included extras. Outstanding Asus build quality. The USB Bios Flashback is particularly useful, especially for for Ivy-Bridge owners. I really enjoy the included 9 pin serial bracket they give you with the board, it's not often you get that with new boards.
Cons: The bios load on the boards I received did not support the new Ivy Bridge chips. It took a lot of work and research to get the board to boot with my particular CPU.
Summary: had it these days, tested with i7 3960x, work great, but when installed only 2 memories, it stuck, after install 4, it works, dont know why, and bios hang up for cpu fan erro, but when install the fan connection on the cpu fan location, i wont start
Summary: running this with an i7-3930k OC'ed to 4.2 with a DH-414; 64GB gskil ddr3-1600, dual EVGA 4GB GTX680s, a corsair GT seres ssd and a seasonic x-1250. Primary uses are gaming and video editing/compositing/graphics.
Pros: Great motherboard if you need workstation class features. Notable for me was the inclusion of dual intel NICs, 64GB memory support, and tons of PCIe expansion. A big part of choosing an ASUS x79 board was because of compatibility with professional non-GPU video capture cards (blackmagic/AJA - read the documentation for more info.) Comprehensive overclocking features make this thing into a beast.
Cons: 1] The spacing of the CPU socket can be problematic when using larger coolers. I have a Noctua NH-D14 for socket 2011, and had to modify the fan retention clips so they did not rub against the backplate of the GTX680 in the top slot. The large cooler also prevents access to memory slots, so install that first.
Summary: first let me say i tried windows 8 in my other xeon workstation and servers and did not like and it, it would not run a few of my programs so i had no intention of using it till microsoft worked out the bugs. after installing 7 and testing this board and the hardware for errors i decided why not and was amazingly surprised of the outcome it was like 8 was meant for this setup, All a flawless and smooth and all scores much higher across the board.
Pros: perfect match with Xeon E5-1660 and a cpu passmark mark 15779.
Summary: If your looking to build a serious workstation for 3DCAD the following list of components may be of help. Note that I chose the listed processor based upon the fact that most CAD software is not multithreaded except when rendering, so clock speed was more important to me than the number of cores.
Pros: For a serious Cad workstation this board is hard to beat. Supports 4 channel ECC unbuffered Ram (I used 32gig 1600 4X8gig kit), Xeon E5 processors, and the latest in PCIe3x16 Graphics. See below for system details.
Cons: Took a while to find everything I needed, such as 8gig ECC unbuffered SDRAM Dimm's and a mid tower case to accomodate the CEB form factor of this board, but I finally got it all together and listed details below. Hope this helps.
Summary: The motherboard shipped with a beta firmware which did not recognize my RAM even though my RAM was on the QVL. This led to "65" and "AF" error codes on the LED. After reading the manual which mentioned loading a new ROM from a usb drive - with zero instructions on how to do it. I embarked on my journey to Google, after finally found a forum with some other users having my issue and they gave better instructions on how to do this.
Pros: The board is overall great. The layout, expansion slots, UEFI options, all make for a slick board with a lot of great features.
Cons: UEFI, RAID, and Windows 7 Oh my. Had a hell of a lot of trouble getting RAID to work with Windows 7 installation and GPT. Finally gave up and set it to use MBR. Not sure if this is an issue with the board, or Windows 7 or both.
Summary: I tried to set up an RMA with ASUS, and the only response I got was two requests to fill out a survey rating their customer service. (Of course, I failed them in every aspect asked in the survey.) So we are still out on the hundreds of dollars we spent on the failing motherboard.
Pros: Unlike my previous experience, the second motherboard worked perfectly from the first time I booted it up. (See my review from 2/24/12.) I have a Gen. 3 graphics card, and it is running just fine at Gen. 3 speeds with the Core i7 3930K CPU (exact same one that I had put on the nonworking motherboard). I like the fact that I can put two graphics cards, and also put in a SSD on a x4 PCIe slot without slowing down either graphics card.
Cons: So far, our (limited) experience with this motherboard indicates a 50% failure rate - the first one was DOA - so this points to a quality issue on ASUS' part.
Summary: After a smooth Windows install with just 1 stick of memory in I installed all 8 and fired the system back up only to be hit with random BSoDs. Removing 4 sticks caused the system to run stable again.
Pros: Excellent fan header layout. LOTS of fan headers.
Cons: The audio header is in the middle back of the MB and not on the perimeter like every other header. Will require a fairly long case jack cable to snake through all the components to connect to it.
Summary: There's no way to descibe the nervousness you have when you do all the work to hook up a new system, then hit the power button and it comes alive. It's truly great, as is this board.
Pros: Board worked good from first boot. Intel NICs are a plus, lots of USB 2 ports, great for multi-GPU which I may go when Nvidia 600 series arrives. Board in general, and drivers in Win 7 x64 are stable. Board is good for fun and business.
Cons: One con, is that I can't get my fan (Gelid nanoflux) on my H80 to run at less than 1200 RPM on Chassis fan controller #1. Even if I set it to 600 or 500 RPM in bios, it stays at 1200 RPM and is kinda noisy, but tolerable. I've seen other people with this problem so it's probably a bios issue. Another thing, which isn't much of a con, is that it came with an old bios (402 - latest is 802), but that's easily fixed.
Summary: Upgraded the UEFI-BIOS to the current one 07 even though everything seemed fine on the previous fw, running on Kubuntu.
Pros: The foundation for my super linux build. Just put it together right after xmas and all components worked right out of the box installing Kubuntu 11.10 64 bit. No hassles, no fuss! Awesome. See build list below... (have not overclocked yet)
Cons: Not really a con, but had to wait out the supply shortage, but made sure I picked one up as soon as Newegg had it up again.