Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition On Linux
With the Intel Core i7 3960X sample, Intel Corp also sent over their DX79SI motherboard. This ATX motherboard boasts the X79 chipset (obviously) has eight DDR3 DIMM sockets, four USB 3.0 ports, 14 USB 2.0 ports, three PCI Express x16 slots, six Serial ATA ports, two IEEE-1394a Firewire ports, consumer IR support, and dual Gigabit Ethernet, among other features.
Intel is not shipping a stock heatsink-fan solution with the 130 Watt TDP Core i7 3960X, so you are left to only after-market heatsinks or water-cooling solutions. Included with the i7-3960X and DX79SI was an Intel closed-loop CPU water-cooling solution, which will be sold separately. Asetek manufactures the Intel RTS2011LC Liquid Cooling Solution product. The product is designed to be mounted on an LGA-2011 motherboard and has a 120mm radiator with a single 120mm fan being included.
In terms of Linux compatibility with the new Sandy Bridge-E processors and the X79 chipset, the support is all in place. Even if running an older Linux distribution like Ubuntu 11.04 or Fedora 15, the hardware support should be there, but it's always recommended to run the latest release for all of the fixes, performance optimizations, etc. The i7-3960X has been running fine on Ubuntu 11.10 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (development snapshots) for my testing.
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