Today we are looking at the Gigabyte X79S-UP5-WIFI, an X79 motherboard based on the Intel C606 chipset. On paper this looks to be perfect as the foundation for a high end workstation system. Intel have also supplied an Xeon E5 2660 processor, an 8 core chip with hyperthreading support. How does this system handle a variety of tasks, including Studio Max 2011, Cinema 4D, video encoding and even some high definition gaming when paired up with a flagship 6GB discrete graphics card?
Building a system such as this, is not for the faint-hearted. This is a different sector to the mainstream enthusiast gaming systems we normally focus on. Xeon E5 prices are generally set between the £800-£2,000 mark and with a dual processor motherboard you could easily budget more than £5,000 for a high end workstation system.
The Gigabyte X79S-UP5-WIFI is a competitively priced single CPU motherboard which supports Core i7 processors such as the 3960 and 3630 which we normally use in our high end reviews. It also supports Xeon E5 processors such as the 2660 which we are using today.
Today we will build a luxury, yet (reasonably) affordable 16 thread processing powerhouse, then put it through its paces when editing images, working with high definition video and rendering 3D scenes. Is it any good when you have some downtime? Good enough for playing games at 5760×1080, across three monitors?