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Alienware

Alienware mATX X79

The Alienware mATX X79 is compatible with Intel processors with the LGA 2011/Socket R socket.

It has 32 GB DDR3 maximum RAM and conforms to the Micro-ATX form factor standard.

6.8

Alienware mATX X79

help iconCPU SocketLGA 2011/Socket Rhelp iconGraphics Card InterfacePCIe v2.x
help iconCPU Compatible MakeIntelhelp iconSLI Support2 graphics cards
help iconCPU ChipsetIntel X79 Expresshelp iconCrossfire Support2 graphics cards
help iconForm FactorMicro-ATXhelp iconOnboard GPUno
help iconMax RAM32 GB DDR3help iconPCI Slots
  • 2 x PCIe x1 v2.0
  • 2 x PCIe x16 v2.0
help iconRAM Slots4 x DDR3help iconSATA 1.00
help iconMemory Channels2help iconSATA 2.04
help iconCompatible RAM Speeds
  • DDR3 1600 MHz
  • DDR3 2133 MHz
help iconSATA 3.00
help iconUSB 2.0 Internal Slots2help iconRAID Supportyes
help iconUSB 2.0 Rear4help iconInternal I/O
  • 1 x 3 pin power connector
  • CD/DVD drive connector
help iconUSB 3.0 Internal1help iconBack Panel I/O
  • Line In Connector
  • Mic In connector
  • 7.1 Surround Sound
help iconUSB 3.0 Rear1

Alienware mATX X79 compatibility review

The Alienware mATX X79 uses the Intel LGA 2011/Socket R CPU socket. Any compatible Intel CPU will have the same socket entry. It uses the DDR3 memory type, with maximum speeds of up to 2133 MHz, and 4 DDR3 slots allowing for a maximum total of 32 GB RAM.

The Micro-ATX Alienware mATX X79 should fit into all ATX cases, but its smaller size allows you to downsize your system build as a whole. Its size comes at the cost of features, so there are likely to be far fewer connections and expansion options available than in a larger motherboard.

The Alienware mATX X79 has 4 SATA 2.0 hard drive slots. These allow for data speeds of up to 3GB/s. SATA 2.0 is a very common standard, and despite the emergence of SATA 3.0 - whose potential is difficult to reach currently - SATA 2.0 remains a viable option.

The Alienware mATX X79 does not support onboard graphics. Any system build that uses this motherboard therefore requires a separate graphics card, or a processor that has a GPU on the same die, such as AMD APU processors. There are 2 PCIe x16 slots on this motherboard. This means it is perfectly capable of accommodating the latest graphics cards, although it is important to try and use a graphics card with the same graphics card interface of PCIe v2.x, as anything below will not reach the motherboard's potential, and anything above will have its performance slashed to the bandwidth maximum of the Alienware mATX X79's PCIe v2.x. The Alienware mATX X79 supports up to 2 Nvidia SLI connected graphics cards or up to 2 AMD Crossfire connected graphics cards for improved overall graphical performance at the cost of multiplied graphics-based power consumption as well as the price of the cards themselves.

The Alienware mATX X79 has 6 USB 2.0 slots and 2 USB 3.0 slots. USB 3.0 slots are theoretically capable of data transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbit/s, which is over 10 times faster than the USB 2.0 top speed of 480 Mbit/s. Although USB 2.0 slots alone currently serve as well as ever, an upgrade would better future-proof your system as more USB 3.0 compatible peripherals emerge. USB 3.0 is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0, which means you do not even have to use the newer slot functionality if you do not wish to.

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