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Best CPUs and motherboards list of 2012
You asked for it, so here it is: the first installment of the final "Hardware 2.0" Best Kit Lists for 2012.
We're kicking off this series by looking at CPU and motherboards in three different price categories -- extreme, mainstream, and budget, where we're going to look at CPUs and motherboards ranging from an eye-watering $1,000 to a very reasonable $50.
Extreme: Intel Core i7-3970X Extreme Edition - six-core, 3.5GHz
This is the king of CPUs.
The Core i7 processors represents a new era in architecture for Intel, and the 3970X the next stage in desktop processors based on the Sandy Bridge-E architecture -- the next stage in evolution of the six-core CPU.
This is a 3.5GHz part that can be Turbo Boosted up to a whopping 4.0GHz. It has six cores, which when combined with Hyper-Threading makes a whopping 12 threads available. Add to this 15MB L3 cache, triple-channel DDR3-1066 memory interface, 150W TDP.
The ideal choice for hardcore gamers, video editors, and show-offs!
Image source: Intel.
Extreme: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
An extreme CPU needs an extreme motherboard, and they don't come much more extreme than the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme.
This board supports the Socket 2011 found on the Intel Core i7-3970X and offers support for up to 64GB RAM via 8 DIMM slots, and comes with a total of support for 12 separate USB 2.0 ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, and eight 6Gb/s SATA ports.
The OC Key allows system information to be overlayed on the screen, showing you real-time information when you want need.
Image source: ASUS.