Archive Home arrow Reviews: arrow Motherboards arrow Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop Motherboard
Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop Motherboard E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by David Ramsey   
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop Motherboard
The Intel X79 Express Chipset
Closer Look: Intel DX79SI Motherboard
DX79SI Detailed Features
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Extreme Edition Tests
PCMark Vantage Tests
CINEBENCH R11.5 Benchmarks
CPU-Dependent 3D Gaming
PassMark PerformanceTest
Media Encoding Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
SPECapc Lightwave
Blender and POV-Ray
X79 Express Motherboard Final Thoughts
Intel DX79SI Conclusion

X79 Express Motherboard Final Thoughts

With the release of the Sandy Bridge Extreme LGA2011 CPUs and their supporting X79 Express chipset, Intel once again vaults into the performance lead, and the Intel DX79SI X79 Express motherboard shows how Intel thinks things should be done. Enthusiasts can rejoice: the X79 Express jettisons most of the limitations of the previous P67/Z68 chipsets: you now have all the overclocking mechanisms you could wish for, and don't have to worry about spending die space or power on a weak integrated GPU you may never use. The dearth of PCI-E lanes that afflicted the LGA 1156/1155 platform has been addressed with a massive 48 lanes (40 from the Sandy Bridge Extreme and 8 from the X79 Express chipset), ensuring that you'll never have to worry about how adding a second video card might torpedo your SATA 6G or USB 3.0 performance again.

intel_dx79si_rot1.jpg

There are still some things missing from X79 Express, though: Intel's Smart Response Technology SSD caching is gone, although we'll see third party solutions to this lack in other X79 motherboards. And while quad-channel memory is nice, at least for memory bandwidth benchmark scores, I think more SATA 6G ports, along with some integrated USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt, would probably have made more real-world impact.

The Intel DX79SI Extreme Series motherboard is a competent effort from the world's largest CPU vendor, and it contains enough enthusiast features (POST code display, Start and Reset buttons, status LEDs, PWM fan headers, BIOS recovery, etc.) to indicate that Intel's at least trying to justify its "Extreme" moniker, although I have to say that the impression I got from the DX79SI is that it's just that: trying, perhaps without a lot of understanding as to what enthusiasts really want. For example, the POST code display is a nice addition to any enthusiast motherboard, but putting a card in either of the last two slots will block it. Bright red fan headers are a good idea, but why only four, especially since one must be dedicated to the CPU fan? Intel's removed Smart Response Technology from the X79 chipset, eliminating the cool SSD caching this feature provided, and while vendors like ASUS have responded with their own solutions, all the DX79SI offers is a lonely blank space on the motherboard that might someday house another two SATA ports.

The textual UEFI BIOS is functional, although it's not particularly easy to navigate and frankly looks primitive next to the more elaborate mouse-driven graphical BIOS' of its competition. That said, the one genuinely innovative feature of the BIOS is the DX79SI Overclocking Assistant, which can give you a real running start on the complexities of overclocking a Sandy Bridge Extreme chip. The beta BIOS prevented me from evaluating this feature (the board would lock up when I tried), but when Intel releases a stable BIOS, I think this has the potential to do a much better job of automatic overclocking than existing schemes from other vendors.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Apple iPad Multi-Touch Tablet Device LaunchedDevan 2010-02-17 09:02
where is the pictures?
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop MotherboardWade Eilrich 2011-11-14 22:02
I've not been impressed with an Intel motherboard for a long time, but this one - especially paired with the new, screaming fast Sandy Bridge CPU, might change my mind once they release a stable BIOS. I'm a little disappointed that they removed Smart Response because I think many enthusiasts will want to boot from an SSD in this system. The upcoming i7-3820 (Q1 2012) is an interesting alternative, if the price point is reasonable. As always, your reviews are an excellent read David (although I do miss some of the tongue-in-cheek humor) :)
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2011-11-17 10:04
Wade, you can boot from an SSD with no problem; it's using an SSD as a cache for a hard drive that's no longer directly supported. Third parties like ASUS have added their own SSD caching features to their X79 motherboards. Dunno why Intel dropped the feature...
Report Comment
 
 
# light and confortableCHARLEYAM 2011-11-15 11:20
looks like you guys have out done yourselfs. I know alot of people (gamers) have overlooked you boards in the past but you always had high end boards I guess you never had to advertise people who know got them.. this is one sweet mb and at my next build this would be the building block I would start with
Report Comment
 
 
# very good but not a huge leapReSeRe 2011-11-17 05:59
1st, nice review once again.

i must say in the beginning that i-ll be a little biased, cause i do own an 990X.
So, it looks that Intel achieve full maturity with this type of processors (let-s call it I7 class). And not very distant from the end. Which may be not a good part for buyers. but,
on the other hand this means reiability, trust, and so on. Now, the efforts go in MB/3rd party enhancements.
good.
and , i think if today you own an 980X/2600k or around, you can stay relaxed 2 or more years. Also, I DO HOPE its a good time for AMD to catch the train. I hate/worry about monopoly. and the new amd CPU give us a little hope. good.
Report Comment
 
 
# No comparison!Teemu Milto 2011-11-28 08:28
You just reviewed the processors, and possibly even were compromized by your different GPU and memory set-ups. No comparison of motherboards means that nothing can be said about the performance of Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop Motherboard .
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: No comparison!David Ramsey 2011-11-28 09:00
I used the same hard drive, GPU and memory for each motherboard, with the exception of the DDR3-1866 RAM used on the AMD system. You'd know this if you'd bothered to read the "Motherboard Testing Methodology" section. The stated purpose of these tests was to see how Intel's latest platform compares against the best existing AMD and Intel platforms.

If you want to see how the Intel DX79SI compares against other X79 Express motherboards, read my "X79 Express Motherboard Performance Comparison." But do try to pay attention this time.
Report Comment
 
 
# re re no comparisonbigguy 2012-03-17 04:17
Haha good for you David for calling someone who merely skims your site/reviews and has the nerve to start trying to undermine it all. There's meds for this kind of thing....
Report Comment
 
 
# Account managerGeorges Al tawil 2012-11-19 03:27
David i Have a question does the Mother board DX79SI support Lynux sound card " LYNX 192Hz " ??

your prompt return will be highly appriciated .
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: Account managerDavid Ramsey 2012-11-19 07:20
I have no idea. I've never heard of that sound card and (obviously) don't have one to test.

That said, there's nothing magic or different about the X79's PCI-E slots, nor is software on that level any different, so if the card works in the PCI-E slots of any other motherboard, it should work fine in this board.
Report Comment
 

Comments have been disabled by the administrator.

Search Benchmark Reviews
QNAP Network Storage Servers

Follow Benchmark Reviews on FacebookReceive Tweets from Benchmark Reviews on Twitter