|Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Sunday, 13 November 2011|
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Motherboard Testing Methodology
It's always interesting for us here at Benchmark Reviews to test a new processor/chipset combination, because normally we have no idea what to expect! The marketing and advertising press materials Intel included with this processor and motherboard promise unprecedented levels of performance...can these new parts really deliver?
I admit my hopes are high: the original Sandy Bridge processors raised the performance bar considerably, and their new 32nm fabrication process allowed amazing overclocks with relatively low voltages and heat production. The enthusiast chip adds two more cores, nearly double the cache, and drops the relatively unused integrated GPU. Intel's DX79SI motherboard includes what Intel calls an "Overclocking Assistant": you turn it on, select the clock speed you want from a pop-up menu, and the motherboard adjusts the "detailed settings" such as memory speed, voltage, and multiplier for you, which you can then use as a base for hand-tweaked improvements.
But just as with the last Intel motherboard I tested, the DX79SI was saddled with a "Beta" BIOS, and I wasn't able to achieve any significant overclocks (I don't consider a 200MHz overclock to be worth running a suite of benchmarks on). A newer BIOS is not available as of the time of this writing, but I'm sure the overclocking ability of the board will improve dramatically when a final BIOS becomes available.
To see how this processor/chipset performs against the best AMD offers and Intel's previous top-of-the-line setups, I included the systems listed below. Each test system used the same hard drive, memory (with the exception of the AMD system), and graphics card.
Intel X58 Test Platform
Intel P67 Test Platform
AMD 990FX Test Platform
Intel X79 Express Test Platform