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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

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

  • Motherboard: ASUS Rampage Extreme III with BIOS 0901
  • Processor: 3.33GHz (3.6GHz Turbo) Intel Core i7-980X
  • System Memory: 3x4GB Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9 DDR3-1600 (9-9-9-24)
  • Primary Drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor 300G
  • Graphics Adapter: AMD Radeon 6850

Intel P67 Test Platform

  • Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 with BIOS 1305
  • Processor: 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Intel Core i7-2600K
  • System Memory: 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9 DDR3-1600 (9-9-9-24)
  • Primary Drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor 300G
  • Graphics Adapter: AMD Radeon 6850

AMD 990FX Test Platform

  • Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair V Formula with BIOS 0083
  • Processor: 3.6GHz (3.9-4.2GHz Turbo) AMD FX-8150 "Bulldozer"
  • System Memory: G. Skill F3-17066CL7D-4GBPIS DDR3-1866 (9-9-9-24)
  • Primary Drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor 300G
  • Graphics Adapter: AMD Radeon 6850

Intel X79 Express Test Platform

  • Motherboard: Intel DX79SI BIOS SI0280B (beta BIOS)
  • Processor: 3.3GHz Intel Core i7-3960X
  • System Memory: 16GB (4 4GB DIMMs) Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9 DDR3-1600 (9-9-9-24)
  • Primary Drive: Western Digital VelociRaptor 300G
  • Graphics Adapter: AMD Radeon 6850
  • CPU cooler: Intel High Performance Liquid Cooling System RTS2011LC

Benchmark Applications

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
  • SiSoft Sandra Lite 2011.SPS (1780)
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition v1.85.1600
  • Futuremark PCMark Vantage v1.0.2.0 64-Bit
    • TV and Movies
    • Gaming
    • Music
  • Maxon CINEBENCH R11.5 64-Bit
  • Street Fighter IV benchmark
  • PassMark PerformanceTest 7.0b1021
  • x264Bench HD 3.0, including AMD-supplied variants using new FX instructions
  • SPECviewperf-11:
    • Lightwave 9.6
    • Autodesk Maya 2009
    • Siemens Teamcenter Visualization Mockup
  • SPECapc LightWave 3D v9.6
  • Handbrake 0.95 video transcoding
  • Blender 3D rendering
  • POV-Ray 3D rendering



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Apple iPad Multi-Touch Tablet Device LaunchedDevan 2010-02-17 09:02
where is the pictures?
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# 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) :)
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# 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...
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# 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
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# 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.
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# 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 .
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# 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.
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# 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....
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# 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 .
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# 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.
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