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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

PCMark Vantage Tests

PCMark Vantage is an objective hardware performance benchmark tool for PCs running 32- and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows 7. It's well suited for benchmarking any type of Microsoft Windows Vista/7 PC: from multimedia home entertainment systems and laptops, to dedicated workstations and high-end gaming rigs. Benchmark Reviews has decided to use a few select tests from the suite to simulate real-world processor usage in this article. Our tests were conducted on 64-bit Windows 7, with results displayed in the chart below.

TV and Movies Suite

  • TV and Movies 1 (CPU=50%, RAM=2%, GPU=45%, HDD=3%)
    • Two simultaneous threads
    • Video transcoding: HD DVD to media server archive
    • Video playback: HD DVD w/ additional lower bitrate HD content from HDD, as downloaded from net
  • TV and Movies 2 (CPU=50%, RAM=2%, GPU=45%, HDD=3%)
    • Two simultaneous threads
    • Video transcoding: HD DVD to media server archive
    • Video playback, HD MPEG-2: 19.39 Mbps terrestrial HDTV playback
  • TV and Movies 3 (HDD=100%)
    • HDD Media Center
  • TV and Movies 4 (CPU=50%, RAM=2%, GPU=45%, HDD=3%)
    • Video transcoding: media server archive to portable device
    • Video playback, HD MPEG-2: 48 Mbps Blu-ray playback

Gaming Suite*

  • Gaming 1 (CPU=30%, GPU=70%)
    • GPU game test
  • Gaming 2 (HDD=100%)
    • HDD: game HDD
  • Gaming 3 (CPU=75%, RAM=5%, HDD=20%)
    • Two simultaneous threads
    • CPU game test
    • Data decompression: level loading
  • Gaming 4 (CPU=42%, RAM=1%, GPU=24%, HDD=33%)
    • Three simultaneous threads
    • GPU game test
    • CPU game test
    • HDD: game HDD

Music Suite

  • Music 1 (CPU=50%, RAM=3%, GPU=13%, HDD=34%)
    • Three simultaneous threads
    • Web page rendering - w/music shop content
    • Audio transcoding: WAV -> WMA lossless
    • HDD: Adding music to Windows Media Player
  • Music 2 (CPU=100%)
    • Audio transcoding: WAV -> WMA lossless
  • Music 3 (CPU=100%)
    • Audio transcoding: MP3 -> WMA
  • Music 4 (CPU=50%, HDD=50%)
    • Two simultaneous threads
    • Audio transcoding: WMA -> WMA
    • HDD: Adding music to Windows Media Player

* EDITOR'S NOTE: Hopefully our readers will carefully consider how relevant PCMark Vantage is as a "real-world" benchmark, since many of the tests rely on unrelated hardware components. For example, per the FutureMark PCMark Vantage White Paper document, Gaming test #2 weighs the storage device for 100% of the test score. In fact, according to PCMark Vantage the video card only impacts 23% of the total gaming score, but the CPU represents 37% of the final score. As our tests in this article (and many others) have already proven, gaming performance has a lot more to do with the GPU than the CPU, and especially more than the hard drive or SSD (which is worth 38% of the final gaming performance score).

pcmark_vantage.png

The TV and Movies suite concentrates on video playback and transcoding, but only uses two threads at a maximum, so most of the cores in these high-end processors are sitting idle. This is probably why the scores are relatively close.

The Gaming benchmark relies on the hard disk and video card for over 50% of its score (see the Editor's Note above), and we're using the same HDD and video card for all platforms, so the Intel processors' huge advantage over the AMD Bulldozer in this test probably means that Vantage's gaming code is more optimized for Intel processors. Bear in mind, however, that most "real world" games will not show this difference; generally, in games, your video card matters most, followed by the clock speed (not number of cores) of your processor. The PCMark Vantage gaming test can use up to 16 threads, so it's still a little odd that the eight-core FX-8150 scores less than half of any of the Intel CPUs.

Things flatten out in the Music benchmark, with only about a 10% difference separating the best and worst scores. Oddly, the 2600K turns in a better score than the Sandy Bridge Extreme.



 

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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