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X79 Express Motherboard Performance Comparison E-mail
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Written by David Ramsey   
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
X79 Express Motherboard Performance Comparison
X79 Express Chipset
Motherboard Feature Comparison
Motherboard Testing Methodology
Overclocking Results
SiSoft Sandra Memory Bandwidth
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
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

X79 Express Chipset

If you look at the block diagrams of the Z68 and X79 chipsets side by side, the X79 seems functionally identical to the Z68, except that it lacks the digital display support and Intel Smart Response Technology. The lack of the latter is disappointing, since our tests with Intel Smart Response Technology showed that its use of an SSD as an intelligent cache to a hard drive could dramatically improve storage performance. Perhaps to make up for this, the X79 does permit overclocking via raising the base clock (BCLK) frequency, something that's almost impossible on the previous Sandy Bridge chipsets since most of the other clocks on the board were derived from the base clock, and raising it more than a few MHz would make the entire board unstable.

Intel-X79-Express-Block-Diagram.png

As with the Z68 and earlier P67 chipsets, there are 14 USB 2.0 ports and 6 SATA ports, of which only two are SATA 6G. Notably missing is Intel's "Light Peak" (aka "Thunderbolt"), which has been used as Intel's excuse for not supporting SuperSpeed USB 3.0. And it's really odd that only two of the SATA ports are SATA 6G, since 6G devices are becoming more common, especially among SSDs. For a cutting-edge platform, this is impossible to justify. At least AMD gives you a full six SATA 6G ports.

Aside from supporting LGA2011 processors such as the Sandy Bridge Extreme 3960X, the main new feature of the X79 chipset is its support for quad-channel memory, which results in enormous memory bandwidth improvements as we'll see later in this article. It can also directly support single, dual, and triple-channel memory, with performance exceeding existing dual and triple channel systems.



 

Comments 

 
# light and confortableCHARLEYAM 2011-11-23 08:58
SWEET WHAT YOU GOING TO DO WITH THE ONES YOUR BENCH TESTING WHEN YOUR DONE??? I WOULD LIKE TO RIDE THIS MACHINE TO ITS LIMITS AND BACK. REALLY GREAT CHIPSET AND SECOND GENERATION PROCESSORS ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD INTEL GREAT JOB GUYS AND MOTHERBOARD COMPANIES KEEP THE X79 CHIPSET ON THE MBS SO WE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE NEW CHIPS
HAPPY HOLIDAYS DUDES DUDETTES AND ALL OTHER LIFE FORMS ON THIS PLANET...PEACE OUT BYE BYE
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# RE: light and confortableDavid Ramsey 2011-11-23 09:01
I'll probably use the X79 Sabertooth for upgrading my personal Intel machine, and keep the Intel board for future testing (if they ever release a new BIOS, anyway!)
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# RE: X79 Express Motherboard Performance Comparisonodiebugs 2011-11-30 23:10
I see Asus still using the FAILED garbage Marvell 9128. Can't wait to see if they lie about the pci-e 3.0 like they did with the TRUE Sata 3, which is Sata 2. Good idea blowing heat onto the usb and sata port.
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# RE: RE: X79 Express Motherboard Performance ComparisonDavid Ramsey 2011-12-01 09:03
Well, bear in mind that the PCI-E 3.0 is a function of the Intel X79 Express chipset. The actual status of this feature seems a little fuzzy right now: it hasn't been "officially" certified and nobody can test it yet since there are no PCI-E 3.0 cards to test it against.
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