|X79 Express Motherboard Performance Comparison|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 22 November 2011|
Page 16 of 16
X79 Motherboard Final Thoughts
While Intel's new Sandy Bridge Extreme platform raises the performance bar to a whole new level, it does so at a high cost: the least expensive Sandy Bridge Extreme processor, the Core i7-3930X, is over $500 at retail, and X79 Express-based motherboards are quite expensive as well (although, to be fair, their prices are similar to X58 Express motherboard prices when that platform was introduced). A quick check on Newegg shows X79 motherboard prices ranging from $224.99 to $469.99.
The Intel DX79SI is not available at retail as of the time of this article, but Intel says it will sell in the "$280-$300 range". The ASUS P9X79 Deluxe is $379.99 at Newegg, and the ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF is $339.99. Both are significantly more expensive than the Intel board, but offer extra features and ASUS' reputation for quality and support to compensate.
The Intel board came into this comparison with the disadvantage of a beta BIOS that made overclocking impossible and even at stock clock speeds resulted in a last-place finish in all but two of the tests. Still, the Intel's performance deficit was small enough that you'd only see it on benchmarks and never in "real life" applications. And I'm sure that when the board's available and has a production BIOS that its stock-clock performance will improve. After all, who knows the CPU and chipset better than Intel?
Sandy Bridge Extreme Conclusion
The Intel DX79SI motherboard isn't competitive with the ASUS boards; large skull insignia aside, it's simply outclassed on performance and features. That said, it's $40-$80 less than the ASUS motherboards, and that's money you can put into other parts of your system. And while I wasn't able to overclock it, I have high hopes for its "DX79SI Overclocking Assistant" feature, which looks as though it might offer superior auto-overclocking performance, although I suspect ASUS' advanced power circuitry may allow their motherboard to have higher ultimate overclocking limits.
ASUS' motherboards continue to impress me, which is why I prefer them for my personal systems. I am especially fond of the TUF series: I have thee TUF motherboards, and have never had a problem with any of them, even the much-abused X58 TUF I use in my heat sink test machine. If you're interested in more information about these motherboards, check out our detailed reviews of the Intel DX79SI, the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe, and the ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF.
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