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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 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.

Intel-X79-Express-Motherboard-Comparison.jpg

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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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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