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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

Motherboard Feature Comparison

The three motherboards I used in this test have different sets of features, which I've summarized in the table below.

Intel DX79SI ASUS P9X79 Deluxe ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF
DIMM slots 8 8 8
Card slots 3xPCI-E x16, 2xPCI-E x1, 1xPCI 4xPCI-E x16, 2xPCI-E x1 3xPCI-E x16, 2xPCI-E x1, 1xPCI
SATA ports 4xSATA 3G, 2xSATA 6G 4xSATA 3G, 4xSATA 6G 4xSATA 3G, 4xSATA 6G
Audio Realtek ALC892 Realtek ALC898 Realtek ALC892
USB ports 4xUSB 3.0, 14xUSB 2.0 8xUSB 3.0, 12xUSB 2.0 6xUSB 3.0, 14xUSB 2.0
LAN Dual Intel gigabit LAN Dual gigabit LAN (Intel + Realtek) Intel gigabit LAN
On-board power & reset buttons Yes Yes No
On-board diagnostic LED, POST Yes Yes No
Consumer I/R Yes No No
Bluetooth Yes Yes Yes
BIOS recovery Yes Yes Yes
Fan Headers 4 PWM 5 PWM (2 CPU) 5 PWM (2 CPU), 1 "assistant" fan for VRM cooling
CPU Power Unknown 16+4 phase 8+2+2+2 phase

All of these X79 boards are high-end products with enthusiast features like the ability to recover from a bad BIOS flash and solid capacitors, but the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe is obviously the fanciest: it has the most USB 3.0 ports, has the fanciest audio, a very elaborate power system, and all the other bells and whistles like diagnostic LEDs and POST code displays, as well as ASUS' dedicated "TPU" and "EPU" processors to help manage overclocking and power usage. It does however dispense with the legacy PCI slot, so those of you with a strong emotional attachment to your old Sound Blaster cards should look elsewhere.

Both ASUS boards also benefit from very elaborate and finely-adjustable digital power systems ("DIGI+") as well as SSD caching and extra SATA 6G ports. The Intel DX79SI's relatively stingy 6 SATA ports, with only two SATA 6G, puts it at a disadvantage.



 

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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