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ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboard E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by Olin Coles & David Ramsey   
Monday, 14 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboard
The Intel X79 Express Chipset
Closer Look: ASUS P9X79 Deluxe
ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Details
ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Specifications
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
ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Conclusion

ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Details

Keeping with the times, ASUS joined the digital revolution back in 2010 when their Intel P67-series motherboard platform made the transition from analog power. New for the X79 Express platform, ASUS incorporates Dual Intelligent Processors 3 (DIP3) architecture comprised of two onboard micro-processor chips: TPU (TurboV Processing Unit) and EPU (Energy Processing Unit). ASUS TPU (TurboV Processing Unit) relieves parts of process-intensive tasks from the CPU and increases overall performance, while ASUS EPU (Energy Processing Unit) reduces power drain from all system components. Each of these features has its own physical switch on the motherboard, but may also be controlled via ASUS AI Suite II software or enabled in the BIOS. Now into their third generation, TPU and EPU use DIGI+ Power Control technology (formerly DIGI+ VRM) features fully-digital power voltage regulator modules (VRMs) that give the overclocker ultra-precise memory voltage tuning and processor voltage control. DIGI+ Power Control takes digital voltage settings from only the CPU vCore and extends them to CPU vCore, CPU VCCSA, and DDR3 system memory.

These programmable digital VRM controllers make it possible to accurately match multiple digital power signals (SVID) without power transfer loss. DIGI+ Power Control now offers 16-phase vCore power for the CPU, 4-phase VCCSA power to the processor's integrated memory controller, and 2+2 phase VDIMM power for the system DRAM. The switch from an analog to digital CPU and RAM power regulation allows ASUS P9X79-series motherboards to be more energy efficient, because DIP3 reduces total power dissipation, and as a positive byproduct the mainboard components do not create excess heat. With the ASUS DIGI+ Power Control feature, users can choose between an auto Spread Spectrum mode where the VRM frequency is varied dynamically, resulting in lower interference (dBuV) and higher system stability. With DIGI+ Power Control configured with Fixed Frequency Mode, the motherboard allows for greater overclocking potential as the frequency increases towards 500k Hz in precise 10k Hz increments.

The ASUS TurboV Processing Unit is designed to manage processor, memory, and various component voltages. There are few technical details available about the TPU micro-processor other than what the chip is labeled with: TPU 035-CA1. There's also a DIGI+ chip labeled ASP1101-C nearby. ASUS EPU actively manages the power phases and hands off necessary commands to the EPU driver, which coordinates functions with voltage control software to adjust operating frequency and voltage according to the load applied. The ASUS EPU chip is a holdover from P67, keeping the previous branding: DIGI+ VRM EPU ASP1000C (by CHiL Semiconductor Corporation). This level of precision power management allows for longer lasting electronics, better component durability, and a more controlled overclocking environment. Gone are the days when 1.50V meant that your hardware actually received +/- 0.025 volts (or worse), now the requested voltage setting correctly delivers exactly the right amount of power assigned. This becomes especially handy with ASUS AI Suite II, which allows users to specify exact operating limits for their projects.


Native SuperSpeed USB 3.0 support is finally available to Intel motherboards, but the new X79 Express platform keeps this port in very short supply. Intel's design offers only one pair of ports, so ASUS was quick to include large-scale support for this appropriately named technology by adding a total of eight SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports using ASMedia ASM1042 chips. SuperSpeed USB 3.0 file transfer tests have proven 5.0 Gb/s signaling rates are possible, but that wasn't enough for the engineers at ASUS. Their non-proprietary ASUS USB 3.0 Boost goes beyond SuperSpeed USB transfer speeds by using the more efficient USB Attached SCSI (UAS) protocol for more responsive bandwidth. Additionally, ASUS USB BIOS Flashback returns with X79, and enables firmware updates without any CPU/RAM/GPU hardware components installed on the motherboard.

EDITOR'S NOTE 03/01/2012: Some users have reported BSOD/STOP 0x09F problems with 64-bit Windows 7 and the ASMedia ASM1042 USB 3.0 drivers as of version Please help generate attention so ASMedia might correct this issue.

Intel Smart Response Technology, the creative tool for joining an SSD cache drive to a large-capacity hard disk drive, is not supported on Intel's X79 Express chipset. This means that motherboard manufacturers are free to engineer a solution of their own, which is what ASUS SSD Caching accomplishes on the Marvell 9128 controller. Users can benefit from ASUS SSD Caching by using solid state drive speeds to intelligently accelerate frequently-accessed tasks and applications on a hard disk drive. Offering application speeds up to three times faster than mechanical hard drives alone, ASUS SSD Caching features an exclusive user interface and storage control options that boosts performance with one click.


Another development revealed with Intel's X79 Express chipset is the support for quad-channel DDR3 memory configurations, which places eight DIMM slots onto the motherboard. As 64-bit Operating Systems become the standard and high-density memory modules shed their high price tag, power users will seek out the massive system memory capacities available to push their high-demand applications. Besides the addition of four supplemental DIMM slots beside the processor, there's the option of using some of this memory for inventive purposes. For example, keen users could load their X79 motherboard 64GB DDR3, and use half of this to create a RAM-disk to work with ASUS SSD Caching for improved overall system performance.

With eight hungry DIMM slots, there's the increased possibility that incompatible memory could cause a boot failure. In such a situation, ASUS MemOK! will lend a helping hand. First, the DRAM_LED light will blink continuously near the MemOK! button. By holding down this button until the DRAM_LED begins blinking, ASUS MemOK! will begin automatic memory compatibility tuning to help increase the chances of a successful motherboard boot up. MemOK! determines failsafe settings and improves the chances of system boot-up when they might not be otherwise possible.


Intel X79 Express brings with it a new processor package: socket LGA2011. This new CPU socket is only compatible with new Intel Core i7 processors 3960X, 3930K, and the soon-to-be-released Core i7-3820. ASUS positions anodized aluminum heatsinks near the LGA2011 socket, using the CPU cooler's fan to help cool power components hiding under the heatsink. The surface of each heatsink is shaped to cover tall VRM's, and several low-profile electronic components. ASUS uses all Japanese manufactured SMD solid state capacitors, containing a solid organic polymer and lower equivalent series resistance (ESR) will likely outlast the useful life of any ASUS X79-series motherboard.

PCI Express 3.0 is supported on X79 Express motherboards, capable of delivering up to 32GB/s on compatible devices across 48 lanes. The integrated PCI-Express controller on Sandy Bridge Extreme processors offers 40 shared PCI-E graphics lanes, and the Intel X79 Express chip adds another 8 shared PCI-Express lanes used for motherboard functions. Both 3-Way/Quad-GPU NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX configurations are supported, and on the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe motherboard graphics lanes can be configured into two formations: x16/x8/x16, or x16/x8/x8/x8. These newly added PCI-E lanes enable X79 Express motherboards to operate with full functionality when multiple graphics cards are installed, utilizing USB 3.0 and other mainboard resources without sacrifice.


The same two native SATA 6Gb/s ports introduced with P67 Express return on X79. The Intel SATA 6Gb/s ports (colored gray: SATA6G_1-2) are joined by four additional SATA 3Gb/s ports (colored blue: SATA3G_3-6) with RAID-0/1/5/10 support. Intel's third-generation SATA storage controller allows performance enthusiasts to enjoy faster top-end bandwidth speeds from capable storage devices, primarily Solid State Drives, and supports RAID-0/1/5/10 functionality. ASUS then adds an additional two SATA 6Gb/s ports (colored gray) by using the Marvell 88SE9128 controller with RAID-1/0 support through Marvell RAID utility (MRU) and driver. The orientation of all eight SATA ports utilizes transverse-mount connections to stem cables outward to the side of the motherboard. This layout works extremely well for all modern video cards, especially those that measure 9.5" or longer that occupy multiple expansion slots.

There are a few unsung heroes hiding behind the scenes. A heatsink where the Northbridge would reside conceals a tiny ICS 9DB403DGLF (Integrated Device Technology) PCI-Express Intel DB400 four-output differential buffer. This cool-running component measure only 9.7mm long by 4.4mm wide and consumes a mere 3.3 volts, which makes the large aluminum heatsink (and attached heat-pipe) quite superfluous. Intel's X79 Express chip rests beneath a much less impressive heatsink at the Southbridge location, where heat output is rather mild. Additionally, a Nuvoton Technology NCT6776F Super I/O chip positioned elsewhere on the board to help monitor several critical parameters in PC hardware, including power supply voltages, fan speeds and temperatures.



# Move aheadodiebugs 2011-11-15 05:51
New technology is based on new hardware but benchmark seems to be stuck on software based testing. The Sata 6g and PCI-E 3.0 need to be tested.
Hardware is moving forward and the SSD will be like the change from DVD to Blue-ray. Come on benchmark, you need to show Sata 3 transfer speed and the switch from PCI-E 2.0 to 3.0, how can you leave out the two main factors of motherboards ? ATTO, Furmark, really need to be shown. The difference on Sata 3 with HDD and SSD, and PCI-E 3.0 with say two video cards against these cards on PCI-e 2.0. Motherboard testing without this kind of testing leaves questions that need answers.
I can't believe ASUS put the FAILED Marvell 9128 on the new x79, they keep up this kind of work and they will be laughed out of the MOBO market.
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# RE: Move aheadOlin Coles 2011-11-15 09:22
There are no PCI-E 3.0 devices avialable, so please kindly recommend what we're supposed to be testing with.

Additionally, we have about one hundred SATA 6Gb/s tests here:
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# RE: RE: Move aheadodiebugs 2011-11-15 18:04
Thanks Olin, I have seen a few of your reviews on Sata 3 and they were great. Will take a look at what you posted to see if they are on the new x79 with the Marvell.

Wouldn't you use a SSD PCI-E ?
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# RE: RE: Move aheadodiebugs 2011-11-15 18:16
Nice link, thanks. I just wish we could see one bench list with a few new boards LGA 2011 vs Lga 1155 with Sata 3 and PCI-E and difference's between PCI-E 2.0 and 3.0 on one page. Seeing what board has the best transfers between native and the use of the Marvell. Probably asking to much.
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# RE: ASUS P9X79 Deluxe MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2011-11-15 07:57
We have tested SATA 6g devices in a member of other reviews. And how would you suggest we test PCI-E 3.0, seeing as how there are no PCI-E 3.0 cards available?
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# RE: RE: ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboardodiebugs 2011-11-15 18:06
Sorry, wasn't thinking cards, was thinking SSD PCI-E. I would think this would show real transfer speed, especially after the fights between MFG's about the 3.0 being fake.
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# RE: RE: ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboardodiebugs 2011-11-15 18:23
OOPS, I see how I wrote video cards, my bad. Need to get brain and hand in sync.
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# RE: ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboardron 2011-11-16 04:02
asus is a better rmanufacturer than gigabyte?

not lately from what i have seen - build quality deteriorating from what most people see in fact.Interesting to finish with an assertion about rma's - where does that figure come from?

Just another opinion on potential?
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# RE: RE: ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboardodiebugs 2011-11-16 11:20
I agree two fold. When I told Asus I wanted my money back for lying and not testing the P6X58D-E and calling it true Sata 3 when its Sata 2 using the junk Marvell 9128, they said to buy the Rampage.

Then my PSU caused a short and burnt the EATX 24pin block, I ran two 6 hr burn in tests on all hardware on the mobo, all test completed fine with no hardware problems. I wanted to have Asus check it and got an RMA. The board was 7 months old.

I received an e-mail, the problem is not under warranty and the board is unrepairable, please send 175.00 for a replacement. Gave the board to a friend and its working fine.

Asus- rotten dirty thieves, last system I will ever build for anyone with Asus. I'll have them spend an extra 200.00 for a ASRock before buying an Asus. I have been buying Gigabytes, only been a few months, but so far the boards are awesome. The only thing is slow booting due to pool data, so you have to install their software to over ride it. Excellent overclock, no problems with XMP with G-skill, Patriot, Corsair. Gigabyte also seems to keep their drivers up to date better then Asus. With building systems I wish I knew as much as Olin and David, but I get by.
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# RE: RE: RE: ASUS P9X79 Deluxe MotherboardOlin Coles 2011-11-16 11:26
Speaking only for myself, I've had many more failed Gigabyte motherboards than ASUS. My personal gaming system currently uses a factory-replaced Gigabyte X58 motherboard and it works fine, but have had to also replace dozens of their products for my customers. I'm also using several ASUS motherboards for test systems and client builds, and have only ever had to replace one. Alternatively, another writer on our team has had to replace a few ASUS motherboards.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboardodiebugs 2011-11-17 11:30
Sorry about the first post, bad day, and your reviews have been great. As a whole, it seems to be board specific. I have a lot of Asus boards out with no problems and a few with minor, such as Ethernet, pci-e problems.
Seems most hardware, caps, are all close in quality. I'm just hurt that Asus shunned me, buying tons of their products, Boards, LCD, Coolers, Roms, then to be told to buy another board. They recall cars, they should recall their boards with the 9128. I generally don't fan to one company like most, I don't love Intel or AMD and try and knock the other. Everything can fail. Just disappointing how Asus treated me as a customer. Your site has been a great help and I think you people have done a good job at informing the public.
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# Issues with Marvel 9128Juan Jose Guerrero III 2011-11-27 23:38
Hello odiebugs,

I would be interested in finding out what issues you have with the 9128? As it is a controller not only we have used but also competitors. This was the first qualified SATA6G controller to come to market in addition the custom firmware support on this controller is what allows us to offer SSD caching on our X79 vs not having it at all. The validation not only performed by us but those of our partners ( like system integrators has validated the solution as being one that is functional and reliable while offering additional functionality ). For a platfrom like X58 this was additionally the only way to intially provide support for SATA6G capacble SSDs when they launched ( like the C300 ). In regards to it not being a true SATA6G controller this is incorrect as it fully supports the specification yes there is a PCI-E link limitation but this does not mean it will not offer single SSD performance for a SATA6G SSD compared to SATA3G SATA port that is part of the PCH. If you have other feedback as always we are interested in hearing it.

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# RE: Issues with Marvel 9128odiebugs 2012-01-21 03:37
Explain how three Asus boards that have the 9128, CAN NOT achieve read write benches with ATTO, crystal, hdd tune, of over 350MB, but Gigabytes with the 9182 have benches over 500MB read, write. So no matter how they are true Sata 3 form anyone who wants to say they are, in my eye's the 9128 is garbage.
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# RE: RE: Issues with Marvel 9128TechSgt 2012-02-02 17:47
Which GIGABYTE board are you talking about? I haven't seen any Marvell 9128 SATA3 controllers pull 500MB in ATTO. The native SATA3 chipset ports seem to get there just fine but not any of my 9128 GBT boards. However, I did notice that the small 4K block data scores are only a few MB/s different from the native chipset ports this time around. That's good news for more comparable desktop performance.
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# RE: ASUS P9X79 Deluxe MotherboardPinakio 2011-11-16 13:53
Good review, of all the X79 mobos this ASUS board looks most promising. Though the X79-Pro seems to be better option @ little over 300$, since most people don't need the extra Ethernet port and the other deluxe delicacies. Gigabyte makes some very good mobos, no doubt, but among other socket-2011 releases ASUS seems to have offered more complete feature sets. But that's my personal opinion.
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# p9x79 deluxesteemans 2012-04-12 04:53
i am verry dissapointed i have the p9x79 deluxe whit an i7-3930k and
gtx 580 video card and vertex 3 240 gb but the system runs slower then my previus pc is that normal ?????????????
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# RE: p9x79 deluxeDavid Ramsey 2012-04-12 07:51
Since you don't say what your "previus" system is, there's no way to tell.
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# Need Details and FactsTechSgt 2012-04-12 09:19
Your question is not normal. :p What performance are you talking about that lays evidence that your P9X79 build is "slower" than your previous PC? What did you have before? What kinds of benchmark scores are you getting now to compare to the previous system?
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# RE: ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboardsteemans 2012-04-12 13:05
my preveus bourd was intel DP35DP whit a i7-850 procesor and agilyty ssd 120 mb 8 gb ram and a hd 6780 grafichs card on it
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# RE: ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboardsteemans 2012-04-13 05:42
i never took a benchmark but the system boot on the asus bourd taken ten times longer then the intel bourd
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# RE: ASUS P9X79 Deluxe MotherboardTechSgt 2012-04-13 11:01
The P35 chipset was a great step forward for Intel. The P35 platform is/was a much leaner platform in that it had much less resources, controllers and components than the P9X79. Also, keep in mind that the components in your P9X79 are probably also taking longer to initialize. There may be a couple BIOS boot screen settings that can be disabled to make it a little quicker. But your overall desktop performance should be impressively faster than your P35. - On a side note, perhaps your comment will motivate for a "quick boot" or "turbo boot" like some Z77 boards offer, except we get it in an X79B or something. :)
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# MrThose were the days 2012-04-30 05:50
Go for the B4X Intel. Plays all recent games like Super Mario and Star Gate! Have same 8MB ram PC33 and your computer goes all the way to heaven. But buy a fast cpu like P75MHZ! Not 50MHZ. You may upgrade win3 to win95 with big 50MB hard drive using 12 floppyes.
No need for water-cooling.
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