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Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop Motherboard E-mail
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Written by David Ramsey   
Monday, 14 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop Motherboard
The Intel X79 Express Chipset
Closer Look: Intel DX79SI Motherboard
DX79SI Detailed Features
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
X79 Express Motherboard Final Thoughts
Intel DX79SI Conclusion

Closer Look: Intel DX79SI Motherboard

Intel wants you to know they're serious about this whole "enthusiast motherboard" thing, and as we all know, nothing says "serious" like a giant skull.


Since this motherboard is a prototype, there's no manual or standard accessories package (although Intel did include a back port cover and two and three-card SLI bridges). Like all X79 motherboards (so far, anyway), Intel splits the DIMM sockets on either side of the processor socket, presumably because the number of traces required for quad-channel memory operation would make putting all the sockets on one side too complex. With eight DIMM slots, each capable of handling an 8GB DIMM, you could put 64GB of RAM on this motherboard! The blue and black DIMM sockets each define a quad-channel memory bank. DIMMs on either side of the CPU socket will make fitting performance air coolers difficult unless you use low profile memory.


You have to see the LGA2011 socket in person to appreciate how large it is. The pin spacing remains about the same as it was on the LGA1155 sockets, so with almost twice as many pins, the LGA2011 socket occupies almost twice the board area. Note that there are now two locking levers, which must be opened or closed in the correct sequence.


The back I/O panel is refreshingly legacy-free, without even a single combo PS/2 port. From left to right we see the "Back to BIOS" recovery button, two USB 3.0 ports, three dual USB 2.0 port connectors topped by Ethernet, FireWire (IEEE 1394), and another Ethernet port, and finally the audio ports with an optical output.


The large CPU socket and 8 DIMM slots have crowded some components to unusual locations. The EPS 12V socket, just to the right of the middle bottom of this image, gets squeezed to the very outside edge of the motherboard, and the position of the bright red CPU fan header at the lower right of this image means that your cooling fan connector might have to be routed over the tops of the rear DIMMs.


The giant socket and eight DIMM slots leave little room for the elaborate multi-phase CPU power systems we've come to expect on high-end X58 motherboards. The DX79SI's voltage regulators are split on either side of the CPU socket (above and below it in this photo). Intel didn't provide any specification on the CPU power supply circuitry (number of phases, etc.)

Let's take a closer look at this board in the next section.



# RE: Apple iPad Multi-Touch Tablet Device LaunchedDevan 2010-02-17 09:02
where is the pictures?
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# RE: Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop MotherboardWade Eilrich 2011-11-14 22:02
I've not been impressed with an Intel motherboard for a long time, but this one - especially paired with the new, screaming fast Sandy Bridge CPU, might change my mind once they release a stable BIOS. I'm a little disappointed that they removed Smart Response because I think many enthusiasts will want to boot from an SSD in this system. The upcoming i7-3820 (Q1 2012) is an interesting alternative, if the price point is reasonable. As always, your reviews are an excellent read David (although I do miss some of the tongue-in-cheek humor) :)
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# RE: RE: Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2011-11-17 10:04
Wade, you can boot from an SSD with no problem; it's using an SSD as a cache for a hard drive that's no longer directly supported. Third parties like ASUS have added their own SSD caching features to their X79 motherboards. Dunno why Intel dropped the feature...
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# light and confortableCHARLEYAM 2011-11-15 11:20
looks like you guys have out done yourselfs. I know alot of people (gamers) have overlooked you boards in the past but you always had high end boards I guess you never had to advertise people who know got them.. this is one sweet mb and at my next build this would be the building block I would start with
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# very good but not a huge leapReSeRe 2011-11-17 05:59
1st, nice review once again.

i must say in the beginning that i-ll be a little biased, cause i do own an 990X.
So, it looks that Intel achieve full maturity with this type of processors (let-s call it I7 class). And not very distant from the end. Which may be not a good part for buyers. but,
on the other hand this means reiability, trust, and so on. Now, the efforts go in MB/3rd party enhancements.
and , i think if today you own an 980X/2600k or around, you can stay relaxed 2 or more years. Also, I DO HOPE its a good time for AMD to catch the train. I hate/worry about monopoly. and the new amd CPU give us a little hope. good.
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# No comparison!Teemu Milto 2011-11-28 08:28
You just reviewed the processors, and possibly even were compromized by your different GPU and memory set-ups. No comparison of motherboards means that nothing can be said about the performance of Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop Motherboard .
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# RE: No comparison!David Ramsey 2011-11-28 09:00
I used the same hard drive, GPU and memory for each motherboard, with the exception of the DDR3-1866 RAM used on the AMD system. You'd know this if you'd bothered to read the "Motherboard Testing Methodology" section. The stated purpose of these tests was to see how Intel's latest platform compares against the best existing AMD and Intel platforms.

If you want to see how the Intel DX79SI compares against other X79 Express motherboards, read my "X79 Express Motherboard Performance Comparison." But do try to pay attention this time.
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# re re no comparisonbigguy 2012-03-17 04:17
Haha good for you David for calling someone who merely skims your site/reviews and has the nerve to start trying to undermine it all. There's meds for this kind of thing....
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# Account managerGeorges Al tawil 2012-11-19 03:27
David i Have a question does the Mother board DX79SI support Lynux sound card " LYNX 192Hz " ??

your prompt return will be highly appriciated .
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# RE: Account managerDavid Ramsey 2012-11-19 07:20
I have no idea. I've never heard of that sound card and (obviously) don't have one to test.

That said, there's nothing magic or different about the X79's PCI-E slots, nor is software on that level any different, so if the card works in the PCI-E slots of any other motherboard, it should work fine in this board.
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