Seven $260-$320 X79 Express Motherboards, Reviewed

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Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]jprahman[/nom]So when will we see results with a C2?[/citation]It's going to take around a month to prepare another roundup...so I guess good news comes with bad news, sorry.
 

morne

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Quick coment on looks only (I know its specs that count not looks but oh well)
ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB - very nice all black looks better than gigabytes atempt
Asus P9X79 Pro - new baby blue they use on all the boards... not for me
ECS X79R-AX - looks like my old pentium 2 board with the white slots
Foxconn Quantumian-1 - i like i like gives a feeling of the ROG ASUS boards
Gigabyte X79-UD3 - rip of from the ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB (lol) plus the southbridge heatsink looks old fasion and ugly.
Intel DX79SI - now this board for me looks good actualy more than good looks the best :) must be the scull lol
MSI X79A-GD65 8D - also very nice love the blue + Black.

If you have one of the boards and i insulted it, wasnt the intention, just my view of the board>

 

ubercake

Splendid
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Great descriptive article.

One thing I'm not sure of is the acceptance and actual usage of eSATA. While practical at some level, is anyone actually using this MB feature or is this one of those things the MB producers can skip out on like parallel and serial ports? I'm not sure enthusiasts are all that into using their eSATA ports?

Personally, I think this is one of those money saving opportunities MB producers should consider.
 

morne

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Actualy i agree with you ubercake, i have never used my E-sata, and with usb 3.0 out doubt anyone still uses E-sata if they have before.
 
[citation][nom]Crashman[/nom]Update: C2 CPU is now here![/citation]
Here -- where? You guy's may have gotten an early release, but how's that been working far? The official re-release is January 20th to retail. The reason I state this is because the track record has been less than stellar and in some cases often a 'miss-match' the the retail versions; thereby (WE) get ambiguous impressions and folks buying habits are incorrectly forged.

From the results I've seen, read so far, a ±2FPS~±3FPS can all fall within the margins of error; run the tests 3-4 times.

Then the reasons for 'choices' as 'best', IMO best must have 8xDIMM, 3-WAY, decent audio, good OC'ing, and adequate plus fast SATA ports. Asus P9X79 Pro and Intel Intel DX79SI, while I appreciate a budget 4-WAY Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 no one wanting 4-WAY is going to choose it.

- my 2 cents.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
[citation][nom]heroictofu[/nom]Personally I'd go for the Intel for long term stability if their track record is anything to go buy.[/citation]

My D975XBX board is still holding strong after like 6+ years of owning it. It's currently sitting in my HTPC.

I'd definitely go for the Intel for that reason alone, but I've been really impressed with Gigabyte and the way my Z68 system turned out.
 
I think this platform is just to expensive for the result in most tasks even for most users/gamers, and workers for the exception of those that actually need this for a server/workstation. A standard i7 2600k or a cheaper i5 2500k is just fine and good enough for most use even a overclocked i7 920 still has enough to get the job done.
 
[citation][nom]josejones[/nom]How much better are these new X79 mobos over say the 990's? Are the X79's really that much better and worth all the money? Is there a comparison between them around?When will AMD be coming out with mobos with PCIe 3 support? http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/ [...] s-promised[/citation]
1. Not much better, I decided not to mothball my 980X and instead to only replace my GPU's with GTX 600 series when available and then with 3GB vRAM.
2. Not much with clock-to-clock comparison; e.g. 4.5GHz to 4.5GHz. Sure the SB/SB-E is slightly faster but in most resolutions none of them really impede or bottleneck.
3. (link) well it seems I was right PCIe 2.x versus PCIe 3.x -> http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/49646-amd-radeon-hd-7970-3gb-review-21.html the GPU's cannot saturate x8 PCIe 2.x so it will be quite a while if not years before PCIe 3.x gains ground to make it useful.
 

a4mula

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Nice article, though I think it lacked a few things that would have made it spectacular. I would have loved to see pci-e 3.0 actually being compared to pci-e 2.0 using the 7970 at 5760x1080. I think it'd show that pci-e 2.0 does indeed suffer from bottlenecks at multi-monitor resolutions. I would have also loved to see the ECS 4-way SAS controller tested using 4x ssds. I understand that this functionality isn't guaranteed, but as someone that's considering a LSI RAID card it would have been great to see how this onboard solution fared.
Nice review though and I understand how both of these things were outside the scope of what was being done.
 

ubercake

Splendid
Moderator
[citation][nom]geekapproved[/nom]After the X58 anal pounding, you would be a moron to buy a X79. It's life is predicted to be even shorter than X58.[/citation]
I see what you're saying, but during BF3 my good trusty ole i7-960 and my two GTX580s are all hitting 100% at times (until BF4) running on ultra with AA and AA transparency cranked. I'm getting over 100fps at 1080p. I'd say that's a good equipment pairing considering I'm going on year three. If that's what an anal pounding is all about... Thank you sir may I have another!?
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
[citation][nom]ubercake[/nom]Great descriptive article. One thing I'm not sure of is the acceptance and actual usage of eSATA. While practical at some level, is anyone actually using this MB feature or is this one of those things the MB producers can skip out on like parallel and serial ports? I'm not sure enthusiasts are all that into using their eSATA ports?Personally, I think this is one of those money saving opportunities MB producers should consider.[/citation]I agree, but a few people don't and they do occasionally scream.[citation][nom]morne[/nom]Actualy i agree with you ubercake, i have never used my E-sata, and with usb 3.0 out doubt anyone still uses E-sata if they have before.[/citation]That's why I agreed :)[citation][nom]josejones[/nom]How much better are these new X79 mobos over say the 990's? Are the X79's really that much better and worth all the money? [/citation]Buy an AMD board for AMD processors, an Intel board for Intel processors, and then relax.

 

josejones

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Thanks jaquith.

So, it's pretty clear to everyone I've talked to about PCIe 3 that it's pretty much useless for gamers in regards to GPU's at least for now. However, where is the benefit to PCIe 3 then?

It's weird to me that AMD chose to make the 79xx GPU's with PCIe 3 support for no apparent reason since 1. there's no benefit and 2. AMD still has not come out with a single motherboard or CPU with PCIe 3 support. AMD has never even mentioned them.

My understanding is that everything in the chain must all be PCIe 3 in order to get 'true' PCIe 3 support or, it can only be as good as the weakest link in that chain i.e. mobo, chipset, CPU, GPU etc. So, who would really benefit from PCIe 3 then? What type of work would benefit best from PCIe 3?

I'd really like to see Tom's do an article on PCIe 3 to explain what it's really used for. Gamers don't seem to understand that PCIe 3 is not really about them. Some of us have work to do - I use Adobe CS, photoshop, and loads of stuff for my business almost every day - would that benefit from PCIe 3 or no?

[citation][nom]jaquith[/nom]1. Not much better, I decided not to mothball my 980X and instead to only replace my GPU's with GTX 600 series when available and then with 3GB vRAM.2. Not much with clock-to-clock comparison; e.g. 4.5GHz to 4.5GHz. Sure the SB/SB-E is slightly faster but in most resolutions none of them really impede or bottleneck.3. (link) well it seems I was right PCIe 2.x versus PCIe 3.x -> http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/for [...] ew-21.html the GPU's cannot saturate x8 PCIe 2.x so it will be quite a while if not years before PCIe 3.x gains ground to make it useful.[/citation]
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
[citation][nom]josejones[/nom]I'd really like to see Tom's do an article on PCIe 3 to explain what it's really used for. Gamers don't seem to understand that PCIe 3 is not really about them. Some of us have work to do - I use Adobe CS, photoshop, and loads of stuff for my business almost every day - would that benefit from PCIe 3 or no?[/citation]

I'd like to see this as well. It really seems there's no real direct benefits from it yet until we start seeing GPUs and CPUs that can support it. The fact that Intel built PCI-E 3.0 into IB and SB-E chips when people who are building new 2500K systems won't upgrade immediately is really puzzling at best.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
[citation][nom]gsacks[/nom]25 pages to tell me that Asus and Gigabyte make the best motherboards. Obvious conclusion is obvious.[/citation]

I thought the exact same thing. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
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