X79 Motherboard Roundup: ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte

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While the Sabertooth X79 is built for extreme heat, the P9X79 Deluxe is simply ASUS’ top board in its mainstream line, which is to say that it’s no slouch.

The P9X79, with a black PCB and blue, white, and metallic components, supports up to 64GB of DDR3-2400 (OC) memory and up to 3-way SLI or 4-way CrossFireX (at x8). There are four total PCI-E 3.0 slots, as well as a pair of PCI-E 2.0.

ASUS P9X79 Deluxe

ASUS P9X79 Deluxe 
Specifications & Features
CPU


Chipset

Memory



Multi-GPU Support


Expansion Slots



Storage








LAN



Wireless Data Network

Bluetooth


Audio








USB Ports




Form Factor
Intel Socket 2011 for 2nd Generation Core i7 Processors
Supports Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2

Intel X79


8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 2400(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory

Quad Channel Memory Architecture

Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

Supports NVIDIA 3-Way SLI Technology
Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX Technology

3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (dual x16 or x16, x8, x8) *1

1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x8 mode) *1
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1

Intel X79 chipset :

2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), white
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Marvell PCIe 9128 controller :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), white
ASMedia ASM1061 controller :
2 x Power eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), green

Realtek 8111E , 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)

Intel® 82579V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers- 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) appliance

Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n



Bluetooth V3.0+HS

ASUS BT GO! Utility

Realtek ALC898 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC

- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
- DTS Ultra PC II
- DTS Connect
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel

ASMedia USB 3.0 controller :

8 x USB 3.0 port(s) (6 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
Intel X79 chipset :
12 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, black+white, 8 at mid-board)

ATX Form Factor

12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )  

The P9X79 Deluxe has eight total SATA ports: six are from the chipset (two SATA 6Gb/s, four SATA 3Gb/s) and two (both SATA 6Gb/s) are courtesy of a Marvell controller. Two of those ports support ASUS’ SSD Caching. There are two additional power eSATA 6Gb/s ports, as well.

There is no shortage of USB ports, either; the board has no fewer than ten on the back panel (six USB 3.0, four USB 2.0), which are conveniently clearly labelled, with headers supporting another ten (two USB 3.0, eight USB 2.0).

On-board buttons include power, reset, Clear CMOS, and MemOK (which validates and patches RAM) on the main PCB, with a BIOS Flashback button on the back panel. The BIOS Flashback button allows you to flash the BIOS using a USB drive with nothing more than standby power. ASUS also included physical TPU and EPU switches, which enable technologies that take some of the burden off of the CPU intelligently managing or boosting power, or to conserve power when not needed.

The TPU and EPU are part of ASUS’ DIGI+ Power Control, which includes three digital voltage controllers for more granular fine-tuning of memory and the CPU.

   
   

With BT GO 3.0!, users get a module that supports both Bluetooth and WiFi, and ASUS included a pair of white antennae for the WiFi.

ASUS is serious about giving users as much control as possible by making almost every aspect of the system changeable in the BIOS. This includes Fan Xpert+, which lets users adjust the speeds on all attached case and CPU fans according to a number of different user-customizable parameters.

Having so much control is great for overclockers, but ASUS also included AI Suite II, which automatically boosts the system but allows users to change settings, in case they wanted to let some software do most of the tweaking.

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