ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Reviewccokeman -
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Intel's Sandy Bridge Extreme lineup launched back in November of 2011 along with the X79 chipset to deliver a full refresh of the lineup for the enthusiast or power user segment of the market. This segment had been stagnant with Intel's mainstream Sandy Bridge socket 1155 lineup offering significant improvements in performance, with a series of unlocked processors delivering clock speeds of well above 4.0GHz. During each launch, motherboard manufacturers put together a package of motherboards that target specific price points based on the feature set being employed. ASUS is a company that has the ability to offer this kind of segmentation with its Republic of Gamers Rampage IV Extreme for the gamers and hardcore overclockers, all the way down to the baseline P9X79 and all the way back to the full-featured P9X79 Deluxe that I will be looking at today. The P9X79 Deluxe is built with the the whole kitchen sink thrown in for good measure. New features that this X79-based board offer include ASUS' new Digi+ power design using Dual Intelligent Processor 3 technology with three voltage controllers for more precise voltage control, ASUS SSD Caching that is much easier than Intel's solution to set up, USB 3.0 Boost, ASUS Crystal Sound, USB BIOS Flashback, and BT Go 3.0. What you get is a unique set of features that offers added value in terms of stability, connectivity, and usability. Let's take a look at the P9X79 Deluxe and see how it compares to other boards in the segment.
The graphic used on the packaging of the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe is similar to that of the previous generation Z68 and P67 motherboards with a black base and the supported technologies highlighted boldly. The big callouts on the front panel are PCIe 3.0 readiness, ASUS Dual Intelligent processors (TPU and EPU), and DIGI+ power design for both the CPU and DRAM, for improved power control and efficiency. Add in the One Click Speedup for easy overclocking, uEFI BIOS, eight DIMM slots for huge bandwidth, SLI and CrossFireX support, and of course support for the latest Second Generation Core i7 processors. The front cover of the box lifts up to explore a bit more of the large feature set you can expect on a "Deluxe" level motherboard, including definitions and functions of the TPU (TurboV Processing Unit) and EPU ( Energy Processing Unit), which work in tandem to deliver world class overclocking and energy management. Additional features include USB BIOS Flashback, USB 3.0 Boost, Fan Xpert, and Dolby DTS Connect and Ultra PC II sound. The back side of the package shows the board and lists the specific features on the motherboard I/O panel and PCB. There is more detail on the full hardware-based Digi+ power control, ASUS SSD Caching, UEFI BIOS implementation, and BT Go 3.0 Bluetoooth and Wi-Fi technology, which open up new ways to transfer data.
Inside the package is the expansive bundle of accessories and the P9X79 Deluxe motherboard. The bundle includes all the accessories needed to get the most out of the P9X79 Deluxe's feature set.
The accessory bundle for the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe is substantial and includes some unique parts that you most likely will not find elsewhere. The list of items includes the manual and driver disk, SATA 3Gbps and SATA 6bps cables, the I/O Shield that helps protect the board from EFI emissions, SLI and Tri-SLI bridge connections, ASUS Q-Connectors for the front panel and USB headers, and a BT GO 3.0 module and antenna. The BT Go 3.0 +HS module allows for wireless connectivity to portable devices for file transfers, as well as the ability to use mobile devices as a remote control, all thanks to wireless 802.11 b/g/n connectivity.
As is normally the case, ASUS has put together a fully featured board full of unique features for the end user to improve the flexibility and usability of the computer through continued innovation. Let's dig a little deeper into what the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe brings to the table.