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ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Review

ccokeman    -   April 12, 2012
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Testing:

Testing the ASUS P9X79 Deluxe will involve running it and its comparison products through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which include both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual game play, in which we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and the latest AMD Catalyst drivers for the XFX HD 6970. To ensure as few variables as possible, all hardware will be tested at their stock speeds, timings, voltages, and latencies – unless otherwise stated. Turbo Boost is disabled on all processors to make a fair comparison without skewing the results.

 

Testing Setup: Intel Core i7 Socket 2011

 

Comparison Boards:

 

Overclocking:

  • Intel Core i7 3960X—104 x 46—4784MHz Manual
  • Intel Core i7 3960X—126.4 x 36—4549MHz TurboV

After working with the ASUS Rampage IV Extreme, the overclocking expectations for the P9X79 Deluxe were set a little lower, just based on the pedigree of the ROG lineup. Fortunately, reduced expectations are not realized, as ASUS makes sure each of its boards are going to give a similar overclocking experience and equip each with the tools to enable spirited overclocking. By using standard methods for overclocking the Sandy Bridge processor, I was able to get the Core i7 3960X to roughly the same overclock as I have been able to get out of each of the boards I have tested — 4784MHz. To reach this overclock, I used a combination of bclock (104MHz) and a 46 bclock multiplier to reach the maximum overclock. Voltage stability was excellent and LLC functioned properly, as it is designed to do — as it should with its Digi+ 16+4+2+2 phase power design for the CPU and DRAM. My Core i7 3960X is a fairly hungry chip when it comes to the voltage required to get to the max clock, with 1.5v set in the BIOS using LLC set to high. What really was a pleasant surprise was the clock speed delivered by the TurboV Evo CPU Level Up feature. The ROG Rampage IV Extreme was really conservative at 4.25GHz, whereas the Deluxe drops a nice 4.5+GHz clock on the user for just a couple minutes worth of work. There were no BSODs while using this feature. In the past, the OC generated by the software had sometimes not been Prime 95 stable, but with this iteration of the software and platform, it has proven quite stable. I have to say that when pushed too far, the Crash-free BIOS 3 feature means a quick and easy recovery from a failed overclock. I have to say this board was just as much fun to overclock as the R4E. Thankfully, there are fewer settings to massage in the BIOS. Pushing the i7 3960X is fun in its own right, but after looking at what the Second Generation Core i7 3820 was capable of, I wanted to see if ASUS had indeed built up the component structure well enough to push this chip just as hard as the R4E. The result was a bench stable 5.1GHz from a partially locked chip. Any which way you go, the ASUS motherboards and Core i7 3960, 3820 CPU's give you have a stout combination that can deliver all the performance potential of your CPU and memory.

 

 

 

Maximum Clock Speed:

Each CPU and motherboard have been tested for stability at the clock speeds listed when in an overclocked state. These clock speeds will be used to run the test suite and will provide the performance difference increase over the stock settings in the overclocked scoring.

 

Benchmarks:

  • Scientific & Data:
  1. Apophysis
  2. WinRAR
  3. Geekbench 2.1
  4. Office 2007 Excel Number Crunch
  5. POV-Ray 3.7
  6. Bibble 5
  7. Sandra 2011
  8. AIDA64 1.85
  9. HandBrake .9.5
  10. ScienceMark 2.02
  11. Cinebench 10 & 11.5
  12. HD Tune 4.60
  • Video:
  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  2. Civilization V
  3. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  4. 3DMark 11



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: Continued
  3. Closer Look: Programs & Utilities
  4. Closer Look: The BIOS
  5. Specifications & Features
  6. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  7. Testing: Apophysis, WinRar, GeekBench, Bibble 5
  8. Testing: Office 2007, POV-Ray, HandBrake
  9. Testing: SiSoft Sandra, AIDA 64
  10. Testing: Sciencemark, Cinebench, HD Tune, PCMark 7
  11. Testing: Aliens vs. Predator
  12. Testing: Civilization V
  13. Testing: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  14. Testing: 3DMark 11
  15. Conclusion
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