Page 1:LGA 2011 Motherboards, Just A Little Cheaper
Page 2:ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB
Page 3:X79 Extreme6/GB UEFI
Page 4:Asus P9X79 Pro
Page 5:P9X79 Pro UEFI
Page 6:ECS X79R-AX
Page 7:X79R-AX UEFI
Page 8:Foxconn Quantumian-1
Page 9:Quantumian-1 UEFI
Page 10:Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3
Page 11:GA-X79-UD3 UEFI
Page 12:Intel DX79SI
Page 13:DX79SI UEFI
Page 14:MSI X79A-GD65 (8D)
Page 15:X79A-GD65 (8D) UEFI
Page 16:Test Settings And Benchmarks
Page 17:Benchmark Results: DiRT 3
Page 18:Benchmark Results: Metro 2033
Page 19:Benchmark Results: StarCraft II
Page 20:Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 21:Benchmark Results: Productivity
Page 22:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 24:Which X79-Based Motherboard Is Right For You?
MSI X79A-GD65 (8D)
Far more than an eight-DIMM version of the –GD65, MSI’s X79A-GD65 (8D) features major PCB design revisions. Granted, some of those changes might have been necessary to clear room for the extra memory slots.
While the I/O panel remains unchanged with a stealthy CLR_CMOS button, eight USB 2.0 and only two USB 3.0 ports, OC Genie, Direct OC, and power buttons have all been relocated to the bottom edge, where they're likely to get hidden under a graphics card in a three-way CrossFireX configuration.
Other than the additional memory slots, there’s very little else added or subtracted from this more scalable motherboard. For example, a BIOS IC selector switch that benefits overclockers who corrupted their firmware is a nice find, but it was already present on the four-slot version of the board. A row of voltage detection points along the top of the front edge is similarly nice, but the cheaper version had a probe holder for this function. Both versions sport an added pair of SATA 6Gb/s ports via a third-party PCIe x1 controller. This enhanced version simply moves the ports down a couple inches.
Worse is that the USB 3.0 front-panel connector placed along the bottom edge limits both motherboard versions to either three-way graphics card arrays or front-panel USB 3.0, since a card won’t fit with the cable installed. That's really our only big layout complaint. Minor issues like the front-panel audio cable located a little too far back along the bottom edge only affects a minority of builders. And though the four-pin supplemental power connector below the bottom PCIe slot typically can’t be used with a card installed, it’s not really needed anyway.
We'll neither pick apart nor praise the two PCI Express x16 slots with different latches, which are only wired up to a single PCI Express lane. If you want to drop a graphics card into either of those connectors for expanded display support, a single-lane slot is probably just fine for 2D desktop needs.
Like ECS, MSI de-emphasizes the X79A-GD65 (8D)’s triple graphics support by not including a three-way SLI bridge. Both companies have the same issue regarding card installation and USB 3.0 header placement, anyway.
We also find six internal SATA cables and, since the board lacks eSATA, an internal SATA to eSATA break-out plate.
- LGA 2011 Motherboards, Just A Little Cheaper
- ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB
- X79 Extreme6/GB UEFI
- Asus P9X79 Pro
- P9X79 Pro UEFI
- ECS X79R-AX
- X79R-AX UEFI
- Foxconn Quantumian-1
- Quantumian-1 UEFI
- Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3
- GA-X79-UD3 UEFI
- Intel DX79SI
- DX79SI UEFI
- MSI X79A-GD65 (8D)
- X79A-GD65 (8D) UEFI
- Test Settings And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 3
- Benchmark Results: Metro 2033
- Benchmark Results: StarCraft II
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- Which X79-Based Motherboard Is Right For You?