There is quite a large group of people including system administrators from all sorts of companies as well as regular users, who sincerely believe that Intel processors work best in mainboards from the same maker. Since Intel mainboards started to allow CPU and memory overclocking, some enthusiasts also joined this group. However, they are relatively few, because Intel mainboards often have unusual layout, and their BIOS is not very handy for intensive work and is not well fit for frequent settings adjustments. With all due respect to Intel processors that hold the leading positions in very different segments, I personally had very mixed feelings about Intel mainboards until I met Intel DX58SO2. It is an excellent product, which in my opinion is still one of the best platforms for LGA 1366. It has accumulated so many advantages, that a few small drawbacks get totally lost against their background. However, this mainboard has become pretty obsolete by now, just like the entire platform, and Intel DP67BG model for LGA 1155 processors didn’t really impress us that much. Let’s get acquainted with the new flagship Intel DX79SI mainboard from the Extreme Series designed for LGA 2011 processor and see how good it actually is.
Packaging and Accessories
The box with Intel DX79SI mainboard is beautifully designed and looks very impressive. The skull traditional for all Extreme series products is almost a 3D image due to a flip cover, and its eye sockets are shimmering because the mainboard itself partially shows through the clear plastic window beneath the cover.
You can find the photo of the board on the back of the box with a few major features pointed out right there alongside with the brief list of bundled software and technical specifications:
Unfortunately, the board we received obviously didn’t have all the accessories present:
Therefore, I was originally going to avoid this matter in my review, but then I accidentally stumbled across this information on the Intel web-site. I have to say that last year many companies updated their web-site design and became more contemporary and attractive. However, sometimes it is still very hard to find what you are looking for easily. You can spend hours searching and end up with nothing or suddenly find it but not where you were expecting to. Knowing that there is detailed information about the accessories bundle, I failed to locate it the second time I was there and only the previously saved screenshot reminded me that it was “What’s in the box” page. So, now we know that the mainboard is supposed to come with the following accessories:
- Four SATA cables;
- A hard bridge for two-way Nvidia SLI graphics configurations;
- A hard bridge for three-way Nvidia SLI graphics configurations;
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and /Bluetooth module;
- Additional thermal diode;
- I/O Shield for the back panel;
- Configuration Label – a sticker with the connector layout for the inside of the system case;
- A card with descriptions of POST-codes abbreviations;
- Colorful poster with brief assembly instructions;
- A mouse pad;
- DVD disk with software and drivers.