Want to make the jump to LGA2011 and Sandy Bridge-E but don’t quite need all the bells and whistles of the DX79SI? Intel might just have the alternative motherboard for you. The company’s new DX79TO mobo is basically a stripped-down version of its bigger DX79SI brother with fewer bells and whistles. The question is, are the enthusiast-type buyers who are already making the jump to Intel’s latest and greatest chips willing to dump features for a modest price discount?
The DX79TO sports most of the same specs as the more expensive version, but is missing a front USB 3.0 port, a PCI-E 3.0 x8 slot (replaced by an x1 slot), a pair of audio jacks (the DX70TO is six-channel instead of eight-channel), an S/PDIF port and an Ethernet connection.
that the heatpipe that connects the lower heatsinks on the DX79SI has been replaced by simple metal connects, as well.
It still comes decently stocked, though, with two 6 Gbps SATA ports, four 3 Gbps SATA ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, two back-side USB 3.0 ports (via NEC controller), CrossFireX and SLI support, quad channel/eight DIMM memory, two PCI-E x16 slots and more. Check out Intel’s product briefing for a full list of specs.
So, enthusiasts (since you’re reading Maximum PC, we assume you’re enthusiasts): does the DX79TO catch your eye, or would you rather spend the extra money and snag a DX79SI? Some quick Google Shopping browsing shows the TO selling for around $210 to $235 (even though Intel suggests a MSRP of $205-ish), while the SI is available for $260 at Newegg. Is the lower price worth the lost features?