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. VR-Zone reports that the heatpipe that connects the lower heatsinks on the DX79SI has been replaced by simple metal connects, as well.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?