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Wednesday, 12 August 2009 00:49

Twelve X58 Boards roundup - 12 Intel DX58SO

Written by Eliot Kucharik

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Review: Money doesn't buy performance



Features:
Intel iOH X58/iCH10Ri
6-phase analog VRM
ON Semiconductor ADP4000JCPZ 6-phase VRD11.1 controller

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Realtek ALC885
ti TSB43AB22A 1394a Firewire controller

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Intel 82567 PCIe Gb network

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Marvel 88SE6121 dual-port SATA controller
Winbond WPCD3761AUFG Super I/O controller
passive cooling of chipsets/VRM
16Mb BIOS, version 4196

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Slots:
2x PCIe 2.0 x16
1x PCIe x4
2x PCIe x1
1x PCI

Memory:
4x Triple-Channel DDR3-slots for PC3-8500U memory up to 8GB (only three work for triple channel)

Storage:
6-Port SATA II featuring RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5

Backpanel ports:
1x Gb LAN
1x Firewire
8x USB 2.0
2x eSATA
7.1 analog output
1x SP/DIF optical out

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Accessories:
Far Cry 2
unknown


The first thing you notice is that this board is designed in a rather unusal way. CPU, hub and memory are rotated 90° which gives it some advantages. Because Intel knows their controller is not that good at handling six modules, they stick with one triple-channel and one spare slot - which should have been removed, because it's useless. Due to the position of the hub the cooler is rather close to the hard drives where more air should reach the cooler. This little bugger in fact uses only PCIe lanes and connection to the CPU and nothing else, but it gets incredibly hot. Quality-wise it's a piece of junk. Also, the board is the only high-end board which does not feature an all-solid design, which is very disappointing.

The slot design is very intelligent. While it "only" features two PCIe x16 slots, the first slot is an open PCIe x4 slot with a retension to fit also x16 cards. The SATA-connectors shouild have been angled because a sata-cable on the backside of a hot graphics-card is not a good idea. Because this in an Intel board, it does also feature an Intel Gb-LAN chip instead of a cheap Realtek. 

Because we have already benched this board more than once, we would have liked to pass on this review, but Intel did release the new 4196 BIOS. The older 4106 BIOS was very good with i7 975 but weak with i7 920. Now Intel has fixed that, but for some reason they introduced a new bug. The CPUs do not downclock. Our screenshot show a bit lower VCore but the full multi. If you think CPUz is wrong, that may be the case, but our power consumption proved energy consumption increased about 15W.

The board clocks quite on spot.

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Here the i7 975 in "idle"

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Overclocking:

The new BIOS did not change the good OC response from the Intel board. i7 920 needed 98mV VCore increase to run stable with BCLK 173 - which is surprisingly not on spot. i7 975 with turbo of x29 needed no changes at all, very impressive.

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(Page 12 of 13)
Last modified on Thursday, 13 August 2009 13:02
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