Intel X58 Roundup: Six $300+ Platforms Compared

EX58-Extreme BIOS, Software, And Accessories

A reference clock ceiling of 1,200 MHz is about as useful as a 200 mph speedometer on a bicycle, but remaining control limits are far more realistic.

BIOS Frequency and Voltage Settings
CPU Reference Clock

100 to 1,200 MHz (1 MHz)

Clock Multiplier Adjustment

Yes

DRAM Ratios

DDR3-800 to DDR3-2400

PCIe Clock

90 to 150 MHz (1 MHz)

CPU Vcore

0.500 to 1.900 volts (0.00625 volts)

QPI/VTT (Uncore) Voltage

1.075 to 2.015 volts (0.020 volts)

IOH (Northbridge) Vcore

1.00 to 2.00 volts (0.020 volts)

ICH (Southbridge) Vcore

0.92 to 2.38 volts (0.020 volts)

DRAM Voltage

1.30 to 2.60 volts (0.020 volts)

CAS Latency Range

tCAS:6-15; tRCD: 1-15; tRP: 1-15; tRAS: 1-63


We hope to eventually see a Core i7 processor that can support the DDR3-2400 setting, since we’ve already tested memory that can exceed the roughly 2,100 MHz that most Nehalem-based memory controllers can endure.

Gigabyte’s latest attempt to cater to every overclocker’s needs includes redundant settings under advanced menus, which can make navigation somewhat cumbersome. With a little patience, advanced users should find everything they need to get the most out of this motherboard.

Gigabyte’s Dynamic Energy Saver application appeared to use at least as much power as it saved when all CPU-integrated power-saving features were enabled.

Accessories

Accessories
Documentation and Software

Motherboard Manual

Quick Installation Guide

Motherboard Driver DVD

Hardware

2 x Case Badge (Gigabyte, Dolby)

1 x 3-way SLI Bridge

1 x SLI Bridge

1 x 80-Conductor Ultra-ATA Cable

1 x Floppy Cable

4 x SATA Cable

1 x SATA to eSATA Breakout Plate

1 x SATA Power Adapter (2 drives)

2 x eSATA to SATA Adapter Cables

1 x I/O Panel Shield


The EX58-Extreme accessory kit is adequate for most installations, but slightly disappointing given the product's ultra-high-end market. We’d have at least liked to see two more SATA cables and a CrossFire bridge, but at least Gigabyte included a floppy cable for Windows XP users who would like to load their operating system on a RAID array or AHCI-enabled drive.

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  • avatar_raq
    Nice review..For so long we waited for such comparison.
    1
  • FelixM
    Please: add FSX to the test!
    1
  • avatar_raq
    1. Why adding crossfire bridges when each and every ATI graphics card is shipped with one? When did mobos come with them anyway?
    2. Are the slots of DFI mobo made of UV reactive material? They look so to me
    3. One might think wider bios OC options take into consideration future CPUs but new CPUs usually require bios update, and then the manufacturer may improve the new bios. That said each mobo reviewed here has enough OC potential in its BIOS, question is: which one will endure extreme OC 24/7 for a long period? This is the one thing that can only tested retrospectively. Personally I had 2 cheap ASUS mobos (P35)and they both overclocked well and worked flawlessly.
    4. I see ASUS and Gigabyte mobos take the lead in most of the tests. ASUS has the lead in most games and better customer service in my country and GB having a water block for the NB.
    1
  • avatar_raq
    It would have been nice to mention the net prices of these motherboards to compare their value.
    Quick search on newegg gave the following (not counting the MIRs):
    ASUS ~400 USD (ooph!!)
    GB ~330
    DFI not found !
    EVGA ~270
    Foxconn not found !
    MSI ~350
    After putting everything into consideration I would go for the Gigabyte model if I have net shopping. Nevertheless from a value point of veiw the EVGA one wins since it's the cheapest of the "4" models whose price is found at newegg and the performance defecit is so small. This card do not even fit into the title of the article, it's not $300+ at the time being (perhaps it was so when they started preparing for this article).
    0
  • avatar_raq
    Update:
    DFI ~300 USD
    XFX ~290 USD (not included in the article)
    Foxconn: Still I can't find the blood rage on newegg.
    0
  • mi1ez
    Why are these companies giving the option of taking the PCIe freq to 200MHz?!
    0
  • LePhuronn
    Asus Rampage II Extreme: £321.99
    DFI Lan Party UT X58-T3EH8: £293.24
    EVGA X58 3X SLI: £241.49 (I think)
    Foxconn Bloodrage: £280.59
    Gigabyte EX58 Extreme: £264.49

    Prices from overclockers.co.uk

    Incidentally, isn't the Gigabyte EX58 Extreme the only board here that can handle 24GB of RAM? All other boards are capped at 12GB aren't they?

    Also, I'd suggest to Tom's to review this subject again - they've already mentioned mainstream board reviews, but personally I'd like to see the Asus P6T6 WS Revolution reviewed - always had good experiences with the Asus workstation boards so I'm very interested in this new one.
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  • Anonymous
    I think a determening factor could be less in the boards overclockability, and perhaps more in it's functions and price.

    Like, if I'm going to install WinXP or a 32 bit version of vista, having 3 ramslots is more then sufficient (3GB).
    If I want a server, install a 64 bit os, 6 slots (12-24GB) is rather a must.
    I probably won't use a server to play games, though some people might.

    Also pricepoint is a good factor to determine which board could be a snatch.

    Quality of capacitors and boardmaterial, as well as longetivity of hardware play a role in making one board win over another.

    There's no winner when a certain board manufacturer has increased performance for lower power, but when their boards die within their first year of use due to the use of bad components!
    0
  • zebzz
    I think unless your a gaming freak with lots of money or as ProDigit80 has stated that you want to use them for servers, then the current socket 775 and AM2 processors / and DDR2 memory are cheaper and provide the performance about 99.5% people need. Again its all down to specialised needs.
    0
  • Anonymous
    Nice
    0
  • swharth
    It's a pretty cool board. The only complaint I had was that the slots for the Dual GTX280 cards were to close together. Not a lot of room for air circulation. I had to replace mine, and now using a DX58SO. Also a nice board, but missing the "WOW" factor.
    0