Intel X58 Roundup: Six $300+ Platforms Compared

X58 3X SLI BIOS, Software, And Accessories

EVGA opened up a wider range of values for several of its BIOS settings, particularly in the area of memory ratios. Yet, the processors it supports are still limited to base clocks of around 215 MHz and memory data rates of around 2,100 MHz, so excessive settings are of little use.

BIOS Frequency and Voltage Settings
CPU Reference Clock

133 to 500 MHz (1 MHz)

Clock Multiplier Adjustment

Yes

DRAM Ratios

DDR3-800 to DDR3-4000 (266 MHz)

PCIe Clock

100 to 140 MHz (1 MHz)

CPU Vcore

1.00 to 2.30 volts (0.00625 volts),

CPU VTT (Uncore) Voltage

Stock to +0.775 volts (0.025 volts)

IOH (Northbridge) Vcore

1.10 to 1.875 volts (0.025 volts)

IOH (Southbridge) Vcore

1.05 to 1.825 volts (0.025 volts)

DRAM Voltage

0.70 to 3.075 volts (0.025 volts)

CAS Latency Range

tCAS: 1-18; tRCD: 1-15; tRP: 1-15; tRAS: 1-31


EVGA's BIOS provides access to all the important voltage levels and clock speed controls, but without any reference to clock skew or VREF.

EVGA also provides eight different registers for storing BIOS values, allowing builders to experiment excessively without losing previous configurations.

Based on the familiar CPU-Z interface, EVGA E-LEET Tuning Utility adds controls for on-the-fly adjustment of base clock, PCIe clock, CPU multiplier, and voltage levels. We found the program to be completely adequate for fine tuning, but a return to BIOS for memory adjustment is still required for any large increases in CPU base clock.

Accessories

Accessories
Documentation and Software

Motherboard Manual

Quick Installation guide

Motherboard Driver DVD

Hardware

1 x I/O Panel Shield

1 x 80-conductor Ultra-ATA Cable (Round)

3 x 4-pin to 2-drive SATA Power Adapter

6 x SATA Cable

1 x Nvidia SLI Bridge

1 x 3-way SLI Bridge

1 x Serial Port Breakout Adapter

1 x IEEE-1394 Port Breakout Adapter

1 x 4-port USB 2.0 Breakout Adapter


EVGA is deeply entrenched in the SLI camp. The lack of any CrossFire bridges isn’t surprising, but inclusion of a legacy nine-pin serial port breakout plate is. EVGA spaces its PCIe 2.0 slots in a 1-3-2 order to allow extra airflow when two extra-hot graphics units, such as a pair of its dual-card GTX 295s, are installed.

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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!
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  • 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.
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  • Anonymous
    Nice
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  • 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