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Intel X58 Roundup: Six $300+ Platforms Compared

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February 24, 2009 6:32:11 AM

Some times it really hard to stay objective, but you did it, grate article.
I would consider few other aspects as well, like service and RMA statistics.
In some countries you wont have official representation of a vendor, and in case of RMA you can end up with different MB model, usually not for the best.
From my experience i recommend for most of you to get more common boards.
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February 24, 2009 8:50:28 AM

"Intel X58 Roundup: Six $300+ Platforms Compared " this title will lead
some less informed readers that they can get the cpu memory and MB for 300.00.
It should read "Intel X58 Roundup: Six $300+ Motherboards Compared"
the title is misleading
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February 24, 2009 9:45:18 AM

I can't afford an i7 system, but when I see beautiful motherboards like that dfi and the foxconn board, I wish I could! That foxconn board almost makes me feel like looking at a beautifully built soltek board with uniform colors and good looks. Looks ain't everything, but looks do matter. I love my gigabyte board because it works great, but I would love it even more if it came 'styled' like the dfi green or the foxconn red board ....
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Anonymous
February 24, 2009 10:08:33 AM

When you review the less-expensive X58 boards, I'd appreciate it if you would evaluate them in terms of which is the likely to be the most stable, most reliable, and most problem-free non-overclocked board. Thanks.
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February 24, 2009 11:15:36 AM

Lol nice article, lol i love the soldering job on the port-80 diagnostics digits for the DFI lan party board.
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February 24, 2009 12:16:40 PM

It seems odd to have skipped mentioning the Gigabyte EX58's driver-less RAID capability. I was able to get Windows XP to boot off of a mirrored RAID without needing the floppy and the initial setup went very quickly. One unfortunate aspect of this mobo, however is that it cannot output digital audio and analog audio at the same time. So no switching between surround sound and headphones without changing settings in the audio control software.
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February 24, 2009 12:23:07 PM

Though the core i7 is a crazy fast processor, it doesn't offer ECC support. That is why I just bought an amd phenom II 940. Perhaps 'gamers' don't care about ECC but only how many graphics cards they can stuff in the mb. On the other hand, IBM estimated 1 error per gig per week. So at 4gb, that is less than 2 days between errors. Perhaps that isn't noticeable with microsoft operation systems, but I keep my machines up for weeks or months at a time...

My cheap asus mb not only supports ECC, but ECC scrubbing, chipkill, and more. Who cares how fast a computer is, when it crashes often?
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February 24, 2009 12:23:57 PM

Though the core i7 is a crazy fast processor, it doesn't offer ECC support. That is why I just bought an amd phenom II 940. Perhaps 'gamers' don't care about ECC but only how many graphics cards they can stuff in the mb. On the other hand, IBM estimated 1 error per gig per week. So at 4gb, that is less than 2 days between errors. Perhaps that isn't noticeable with microsoft operation systems, but I keep my machines up for weeks or months at a time...

My cheap asus mb not only supports ECC, but ECC scrubbing, chipkill, and more. Who cares how fast a computer is, when it crashes often?
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February 24, 2009 1:17:42 PM

wdmso"Intel X58 Roundup: Six $300+ Platforms Compared " this title will lead some less informed readers that they can get the cpu memory and MB for 300.00.It should read "Intel X58 Roundup: Six $300+ Motherboards Compared"the title is misleading


You're right: I belive the word "Platform" was substituted by another editor to make the title shorter, so it would fit better in the headline bar. I might have chosen "Mobos" myself when encountered with such an issue, but they don't like using slang in titles.

temporary87654When you review the less-expensive X58 boards, I'd appreciate it if you would evaluate them in terms of which is the likely to be the most stable, most reliable, and most problem-free non-overclocked board. Thanks.


Good suggestions, but the problem is that all these boards were stable and built for reliability when overclocked. Using lower speeds increases stability and reliability, and you just cannot exceed "100% Stability". All the boards also used high-quality electrical components, which means a reliability test would require years to reveal any differences.

inversedIt seems odd to have skipped mentioning the Gigabyte EX58's driver-less RAID capability. I was able to get Windows XP to boot off of a mirrored RAID without needing the floppy and the initial setup went very quickly. One unfortunate aspect of this mobo, however is that it cannot output digital audio and analog audio at the same time. So no switching between surround sound and headphones without changing settings in the audio control software.


We'll have to see what we can do about getting the author some digital speakers or a digital receiver headset to test for such issues in the future. That particular issue hadn't come up prior to testing.
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February 24, 2009 1:24:45 PM

What about the Gigabyte UD5? I guess it doesn't fall in the 300+ category at $288 from Newegg, but stil...

It has all the benefits of the EX-58-Extreme minus the gigantic NB cooler, but also allows use of an x8 RAID card in the open ended slot (I have one installed) and if you get straight risers/wearout protectors you can install a x1 sound card in the top slot! The best of all worlds!!!

The only small complaint I have is that sometimes I have to try to boot twice since the AHCI bios doesn't always want to load after post.
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February 24, 2009 1:24:56 PM

I got as far as reading that XP was an outdated operating system before I decided I didn't want to hear what this guy has to say.
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February 24, 2009 1:28:32 PM

ram1009I got as far as reading that XP was an outdated operating system before I decided I didn't want to hear what this guy has to say.


LOL, it's a bit of SARCASM the represents what the MANUFACTURERS think of the market. If it weren't sarcasm, floppy connector placement wouldn't have been examined on every...single...board...repetitiously.
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February 24, 2009 3:33:42 PM

nice roundup

if only i wasnt broke lol
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February 24, 2009 4:02:31 PM

jeffunitThough the core i7 is a crazy fast processor, it doesn't offer ECC support. That is why I just bought an amd phenom II 940. Perhaps 'gamers' don't care about ECC but only how many graphics cards they can stuff in the mb. On the other hand, IBM estimated 1 error per gig per week. So at 4gb, that is less than 2 days between errors. Perhaps that isn't noticeable with microsoft operation systems, but I keep my machines up for weeks or months at a time... My cheap asus mb not only supports ECC, but ECC scrubbing, chipkill, and more. Who cares how fast a computer is, when it crashes often?


I dunno about most people, but I have kept my Intel Based non ECC computer running for over a month with no problems. The reason I reboot my computer though has nothing to do with errors from random photons and deepspace radiation, it is because there are still companies who do not code very well and have memory leaks. Either way, I still do not have to reboot all that often, and the only time I crash and burn is when I overclock too high and the house temperature goes up enough to set off a system crash. Not exactly things I can complain about, and certainly not something that is due to the lack of ECC ram.

I am probably going to wait until Intel comes out with it's 6 or 8 core products though before I splurge for my next computer upgrade. My Q6600 is doing just fine at 3GHz at crunching the numbers for the games I am playing today, and likely for the rest of this year. Next year though, I might be in line for a nice upgrade.

As for outdated XP, that is what my computer runs on today, I cannot stand Vista, and Windows 7 did not find any greater love from me either. Intel may win my money, but so far Microsoft keeps punting the ball when it comes to making something that is actually an upgrade from XP. We old men change hard!!!!
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February 24, 2009 5:41:36 PM

ram1009I got as far as reading that XP was an outdated operating system before I decided I didn't want to hear what this guy has to say.


But it is. :) 

Anyways, good article. This was exactly what I was looking for, as I'm about to build an i7 system.
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February 24, 2009 6:25:31 PM

So you're saying none of the earlier driver problems are still present that have been mentioned in numereos consumer reviews, or other sites? If so great news, because it's why I've been holding off my purchase.
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February 24, 2009 7:52:57 PM

AvikingSo you're saying none of the earlier driver problems are still present that have been mentioned in numereos consumer reviews, or other sites? If so great news, because it's why I've been holding off my purchase.


No driver issues with the software that was tested.
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February 24, 2009 7:56:40 PM

Great that puts my mind at ease, Thanks for the nice article.
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February 24, 2009 8:21:47 PM

CrashmanLOL, it's a bit of SARCASM the represents what the MANUFACTURERS think of the market. If it weren't sarcasm, floppy connector placement wouldn't have been examined on every...single...board...repetitiously.

Only reason I have a on floppy in all my machine I needed install XP on.
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February 24, 2009 10:08:20 PM

Great article. Thanks!
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February 24, 2009 10:37:09 PM

XP has been dead for over two years now. Vista is more stable, faster and runs everything thrown at it. Windows 7 will be even better. The people having problems with Vista either just don't know what they're doing or they are the type who resist change and only want to sit back and complain (must be democrates)!
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February 25, 2009 4:46:10 AM

Aww The Ultimate X58 board at the moment is the P6T WS (mmmmm 6 connections of PCIE goodness and Additional raid controller) Why wasn't it included?
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February 25, 2009 4:49:52 AM

random1283Aww The Ultimate X58 board at the moment is the P6T WS (mmmmm 6 connections of PCIE goodness and Additional raid controller) Why wasn't it included?


Asus didn't send it.
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February 25, 2009 4:55:39 AM

CrashmanAsus didn't send it.

So you just ask manufacturers to send you motherboards? And they send them for free? I have got to make a tech site....
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February 25, 2009 5:34:06 AM

Man, I was stoked to see you guys include Foxconn's Bloodrage; and crushed to see it beaten by uglier boards. If this comparison were for casting in a crappy Hollywood movie, Bloodrage wouldn't even have to read her lines. She's that hawt.

I'm too lazy to reread and look at what CPU was used, but unless it was the 965EE the Bloodrage's RAM couldn't be properly overclocked. Yeah, I'm just throwin' that out there because I have a crush on her, sue me.
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February 25, 2009 7:18:56 PM

I like my Biostar board. Wish it was included. Running Vista64 and it's rock solid!
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February 25, 2009 7:39:39 PM

jeffunitThough the core i7 is a crazy fast processor, it doesn't offer ECC support. That is why I just bought an amd phenom II 940. Perhaps 'gamers' don't care about ECC but only how many graphics cards they can stuff in the mb. On the other hand, IBM estimated 1 error per gig per week. So at 4gb, that is less than 2 days between errors. Perhaps that isn't noticeable with microsoft operation systems, but I keep my machines up for weeks or months at a time... My cheap asus mb not only supports ECC, but ECC scrubbing, chipkill, and more. Who cares how fast a computer is, when it crashes often?

ECC only helps with server type and mission critical applications. Many people here run Linux/Windows 24/7 for months. I have yet to have run in to problems with running normal RAM.
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February 26, 2009 1:59:08 AM

jeffunitThough the core i7 is a crazy fast processor, it doesn't offer ECC support. That is why I just bought an amd phenom II 940. Perhaps 'gamers' don't care about ECC but only how many graphics cards they can stuff in the mb. On the other hand, IBM estimated 1 error per gig per week. So at 4gb, that is less than 2 days between errors. Perhaps that isn't noticeable with microsoft operation systems, but I keep my machines up for weeks or months at a time... My cheap asus mb not only supports ECC, but ECC scrubbing, chipkill, and more. Who cares how fast a computer is, when it crashes often?


Maybe it's time you tried a modern system with non-ECC memory. ECC is more important for a server, but not necessary for any home or small office system. All our systems (including our 2003 SBS system) stay up for weeks at a time without errors on 4GB of non-ECC memory. We haven't had a system crash in years with non-ECC memory. And for what it's worth, we're not gamers.

I liked the article very much. I'm still partial to Gigabyte for their support, quality, options, and the fact that we haven't had any problems in a couple years now. And for my $, they're still the sexiest looking boards on the planet.

I guess I don't see the point in overclocking the memory further if it's going to be limited to what the CPU can do anyway, which all of these boards would be?! Sorry DFI, I'm still not impressed. :) 
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February 26, 2009 4:23:17 AM

dark41Sorry DFI, I'm still not impressed.


You prefer EVGA? Because that's the only direct competition to the DFI board, the others aren't properly designed for 3-way SLI.
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February 26, 2009 10:11:37 AM

i owned 2 blackops 1 dead after defrag 2 worked for 7 months dead sent to foxconn bent pins socket looked fine to me and 360.00 dollars in the hole stick with top brands asus giga and dfi
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February 28, 2009 4:38:21 PM

I'm running my two month old i-7 D-920 on the MSI Eclipse M.B; 12 gb G-Skill DDR3 1333 RAM, 2x MSI oc'd GTX 280s, with a couple of WD Caviar Green 1TB HD's in Raid 0, It's rock solid! on Vista Ultimate 64/sp1. I have not as yet over clocked the system since there were no socket 1336 cpu air coolers. What is the best performing air CPU cooler (don't want liquid), for overclocking to say: 3.5 ghz?
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Anonymous
March 10, 2009 3:40:34 AM

Which board would you guys suggest, I want a 4870 X2 and a 4870 in CF X, but I'd like to maybe upgrade to a X2 in the future. Also would want to add a X-Fi Titanium sound card and raid card.

Foxconn is nice but only 3 dimms
Eclipse looks like the best layout but it feels a bit lacking on some onboard components.
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March 18, 2009 8:29:06 PM

Nice article guys. I think for these reviews it would be nice to see some sort of feature comparison side-by-side page. There is a lot of information when it comes to selecting the right board and with out all of the facts lined up its hard to make a conclusion. I guess I'll have to find the motherboards on newegg and use their feature comparison charts. Plenty of love to you guys, no dis intended, just want to see how the boards stack up side-by-side.
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April 16, 2009 11:00:00 AM

hi to all, just got this msi mb its good fast but i just found out that going to the devide manager, sata ide n sata controllers,and checking all my hdd advance settings, i found out that all my drive are on DMA 5 (NOT DMA 6) im experienceing some kinda delay on opening aplications etc... sometimes double clicking on anything makes you wait, has anyone seen the DMA this bord gives us.. it might be just mine..
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May 23, 2009 6:29:42 AM

I am on Rampage II Extreme and i7 920 oc'ed to 3.80.Works like a charm and never had any issue with it. I guess I was lucky to trust my "nose" when I bought it a couple of weeks ago, but I wish this kind of article had appeared at a time.It is definitely going to help people struggling with building their high-end systems.
Good job!
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May 23, 2009 8:14:25 AM

erafaelI am on Rampage II Extreme and i7 920 oc'ed to 3.80.Works like a charm and never had any issue with it. I guess I was lucky to trust my "nose" when I bought it a couple of weeks ago, but I wish this kind of article had appeared at a time.It is definitely going to help people struggling with building their high-end systems.Good job!


Are you suggesting republishing an article a couple months after its debut?
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!