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DFI LANParty UT X58-T3eH8

Intel X58 Roundup: Six $300+ Platforms Compared
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Features and Layout

DFI caters to habitual system tuners in its LANParty UT series, applying this concept to the “elite overclocking” market with oversized sinks and heavy-duty electrical controls. The X58-T3eH8 continues this tradition with a removable heat-pipe extension that fits through the port panel to mount its sink externally.

But putting too much of our emphasis on the X58-T3eH8’s unusual cooling arrangement would cause us to overlook some of the motherboard’s more important features, such as its eight-phase full-digital CPU voltage regulator and perfect PCIe 2.0 slot configuration. This LANParty UT can hold three double-slot graphics cards in 3-way SLI or CrossFireX configurations without requiring additional clearance beneath the board, thanks to a two-space separation between each x16 slot and another two spaces between the lower graphics slot and the motherboard’s bottom edge.

Connector placement is similarly pleasing with an eight-pin EPS12V header at the top rear corner, an EPS/ATX main power header near the top of the front edge, and an Ultra ATA connector along the front edge above the motherboard’s center line for easy cable reach to upper drive bays. The only real annoyance is that the floppy header is at the bottom, but floppy drives are only needed for adding AHCI or RAID drivers when installing Windows XP. A well-positioned Ultra ATA header is meaningless in a system that has no associated drives, and far more people use Windows XP than Ultra ATA in new builds.

Builders of ultra high-end systems will probably be disappointed that the use of three double-thickness graphics cards precludes the use of any add-in audio solutions, since the uppermost slot position is empty. However, the empty slot position does provide a handy place to stick DFI’s Bernstein Audio Module.

Eight SATA 3.0 Gb/s headers tuck nicely under the forward edges of extra-long graphics cards, but the forward-facing orientation does require extra space between the motherboard’s leading edge and any nearby drive cages. This has long been a problem for high-end system builders, so most mid-sized and larger cases are now designed with the required clearance.

Power and reset buttons along the X58-T3eH8’s bottom edge are easily reached during bench testing, but become useless in a fully-assembled system. Next to these, a Port-80 diagnostics display allows easy diagnosis of boot problems that may have been caused by overclocking.

DFI LANPartyUT X58-T3eH8 (Revision A)
Northbridge

Intel X58 Express

Southbridge

Intel ICH10R

Voltage Regulation

Eight-Phase Full-Digital

BIOS

LX58D114 (01/14/2009)

133.3 MHz Base Clock

133.1 (-0.18%)

Clock Generator

ICS 9LPRS918JKLF

Connectors and Interfaces

Onboard

3x PCIe 2.0 x16 (Two with Shared Pathways)

1x PCIe x4

2x PCI

3x USB 2.0 (2 ports per connector).

1x IEEE-1394 FireWire

1x Serial Communications Port

1x Floppy

1x Ultra ATA (2 drives)

8x SATA 3.0 Gb/s

1x Fan 4-pin (CPU)

5x Fan 3-pins (Chassis, Power)

1x Power Switch

1x Reset Switch

1x Bernstein Audio module connector

I/O Panel

2x PS2 (keyboard and mouse)

1x IEEE-1394 FireWire

6x USB 2.0

2x RJ45 Ethernet

Mass Storage Controllers

Intel ICH10R

6x SATA 3.0 Gb/s (RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)

JMicron JMB363 PCIe

1x Ultra ATA-133 (2-drives)

2x SATA 3.0 Gb/s

Network

Marvell 88E8052 PCIe

Gigabit LAN Interface w/Teaming

Marvell 88E8053 PCIe

Gigabit LAN Interface w/Teaming

Audio

Bernstein-R889 Riser (Realtek ALC889 HD Codec)

Eight-Channel (7.1 Surround) Output

IEEE 1394 FireWire
VIA VT6308P PCI

2x FireWire 400 (1x Internal, 1x I/O Panel)


Two Marvell PCIe network chips add teaming support for Gigabit Ethernet speeds of up to 2 Gb/s bi-directionally, while the same PCIe technology limits the classic JMB363 controller to a combined 250 MB/s bandwidth for its two SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports and an Ultra-ATA 133 interface.

The Bernstein-R889 audio module moves the Realtek ALC889 HD audio codec offboard for reduced noise on analog connections.

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