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Power, Heat, And Overclocking

X58 Roundup: Seven $200-300 Core i7 Boards
The board with the highest CPU reference clock at “stock” speed, MSI’s X58 Platinum SLI amazingly finished first in power savings. The second-highest base-clock Asus P6T finished last.

Asus also had the highest VRM temperature under full load, which could help explain its higher power consumption. Second-place power-saver Foxconn Renaissance keeps its voltage regulator cool.

Biostar, DFI, and MSI tie for first in base clock overclocking, a fact that anyone with a multiplier-handicapped processor can appreciate. ASRock didn’t place, since two samples of its X58 SuperComputer suffered catastrophic failure in our overclocking tests.

Base-clock aside, the voltage regulator has a greater affect on the achievable speed of most processors. The EVGA X58 3X SLI comes out on top.

DFI takes the lead in memory overclocking with three modules, while EVGA does slightly better with six. The LANParty DK X58-T3eH6 was also able use the DDR3-2133 multiplier (memory clock 8x base clock), but the choices at that multiplier were DDR3-2144 (stable) or DDR3-2160 (unstable). We had to instead use the 7x multiplier at 154 MHz base clock to achieve this 2156 MHz data rate.

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