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X58 In 2010: Four LGA 1366 Boards With USB 3.0 And SATA 6Gb/s


Here’s a quick comparison chart of the available BIOS settings each motherboard provides to assist overclocking and related performance optimizations.

BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)
ASRock X58 Extreme3Asus P6X58D-EGigabyte X58A-UD3RGigabyte X58A-UD7
CPU Base Clock100-300 MHz (1 MHz)100-500 MHz (1 MHz)100-600 MHz (1MHz)100-600 MHz (1MHz)
CPU MultiplierYesYesYesYes
DRAM Data RatesBCLK x6-x16 (x2)BCLK x6-x18 (x2)BCLK x6-x18 (x2)BCLK x6-x18 (x2)
PCIe Clock50-150 MHz (1 MHz)100-200 MHz (1MHz)90-150 MHz (1MHz)90-150 MHz (1MHz)
CPU Vcore0.84-2.00V (6.25mV)0.85-2.10V (6.25mV)0.50-1.90V (6.25mV)0.50-1.90V (6.25mV)
Uncore Voltage1.20-1.90 (70mV)1.20-1.90V (6.25mV)1.075-2.015V (20mV)1.075-2.015V (20mV)
IOH Voltage1.11-1.49V (6.25mV)1.10-1.70V (20mV)1.00-2.00V (20mV)1.10-2.00V (20mV)
ICH Voltage1.16-1.56V (20mV)1.10-1.40V (100mV)0.92-2.38V (20mV)0.92-2.38V (20mV)
DRAM Voltage0.96-2.00V (15mV)1.20-2.46V (20mV)1.30-2.60V (20mV)1.30-2.60V (20mV)
CAS Latency6-11 Cycles3-11 Cycles5-15 Cycles5-15 Cycles
tRCD3-15 Cycles3-15 Cycles1-15 Cycles1-15 Cycles
tRP3-15 Cycles3-15 Cycles1-15 Cycles1-15 Cycles
tRAS9-31 Cycles3-31 Cycles1-31 Cycles1-31 Cycles

Though some boards have broader adjustments than others, we normally reach the limits of our hardware at BIOS settings far below the maximum. Part of that is due to a very early C0 stepping CPU core that we’ve used consistently to provide comparable overclocking data for all of our X58 motherboard roundups.

The motherboards with 16-phase and 24-phase CPU power regulators push our old CPU beyond 4.1 GHz, while those with eight-phase units settle under that mark.

Asus takes the lead in maximum base clock by a mere 1 MHz. Both $200 motherboards reach the same speed, but ASRock takes the lead alphabetically.

Asus also takes the lead in memory speed. Greater numbers might have been achieved using Gulftown’s improved memory controller.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.