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

Test Settings

Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-920 LGA 1366, 2.66 GHz, 8MB L3 Cache
RAMKingston KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX (6GB) DDR3-2000 at DDR3-1333 CAS 7-7-7-20
GraphicsSapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB, 725MHz GPU, GDDR5-4000
Hard DriveWestern Digital Velociraptor WD3000HLFS, 300GB
10,000 RPM, SATA 3Gb/s, 16MB cache
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerCorsair CMPSU-850HX 850W Modular
ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 10.3
ChipsetIntel INF

Two sets of Kingston’s DDR3-2000 modules allow us to check the memory overclocking capabilities of all motherboards, though a lower speed was used for assessing benchmark performance.

Sapphire’s Radeon HD 5850 crunches graphics data fast enough to expose any PCIe performance issues.

Rosewill surprised us several months ago with an air cooler that could deal with the heat of a Core i7-920 overclocked to its limit at 1.45V, so we’ve continued to use it.

Zalman supplied enough of its high-performance thermal grease to allow continuous testing for more than a year.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Very High Quality, 4x AA
Dirt 2 DemoIn-game benchmark
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 4x AA
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call Of PripyatCall Of Pripyat Benchmark version
Test Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, 4x MSAA
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion: x64
Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min
Default format AAC
Handbrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob file from The Last Samurai (1.0 GB) to .mp4, High Profile
TMPEGEnc 4.0 XPressVersion:
Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes)
Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX Codec 6.9.1Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 kbp/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Adobe Photoshop CS4Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image
Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 11.0 x64, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 9.0Version: 9.0.663, Virus base: 270.14.1/2407, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra, Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8
Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2010Version 2010.1.16.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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  • Tindytim
    First Intel punishes me by not releasing a proper 32nm 920 replacement for the 1366, and then Tom's publishes this article only days after I purchase components for yet another 1366 build.

    I must be a BYOPC masochist.
  • Stardude82
    Nice to see that mobo makers aren't charging too much of a premium for USB 3.0 and SATA-6. On the other hand, what an embarrassing for ASRock just as I thought they were getting out the shadow of ASUS.

    I would have liked to see those new ports put to use on these boards...
  • omoronovo
    I very recently decided to take the plunge in an i7-based build, and I chose the UD3R for it. I couldn't be happier - this little monster pushes my i7 to 4ghz stable on stock vcore.

    One thing I haven't seen anywhere though, but would like to, is the overclocking variance added through differing ram capacities. Even though I reached 4ghz on stock vcore, I had to push my QPI to 1.35 to keep the system stable with 6 modules installed. With 4 modules, this was reduced to 1.28, and with 3 it was around 1.24 and with only 2 I could run the QPI volts at 1.2.

    Perhaps an idea for an in-depth article at some point in the future Toms?
  • liquidsnake718
    Thank you TS. I think you may have built and benched my new computer. I see you still chose the 920 over the 930. Even before reading this article, I had my eyes on the UD3R because of the price and the decent features, save the sound card. However because of this article, I am going to reserve this mb and start building a newbie!

    The next step would be to see how these boards stack up using 6 cores and letting people know what power with 6 cores means using a 1 & a half year old motherboard. Although knowing that 6 cores, USB3.0 and SATA 6.0gb are a long way from being standard, it is by no means premature to have this board as one knows that they will be paying and buying for the long haul! The smartest ones do, and seeing as you guys chose the best parts for the price in terms of quality/performance, the UD3 is a perfect fit for a 5850 or maybe 2!

    You should send this article to someone at Intel and maybe they will want to soon follow the way of USB3.0 for their vanilla board! I guess these builds are the new standard for high end or borderline excellent.
  • anders_w
    An error/typo in the table page 2?
    The table claims Asus P6X58D-E have Chipset S-ata 6 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s
    Should probably be 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s...
  • Crashman
    anders_wAn error/typo in the table page 2?http://www.tomshardware.com/review [...] 614-2.htmlThe table claims Asus P6X58D-E have Chipset S-ata 6 x SATA 6.0 Gb/sShould probably be 6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s...

  • C 64
    At first quick look at the picture I almost fell from my chair... a quad processor MB, but then I realized Tom had problems squeezing the MBs in the pic.
  • wa1
  • Crashman
    zipzoomflyhighAnother X58 reviews. Just what we all wanted. NOT.

    Yeh, X58 is obviously exceeds your needs but there hasn't been much news on the Via Apollo Pro front.
  • abhishekk89
    i'd been planning on a p55 chipset + i5 750... now i'm thinking of i7 930 + gigabyte ud3r
  • vvhocare5
    why oh why would anyone buy Asrock???
  • neiroatopelcc
    vvhocare5why oh why would anyone buy Asrock???

    same reason people buy asus .... ignorance
  • ta152h
    vvhocare5why oh why would anyone buy Asrock???

    Obviously, this board doesn't have intended performance. So, as is, probably very few would, but, once fixed, it's got a very good chance of being successful. Price is a very important consideration, and when you have USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s to go with it, it's got all the "headline" stuff at a low price.

    Keep in mind that motherboards are also sold to OEMs, who can make more of these features on their specific models.

    Put another way, assuming they will fix this motherboard (which is a very safe assumption, I think), would you rather have someone waste money on brain-damaged P55 motherboard, or spend the $200 on an x58 and still get USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s ? If you only need a basic machine, the 32nm LGA1156 processors are fine, but for a serious machine, x58 does have a lot of advantages and far fewer compromises.
  • Sihastru
    AsRock is one of the manufacturers that is best to be avoided, anyway, the article is interesting at least in comparing the UD3R with the UD7, and while there is a price difference, there isn't really any performance difference. UD3R should also allow for OK overclocks, even if not quite on par with UD7... The small lead the Asus board has is because of it's almost 1MHz bus speed advantage.
  • gwolfman
    Why didn't you test USB3.0 performance? USB3.0 can be (and probably is) implemented differently on each of the boards.
  • Anonymous
    Any specific reason the ASUS rampage III extreme wasnt included in this article?
  • zyzeast
    I bought the UD3R when it first came out after doing a ton of research between it and an Asus board. I've had absolutely no regret since buying it. The board is packed with features and all the things it's missing from its bigger brother are features I don't need anyway. Glad to know that I made the right choice.
  • Anonymous
    hahaha a friend of mine who i helped build his pc got the asus mobo for $180 a week ago cuz of coupon code and discount... so gigabyte can su** it lol
  • Talon
    I think the Asrock may be the one to get reading other reviews. I have read no less than 3 other Asrock Extreme 3 reviews prior to this one and none of the other sites saw any noticable difference in performance like is seen here. Is it possible there is a more recent BIOS than was used in this review?

    Anyway, every other site has raved about the Asrock board especially factoring in cost with no mention at all of any performance hit. It's possible it is just the sample Tom's received?

    Anyway, now that I see this I will hold off on purchasing and give it a few more days to see if anything comes of this issue followup.However I tend to think something was amiss with this one instance of motherboard since everything else I've read has been "glowing".
  • steiner666
    i'm liking that Asus one, think i'll get that.