Intel x58 motherboard review: GIGABYTE X58-USB3 (Intel X58 Express) Motherboard Review

Intel DX58SO X58 Express Chipset Motherboard Review

By jason •

Introduction To The DX58SO

Intel chipset-based motherboards have always been some of the most reliable boards on the market. Not only that, but Intel chipset-based motherboards that are produced by Intel have always been some of the most feature rich and durable boards on the market. Intel could easily sit back for a bit and rest on their laurels, but they don’t; they keep pushing ahead with constant innovation. That innovation has brought them to their newest chipset, the Intel X58 Express chipset, and the Intel DX58SO Motherboard.

The Intel DX58SO chipset, coupled with the ICh20R southbridge, brings the best and greatest that Intel has to offer to a quality designed motherboard that will bring the end user all the performance, speed and capabilities to make their computing experience all that it can be.

Let’s take a look at the specs…

Form factor ATX (12.00 inches by 9.60 inches [304.80 millimeters by 243.84 millimeters])
Processor Click
View supported processors for the most current list of compatible processors.At product launch, this desktop board supports:

  • Support for a
    Intel Core i7 processor in an LGA1366 socket
  • Four 240-pin DDR3 SDRAM Dual Inline Memory Module (DIMM) sockets
  • Support for DDR3 1600 MHz, DDR3 1333 MHz, DDR3 1066 MHz
  • Support for up to 16 GB of system memory
  • Intel X58 Express Chipset
Audio Intel High Definition Audio subsystem in the following configuration:

  • 10-channel (7.1) Dolby Home Theater* Audio subsystem with five analog audio outputs and two S/PDIF digital audio outputs (coaxial and optical) using the Realtek* ALC889 audio codec
  • Nvidia SLI* and ATI CrossFire* multi-GPU platform support enables two graphics cards to work together for ultimate 3D gaming performance and visual quality
  • Full support of next-generation ATI CrossFire* and Nvidia SLI*
LAN support Gigabit (10/100/1000 Mbits/sec) LAN subsystem
Peripheral interfaces
  • Twelve
    USB 2. 0 ports (8 external ports, 2 internal headers)
  • Six
    Serial ATA 3.0 GB/s ports, including 2 eSATA port with RAID support supplied by a Marvell* controller
  • Two IEEE-1394a ports (1 external port, 1 internal header)
  • Consumer IR receiver and emitter (via internal headers)
Expansion capabilities
  • One PCI Conventional* bus add-in card connectors (SMBus routed to PCI Conventional bus add-in card connector)
  • One primary
    PCI Express* 2.0 x16 (electrical x16) bus add-in card connector
  • One secondary PCI Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x16) bus add-in card connector
  • One PCI Express* 1.0a x16 (electrical x4) bus add-in card connector

Intel also supports this board with a three year limited warranty.

Questions or comments?
View this thread in our forums!

MSI X58 Pro Review | Trusted Reviews


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £172. 00

A few weeks ago I referred to the MSI X58 Platinum as a budget X58 motherboard thanks to a price around the £225 mark. That makes it tricky to hang a tag on the MSI X58 Pro as it is priced a full £50 below the Platinum so we’re going to have to come up with a new rating system. Hmm, perhaps we need a supermarket theme with the high end MSI X58 Eclipse as Waitrose, the X58 Platinum is Tesco and this Pro model might be Lidl.

Grab your trolley and let’s go for a tour of the aisles.

The specification of the Pro includes the essentials however it’s not exactly generous with the ports and connectors. There are dual PCI Express 2.0 graphics slots that support CrossFireX with a third, long PCI Express slot that only has four lanes of bandwidth. We’ll come back to graphics support later as we have something interesting to report in the meantim. In addition there are two PCI Express x1 slots and two regular PCI slots so you should have no trouble adding any expansion card that you choose.

Things are a bit less rosy on the I/O panel as there are two legacy PS/2 ports, an optical audio TosLink connector, six USB 2.0 ports, one Firewire, one eSATA, Gigabit Ethernet and six audio mini jacks. The stacks of ports are widely spaced so there is nothing to stop you using any port that you choose. Our concern is that six USB ports seems inadequate and there are no USB brackets in the package however there are headers for six more USB ports on the board. If you have case mounted USB ports you’ll be fine but if not you may be struggling.

The layout of the X58 Pro is generally quite good with the main power connector located outboard of the six DDR3 memory slots and the eight pin EATX connector in the corner behind the PS/2 ports. The six SATA connectors and single ATA133 connector are laid down keeping them from interfering with long graphics cards and making it simple to hook up the cables to your storage drives. There is a single, solitary vertical SATA connector that stands just inboard of the ATA133 connector, where it may cause problems, but we think that six SATA ports will be sufficient for most people anyway.

At the foot of the board are three micro buttons for Power, Reset and Clear CMOS along with a block of dipswitches to control the hardware Base Clock setting feature.

There’s one area where MSI has let the side down and that is in the fan headers department. The CPU fan header is correctly located but the three case fan headers are in lousy positions. Two of the connectors sit just above the main graphics slot but they are too close to the slot and are blocked by a mid-range graphics card such as a GeForce 8800 or Radeon HD 3850. To add to the problems the third fan header is blocked by any graphics card that you choose to install in the second graphics slot. We don’t usually get too exercised by the number of fan headers on a motherboard, provided there are one or two available if you feel the need for a spot of extra cooling. The problem is that MSI has chosen to use a small passive cooler on the chipset and it gets surprisingly hot.

Temperatures loiter around the 55-60 degree mark in regular use and rose to 75 degrees when we ran a pair of GeForce GTX 280 graphics cards in SLI. That’s right, SLI. We’ll come to that shortly. The point is that we strongly feel that the X58 Pro needs a case fan to keep the chipset cool and it is quite possible that you won’t have a fan header available for the task.

Once the X58 Pro was running we installed the MSI software and found that the installer has been given a makeover and looks far slicker than in the past. The utilities are the Windows-based BIOS update tool, Live Update. The two other pieces of software are Overclocking Centre and Green Power Centre II which are very similar with one utility putting the emphasis on overclocking and the other on power saving. Unfortunately Overclocking Centre allows you to adjust voltage and Base Clock settings but not the clock multiplier so it wasn’t much use for overclocking our unlocked Core i7 965 Extreme.

We headed into the BIOS and found that the CPU voltage is set as a relative value rather than as an absolute while all of the other voltages are set as absolutes, which was all a little confusing. Our CPU required +0.23V to achieve the 1.45V that we have found produces results and then things got interesting. With the X58 Platinum we found the options for overclocking were rather limited and we could only run our 965 Extreme at 28 x 140MHz = 3.92GHz. With the Pro we could pick and choose any permutation of base clock speed and clock multiplier to achieve a clock speed of circa 4GHz and the system was remarkably tolerant of our abuse.

We had to clear the CMOS a couple of times when we took things too far but that was also easy with the on-board micro button, which incidentally only cleared the overclocking settings and retaining date and time settings.

Once we had finished overclocking we followed a hint from MSI and installed the BIOS from the X58 Pro SLI motherboard. We downloaded BIOS version 8.0, booted with a USB key and installed the BIOS without any trouble. The result was that our X58 Pro suddenly gained the ability to run SLI as well as CrossFire so we plugged in a pair of GeForce GTX 280 graphics cards and ran a quick set of benchmarks which delivered impressive results.

Clearly the X58 Pro and X58 Pro SLI are identical pieces of hardware and it is the BIOS that enables SLI in the Nvidia drivers so if you want to run dual Nvidia graphics cards on the cheap, you know what to do.


There’s no denying the X58 Pro is a remarkable good value Core i7 motherboard but we feel that a grave error has been made with regard to the chipset cooling.

Score in detail

  • Value 9

  • Performance 9

Leo Waldock contributed computer motherboard reviews to Trusted Reviews between 2004 and 2009.

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MSI X58 Platinum motherboard review

::> Motherboards
> MSI X58 Platinum


In this review, we will review the MSI X58 Platinum motherboard, which is positioned by MSI as a high-quality basis for a powerful gaming system supporting Nehalem — Intel Core i7 processors. Numerous indicators of the operation of all the main components of the motherboard, combined with the ability to monitor the main system parameters, speak about the gaming affiliation of the device. In addition, the board has a number of additional buttons that provide increased ease of use, and connectors that increase the convenience of working with the motherboard.

MSI’s engineers have taken into account the fact that the concept of «gaming motherboard» carries not only ease of use, but also overclocking capabilities. To do this, support for DrMOS technology was introduced into the Platinum model, which, thanks to the use of the most modern electronic components, allows achieving even more impressive overclocking results, but first things first.

MSI X58 Platinum motherboard specification:

Manufacturer and model

MSI X58 Platinum


Intel X58 Express

Processor socket

Socket LGA 1366

Supported processors

Intel Core i7

System bus QPI GT/s

6. 4

Supported memory

6 x DDR3 1333/1066/800 MHz up to 24 GB
Tri-channel memory support

Expansion slots

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16
1 x PCI Express gen2 x1
2 x PCI Express gen1 x1
2 x PCI


ATI CrossFireX

Disk Subsystem

Southbridge ICh20R:
6 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s support SATA RAID 0, 1, 5,10

JMicron JMB322:
2 x SATA 3.0 Gb/s support SATA RAID 0, 1

JMicron JMB363:
1 x E-SATA 3.0 Gb/s
1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 for connecting 2 PATA devices


Realtek 8111C Gigabit Network Controller

Sound subsystem

8-channel High-Definition Audio codec Realtek ALC888

Power supply

24-pin ATX power connector
8-pin ATX12V power connector


Copper heatsinks + heatpipes

Fan Connectors

1 x CPU
5 x case fans

External I/O ports

1 x PS/2 (Keyboard)
1 x PS/2 (Mouse)
1 x IEEE 1394
1 x E-SATA
8 x USB 2. 0/1.1
2 x RJ45 LAN
8-channel audio connections
1 x BIOS reset button

Internal I/O ports

1 x CD in
1 x COM
1 x TPM
1 x D-LED2
1 x Front panel audio connector
1 x IDE
1 x IEEE 1394
4 x USB 2.0/1.1
System panel connector 900 03


AMI BIOS v.02.61

Proprietary Technologies

— OC Jumper / Easy OC Switch
— APS — Active Phase Switching
— MSI Live Update Online
— User Friendly
— M-Flash

Form factor
Dimensions, mm

305 X 244

Manufacturer website

New BIOS and driver versions can be downloaded from the support page.

The motherboard is delivered in a box made in strict dark colors. On the front part, support for DrMOS technology is indicated with a list of the functions included in it. It also emphasizes that the board belongs to the “gaming” series and provides support for backing up data on hard drives thanks to the “HDD Backup” utility that comes with the product. There is a handle on the top of the box for easy transport.

The reverse side of the box is more informative. It describes in detail all the functions that make up DrMOS technology: GreenPower, XpressCool, RapidBoost.

  • GreenPower — Using special ICs, including two channel MOSFETs and a control IC in the processor power regulation circuit, a 93% power efficiency of the motherboard power system is achieved. The board is also equipped with the APS (Active Phase Switching) technology, the main purpose of which is to control the processor power phases depending on the system load. This technology allows you to turn off unused phases of the power system in idle mode of the processor and thus reduce the power consumption of the system.

  • XpressCool – By using very high efficiency DrMOS MOSFETs and copper heatsinks with heatpipes, temperatures are significantly reduced in the hottest area of ​​the motherboard — the processor power system. Temperature reduction can be up to 16 degrees Celsius compared to a conventional power system based on separate field-effect transistors.

  • RapidBoost — a set of technical solutions aimed at increasing the overclocking potential of the motherboard and increasing reliability. This is, first of all, the use of high-quality capacitors with a solid electrolyte, chokes with ferrite cores, as well as a two-phase power supply system for RAM.

By the way, the board comes with MSI’s proprietary software utility — Overclocking Center, thanks to which you can overclock the system by changing the frequencies and voltages of the main system components: processor, bus, memory. But here it is worth noting that the overclocking of the system bus is limited to 211 MHz, so for extreme overclocking, using the BIOS settings will be more preferable. In addition to manual overclocking, the utility allows you to auto-overclock the entire system, thanks to the built-in «overclocking» profiles.

Another MSI proprietary utility — «GreenPower Center» allows you to make more precise voltage settings on the processor, RAM, north and south bridges. It can also be used to set three operating modes for the system (Default, Optimize, Max Power Saving) and change the number of active power phases of the processor stabilizer. Thanks to the special information fields of the program, you can see how effectively the specified settings affect the energy efficiency of the system.

In addition to the above settings, the GreenPower Center program allows you to enable or disable the motherboard LEDs, and you can control the illumination of the indicators individually.

MSI X58 Platinum motherboard package includes:

  • Installation instructions;
  • User’s manual for the «HDD Backup» data backup function;
  • General user manual;
  • System board schematic brochure;
  • 3 x discs with drivers and utilities;
  • 4 x SATA cables;
  • 1 x ATA cable;
  • 1 x FDD cable;
  • 2 x Molex to SATA power;
  • 2 x ATI CrossFireX bridges;
  • 1 x 2-port USB rear panel extension;
  • M-connectors for internal ports and front panel;
  • Interface plug.

Refer to the MSI X58 Platinum Schematic Brochure for details of all connectors, ports, and switches on the motherboard. It also contains instructions for organizing multiprocessor rendering of 3D images using several video cards, starting with how to correctly connect ATI CrossFireX bridges and ending with instructions for enabling ATI CrossFireX technology in drivers.

It’s very unusual that a board like the MSI X58 Platinum comes with Molex-to-SATA power adapters and an additional two USB ports as an add-on card module. After all, a system based on such a motherboard will most likely be equipped with a high-quality power supply with a sufficient number of SATA connectors, and eight USB connectors on the rear panel plus at least a couple on the front panel of the case are quite enough today to connect all kinds of peripheral devices. But, in any case, these accessories will be pleasant to the buyer and, quite possibly, will still be useful.

Using removable M-connectors for internal panels, you can easily connect connectors to the system panel, USB, etc. First, you can connect all the necessary connectors to removable adapters and then, in one motion, connect the adapters themselves to the corresponding connectors on the motherboard.

Let’s move on to the board layout.

At first glance, the layout of the elements and connectors of the MSI X58 Platinum does not seem to cause any complaints. As a precaution, one PCI Express x1 slot is placed above each of the PCI Express x16 slots, so two PCI Express x1 slots will in any case be free for installing expansion cards with the appropriate interface, even when installing dual-slot video cards. And the top PCI Express x16 slot is placed low enough not to block the RAM latches when installing long video cards.

But if at least one video card with a two-slot cooling system is installed in the system, then all six SATA connectors are difficult to access for connecting the corresponding cables. True, in this case, access to two SATA II connectors will still be thanks to the dark red SATA7 and SATA8 ports of the additional controller. In addition, in this situation, the ICh20R south bridge turns out to be under the video card, which is already very hot.

Installing a second video card with a dual-slot CO aggravates the situation with the availability of ports for storage devices even more, since in this case access even to the SATA7 and SATA8 connectors becomes very difficult and at the same time the IDE port is under the video card. Therefore, if you often exchange data using hard drives or plan to expand the disk subsystem soon, we recommend connecting the appropriate cables in advance, and only then install graphics accelerators.

The cooling system of MSI X58 Platinum is represented by two copper radiators and one aluminum one. The radiators of the north and south bridges are interconnected by two heat pipes for improved heat dissipation. The third heatsink covers five DrMOS chips in the processor’s power system and is not connected in any way to the other two heatsinks.

We recommend using a well-ventilated case when assembling a system based on the MSI X58 Platinum, since, despite the high-quality cooling system with heat pipes, all radiators got quite hot during testing and especially during overclocking.

Looking at the motherboard expansion slots, it is immediately clear that MSI engineers are trying to keep up with the times, since the number of PCI Express x1 slots exceeds the number of PCI slots, three versus two, respectively. To organize the ATI CrossFireX mode, the board has two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots.

The motherboard has 6 slots for DDR3 memory with an operating frequency of 1333/1066/800 MHz. The memory can work in one-, two- and three-channel mode. The maximum amount of RAM supported by the board is 24 GB. As part of the DrMOS technology, the RAM subsystem is equipped with a two-phase power supply system, which should have the most positive effect on stability during overclocking.

Audio support in the MSI X58 Platinum is implemented by the built-in Realtek ALC888 eight-channel HDA codec with the ability to auto-detect and reassign audio connectors.

The built-in gigabit network controller is also manufactured by Realtek and is represented by the Realtek RTL8111C chip.

The bottom right side of the board contains the JDLED1 connector and the D-LED2 button. The JDLED1 connector is designed to connect an external display panel to which various system events and parameters can be displayed, such as the voltage on the processor, its current frequency, the voltage on the chipset, the output of the sequence of actions for passing the POST procedure, and it is even possible to display data from a special thermal sensor connected to D-LED2 panels. Switching between the parameters displayed on the display panel is performed using the D-LED2 button.

Just below the JDLED1 connector is the JTPM1 connector. This connector is designed to connect the TPM module. The TPM module allows you to protect computer data from unauthorized access using encryption keys, i.e. you will not be able to copy and use for your own purposes the information encrypted by the TPM module on another computer.

Based on the number of ferrite-core power system chokes, we can conclude that the MSI X58 Platinum is equipped with a five-phase CPU power stabilization system. And under the copper radiator of the cooling system are five DrMOS microcircuits with dual MOSFET transistors and a control element in each of them. In the processor power circuit, however, as well as on the entire board, high-quality capacitors with solid electrolyte are used. High-quality chokes and capacitors significantly increase the reliability of the motherboard, which, incidentally, is typical for a product of this level.

The following connectors are provided on the rear panel of the motherboard external ports:

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard port;
  • 1 x PS/2 mouse port;
  • 1 x IEEE 1394;
  • 1 x optical SPDIF;
  • 1 x E-SATA;
  • 8 x USB;
  • 2 x RJ45 LAN;
  • 6 audio connectors for connecting 8-channel speakers;
  • 1 x BIOS reset button.

From the list of external ports on the rear panel of the motherboard, I would like to highlight the presence of a BIOS reset button. Thanks to this button, you can overclock the system even with the case closed, because as a result of an unsuccessful attempt to conquer the next frequency bar, the system may stop starting, and to “bring it back to life”, you just need to press the BIOS reset button on the rear panel and return the BIOS settings to the “ default».

If we talk about additional buttons, then at the bottom of the board there are convenient illuminated “Power” and “Reset” buttons, which will come in handy in cases where the system has not yet been assembled, but you need to check its performance.


MSI X58 Platinum uses AMI BIOS v.02.61 as the basic I/O system. The main functions and settings for overclocking are in the BIOS section — «Sell Menu»:


Menu name



Processor technologies

C1E, TM2, EIST, Virtualization Technology, C-STATE

QPI system bus

QPI Link Speed ​​

Slow Mode; Full Speed ​​

QPI bus frequency, GT/s

QPI Frequency


PCI bus frequency, MHz

Adjust PCI Frequency

37. 2; 42

PCI Express bus frequency, MHz

Adjust PCI Express Frequency

100 — 200


Processor reference frequency, MHz

Base Clock



RAM command delay management

1N/2N Memory Timing

-1N; 2N

RAM delays

CAS Latency tRCD tRP tRAS tRRD tWTR tWR tRFC tRTP tsrRdTRd tdrRdTRd tddRdTRd tsrRdTWr tdrRdTWr tddRdTWr tsrWrTRd tdrWrTRd tWr TRd, tsrWrTWr, tdrWrTWr, tddWrTWr

Voltage change on the processor, mV

CPU Voltage

-320 to +630

10 or 20

QPI bus voltage, V (CPU dependent)

QPI Voltage

1. 1 — 1.22

0.01 or 0.02

North bridge voltage, V

ICH Voltage



Voltage on memory modules, V

DRAM Voltage

1.2 — 2.77

0.01 or 0.02

PCI-e bus voltage amplitude control, mV.

PCI Express Amplitude Control

700 — 1000


Processor voltage amplitude control, mV.

CPU Amplitude Control

700 — 1000


CPU clock signal, ps.


100 — 1500


Northbridge clock, ps.


100 — 1500


The «Green Power» subsection allows you to manage power saving functions in the main components of the motherboard, such as the processor, south bridge, and RAM. Here you can also turn off the information LED indicators of the motherboard and view the current value of the current strength on the processor and the + 12V line, as well as the power consumption and efficiency of the system.

The main purpose of the H/W Monitor section is to monitor system parameters and control fans. Here you can set the temperature of the processor, which the system will try to automatically maintain by increasing the speed of the processor fan during system operation. Also in this section, you can specify the minimum rotation speed of the processor cooler as a percentage and select one of three values ​​corresponding to the rotation speed of case fans: 50%, 75%, 100%.

Very useful for overclockers, you can save four different BIOS settings profiles in the User Settings section.

All the necessary actions to update the BIOS can be performed in the «M-Flash» section. This section allows you to update the BIOS from an external USB drive and save the old BIOS to a file.


The following test bench was used to check the capabilities of the motherboard:


Intel Core i7-920 (LGA1366, 2.66GHz, L2 1MB, L3 8MB)


Noctua NH-U12P + LGA1366 Kit (54.33 CFM, 12.6-19.8 dB)


3x DDR3-2000 1024MB Kingston HyperX KHX16000D3T1K3/3GX

Video card

EVGA GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB DDR3 PCI-E

Hard disk

Samsung HD080HJ (80 GB, 7200 rpm, 8 MB, SATA-300)

Optical drive


Power supply

Seasonic SS-650JT Active PFC, 650W, 120mm fan


CODEGEN M603 MidiTower, 2x 120mm intake/exhaust fan

MSI X58 Platinum no, the motherboard passed all test applications with excellent results. This primarily speaks of a well-optimized driver and BIOS code.


With the youngest in the line of Nehalem processors — Intel Core i7 920, we managed to conquer the reference frequency of 221.4 MHz. At the same time, the processor multiplier was reduced to 12 so that it does not limit overclocking capabilities. The result of 221.4 MHz is a record, but not the only one — absolutely the same result was demonstrated by the MSI X58M motherboard we tested earlier. So we recommend that true overclockers often turn their eyes towards MSI products.

For those who don’t like fiddling with precise BIOS settings and don’t want to reach the maximum overclocking frequencies, there is a special CPU_CLK1 processor reference frequency switch on the motherboard.

The CPU_CLK1 switch has three operating positions, which correspond to frequencies of 133, 166 and 200 MHz.

When the CPU_CLK1 switch is set to 200 MHz, the board automatically limits the processor multiplier to 18. As a result, the processor frequency is 3.6 GHz, and this result will be quite enough for beginner overclockers.

When using the CPU_CLK1 switch, the motherboard, in addition to the processor multiplier, automatically adjusts the RAM delays, and, I must say, does it correctly.

Testing the Realtek ALC888 audio codec

The sound quality of the MSI X58 Platinum motherboard was evaluated using the RightMark Audio Analyzer program.

Overall results (RightMark Audio Analyzer, 16-bit, 44 kHz):

Frequency response unevenness (in the range of 40 Hz — 15 kHz), dB

+0.09, -0.12

Very good

Noise level, dB(A)



Dynamic range dB(A)

86. 0


Harmonic distortion, %



THD + noise dB(A)



Intermodulation distortion + noise, %



Channel interference, dB



Intermodulation at 10 kHz, %



Total score


Overall (RightMark Audio Analyzer, 32-bit, 192 kHz):

Frequency response unevenness (in the range of 40 Hz — 15 kHz), dB

+0. 12, -0.22

Very good

Noise level, dB(A)



Dynamic range dB(A)



Harmonic distortion, %


Very good

THD + noise dB(A)



Intermodulation distortion + noise, %


Very good

Channel interference, dB


Very good

Intermodulation at 10 kHz, %

0. 016

Very good

Total score

Very good

The Realtek ALC888 audio codec is great for midrange 8-channel speakers, but we recommend purchasing an external sound card for high quality sound. Also, do not forget that a discrete sound card offloads the processor a little.

Power consumption

To evaluate the capabilities of GreenPower technology, we measured the system’s power consumption in three operating modes: Default, Optimize, Max Power Saving. During testing, the C1E and EIST processor power-saving technologies were enabled.

At maximum load on the processor, the motherboard can save up to 8 watts of power when comparing Default and Max Power Saving modes. In percentage terms, this is a 5% savings. This figure cannot be called big, but, nevertheless, such an opportunity will be a pleasant bonus for owners of the MSI X58 Platinum.


MSI X58 Platinum motherboard is a high-tech solution with high functionality and a rich set of MSI proprietary technologies. It is perfect for both extreme overclockers and less advanced users who are just starting to learn about overclocking, because the overclocking potential of the device is just great, and the setting can be done in various ways.

Thanks to pleasant little things, such as a BIOS reset button on the rear panel, LED indicators, the ability to connect a D-LED2 panel, and Power and Reset buttons on the motherboard itself, working with the device in terms of overclocking is very convenient and the MSI X58 Platinum can be safely recommend as an optimal basis for overclocking Intel Core i7 processors.

Advantages of the device:

  • High overclocking potential;
  • Rear BIOS reset button;
  • TPM module;
  • Possibility to connect D-LED2 panel;
  • DrMOS technology;
  • Convenient processor bus frequency switch;
  • Additional Power and Reset buttons on the system board.


  • Increased heating of the north and south bridge radiators;
  • Blocking SATA connectors with dual-slot graphics cards.

Author: Aleksey Erin

We express our gratitude to the Ukrainian representative office of Micro-Star Int’l Co.,Ltd. for the motherboard provided for testing.

We express our gratitude to Kingston, Noctua and Sea Sonic for the equipment provided for the test bench.

We also suggest reading:
BIOS settings reference

ASUS X58 Sabertooth

motherboard overview

October 29, 2010, Friday

Gabe Logan

for section

Page 1 of 3

  • Introduction
  • Packing and contents
  • Specifications table
  • Design and features of the
  • board

  • Test configuration
  • BIOS
  • Overclocking
  • Conclusion

Despite the fact that the release of the new Intel X68 platform and processors of the Sandy Bridge family is just around the corner, motherboard manufacturers do not cease to please us with various new products and attempts to squeeze all the “juice” out of the Intel X58 logic.

Since 1366 motherboards have been on the market for about two years, manufacturers have to come up with something newer than “super capacitors” or “mega overclocking” on the box to interest the buyer.

ASUS decided to move away from the glamorous trinkets with multi-colored lights and began to produce motherboards of the TUF (The Ultimate Force) series. All solutions in this series are positioned as devices with increased reliability due to the use of military standards. The first motherboard in this series is the famous ASUS i55 Sabertooth. Of course, the flagship line could not stand aside, and therefore, we meet — ASUS X58 Sabertooth. She was supposed to inherit all the best from her younger sister on the i55 logic and, quite possibly, add something exclusive to 1366 processors.

I will try to study the board from different angles, check it for overclocking in comparison with competitors, identify strengths and weaknesses. Let’s see if the novelty has the right to belong to the TUF series.

Let’s start the review of the motherboard with a study of the package and bundle.


TUF motherboards are not flashy. The color scheme of the packaging is expressed in very calm dark colors. On the front side you can see the name of the motherboard, a reminder of the possibility of working with six-core processors, as well as with processors made according to the 32 nm process technology. Perhaps, I have not yet seen a more modest package for the motherboard of such functionality.

There is a summary table of motherboard specifications on the back of the package. It also mentions belonging to the TUF series and talks about another unique cooling. We will definitely explore the possibilities of the latter a little later.

The scope of delivery is very modest. It includes:

  • CD with drivers and proprietary utilities;
  • Four SATA 6 GB cables with metal retainers;
  • SLI Bridge;
  • Contacts for front panel;
  • Instruction manual;
  • End cap for rear panel

On the one hand, we are used to the fact that ASUS motherboards often come with a large kit, which includes fans for radiators, a bunch of cables, etc. But, on the other hand, as I have repeatedly said, why pay money for a lot of «bells and whistles» if you most likely will never use them? And when there is a battle for every $ 5, then it is most reasonable to cut the package, and not the functionality of the motherboard itself. By the way, the package also includes a certain certificate, which indicates what tests the motherboard passed.

The DVD contains all the necessary drivers and utilities.

Supported processors LGA-1366 Core i7
System bus frequency BCLK, 3600 MHz
System logic Intel X58 + ICh20R
Supported RAM 6 x 240-pin DDR3-1066\1333\1600\1800\1866MHz Tri-Channel, up to 24GB
Expansion slots 2 — PCIe 2. 0 x16/x8
1 — PCIe 2.0 x4
2 — PCIe 1x
1 — PCI Slot 2.2
Multi-GPU support NVIDIA SLI (ATI CrossFireX) support
SATA/RAID support 6x SATA 2 ports
2x SATA 3 ports — Intel ICh20R
RAID 0, 1, 5 RAID 0+1;
IDE and eSATA support 1x eSATA
Network Realtek RTL8110SC PCIe Gigabit Ethernet Controllers
Audio Realtek 7.1 ALC892
USB 2.0 12x USB 2.0
USB 3.0 2x USB 3.0 (Nec)
IEEE-1394 1x 1394a VIA VT6308P
System monitoring Winbond W83667HG-A
Motherboard power supply ATX 24-pin, 8-pin ATX 12V
Rear panel connectors 1x PS/2 Keyboard
1x eSATA
1x SPDIF — Coaxial Audio Out
1x Toslink Optical Out
1x IEEE 1394
2x RJ45
6x 3. 5mm Jack
8x USB 2.0/1. 1
Proprietary technologies TUF, MemOK!, CeraM!X Heatsink Coating
Dimensions, mm 300 x 245
Form factor ATX