|Gigabyte GA-EX58-EXTREME Core i7 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 13 December 2008|
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Intel X58-Express Platform
The Gigabyte GA-EX58-EXTREME motherboard platform consists of the Intel Core i7 processor (CPU), Intel X58 Express Chipset (IOH) and the ICH. The CPU now incorporates the system memory controller and accesses DDR3 memory through three independent memory channels. The IOH provides support for the two PCIe graphics slots and connects to the CPU via the Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) bus. The ICH provides the support for the SATA, USB and other system interfaces and is connected to the IOH via the DMI bus.
All motherboard busses and components are driven from a single 133.33 MHz base clock. The resulting component speed values are generated by applying a multiplier value to this base clock. There are four multipliers on the motherboard which are used to set the system speed:
The Intel X58 Express Chipset
The Intel X58 Express Chipset continues to push innovation with capabilities designed to deliver quality, performance and headroom The Intel X58 Express Chipset achieves this performance by supporting the latest Intel Core i7 family of processors at 6.4 GT/s and 4.8 GT/s speeds via the Quick Path Interconnect (QPI), and enabling increased system bandwidth by supporting industry leading technologies, such as PCI Express 2.0 graphics, Intel Turbo Memory and support for Intel High-Performance Solid State drives.
PCI Express 2.0
Intel's high-end desktop chipset continues support for PCI Express 2.0 and adds flexibility with support of dual x16 and up to quad x8 graphics card configurations and combinations in between. The greatly improved 32GB/s of graphics bandwidth capability enables much higher levels of performance on graphics intensive applications such as high end gaming and video rendering for digital content creation.
Faster System Performance
With the growing imbalance between processor and memory performance, it is critical to optimize the memory controller design to obtain the maximum possible performance from the memory subsystem. The transition of the integrated memory controller (iMC) into the processor significantly increases overall system performance through the optimization of available bandwidth along with reduction of memory access latency. The Intel Core i7 family of processors brings triple channel DDR3 memory technology support. The DDR3 SDRAM devices operating at 1066 MHz, offer peak data transfer rates of up to 25.6 GB/s (when operated in triplel-channel interleaved mode), enabling the platform to take advantage of the higher bandwidth, faster system performance, and higher performance per watt at 1066MHz2.
Intel I/O Controller Hub 10 (Intel ICH10 and Intel ICH10R)
The Intel ICH10 I/O controller hub of the Intel X58 Express Chipset integrates several capabilities to provide flexibility for connecting I/O devices.