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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by Miles Cheatham - Edited by Olin Coles   
Monday, 22 December 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 Motherboard
Intel Core i7: Platform Information
Intel X58-Express Platform
DX58SO Features and Specifications
Intel DX58SO First Look
Intel DX58SO: Closer Look
Intel DX58SO BIOS Options
Testing Methodology
Intel DX58SO: Overclocking
PCMark Vantage System Tests
Vantage and 3DMark06 Tests
SANDRA 2009 System Tests
EVEREST Ultimate System Tests
Crysis, WIC and Power System Tests
"Smackover" Final Thoughts
Intel DX58SO Conclusion

Intel DX58SO Motherboard

Up until January, 2006 if you were to ask any computer enthusiast their opinion of an Intel motherboard you would here something like this: Intel makes a highly reliable and extremely durable motherboard that will be there long after others have died. The true enthusiast would go on to say that the only reason they didn't own an Intel motherboard was that the features included in the BIOS were minimalist at best and they could not be overclocked. This all changed for the better with the release of the Intel's D975XBX "Badaxe" motherboard in January, 2006. For the first time in Intel's history they had recognized the enthusiast community by releasing a motherboard that was not only reliable but had a highly feature laden BIOS that allowed this board to run with the big dogs.

While the DX975BX board was Intel's first enthusiast level motherboard, it was certainly not to be their last. In late October, 2006 Intel released the big brother of the "Badaxe" the D975XBX2 deemed the "Badaxe II" which took their enthusiast level feature set a few steps further. This trend towards officially recognizing the enthusiast community was finally set in stone when the term "overclock" actually began to appear in some of Intel's official publications. Heretofore if you you were smart enough to overclock a motherboard built by Intel you could kiss your warranty goodbye as you had officially violated an edict firmly established by Intel's support team. So much for the history lesson, let's fast forward to November, 2008 and the release of Intel's i7 series of processor and their X58 chipset that supported it.

The i7 series of processors accompanied by an enthusiast grade motherboard utilizing the X58 chipset were one of the most highly anticipated product releases since the Core 2 Duo. At the time of the launch Intel introduced their DX58SO motherboard affectionately nicknamed the "Smackover". The DX58SO motherboard is without a doubt the most feature laden endeavor that Intel has undertaken to date. It is not only slanted towards the the serious overclocker but it provides a bevy of BIOS related features that could easily take take Intel's latest product to the next level of performance.

We at Benchmark Reviews have had a review sample of the Intel DX58SO for just over a month now that we have used as our reference board for all of our reviews covering the i7 family of processors as this product series had the highest interest amongst our readers. Even though we have used volumes of test data acquired from the DX58SO and repeatedly talked about the features this motherboard had to offer, we have been remiss in officially reviewing this product. Today we intend to make amends and officially give the the Intel DX58SO "Smackover" X58 Motherboard its due time in the spotlight.

Intel DX58SO

About the Company: IntelIntel DX58SO

Intel Corporation is the world's largest semiconductor company founded by semiconductor pioneers Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, and widely associated with the executive leadership and vision of Andrew Grove, Intel combines advanced chip design capability with a leading-edge manufacturing capability. Originally known primarily to engineers and technologists, Intel's successful "Intel Inside" advertising campaign of the 1990s made it and its Pentium processor household names.

Intel pushes the boundaries of innovation so our work can make people's lives more exciting, fulfilling, and manageable. And our work never stops. We never stop looking for the next leap ahead-in technology, education, culture, manufacturing, and social responsibility. And we never stop striving to deliver solutions with greater benefits for everyone. Intel is making PCs more accessible and affordable through innovative PC purchase programs. Through public and private collaboration, Intel has worked closely with government and industry leaders to develop more than 200 programs in 60 countries. With the onslaught of wireless broadband communication technologies like WiMAX, Wi-Fi, and 3G and wireline ADSL and cable, Intel in collaboration with local governments is connecting more people in more places than ever before-no matter how remote.

Intel is committed to improving education on a global scale. With an ongoing focus on students and teachers, we're making an impact with technology solutions that support the development of 21st Century skills, including digital literacy, problem solving, and critical thinking. As citizens use the Internet, the need to create localized content is the key. Intel-sponsored programs provide localized content and services to connect technologies to villages, suburbs, and cities around the world to deliver access to community information, education, and healthcare.



# eSATA port not stableGuru 2010-02-28 02:25

Please dont buy this board if you are planning to use eSATA port.
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# I've had eSATA issues alsoDogwood 2010-04-16 02:30
I was using an eSATA volume on my DX58SO for backup using Clonezilla. At first this worked fine, but at some point I started getting I/O errors in the middle of the process. I swapped out various components and tried both ports, but the unreliability persisted. I was speculating that maybe one of the BIOS updates rendered the eSATA ports unstable (it would presumably be BIOS, because Clonezilla isn't running Windows or Windows drivers). Very's interesting to see that someone else cautions against eSATA. Anyway, I don't have a critical need for eSATA, so I've just stopped using it; can substitute USB, albeit with loss of speed. But I'm never comfortable when something isn't working properly; I want to know the full story.
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# RE: I've had eSATA issues alsoGuru Prasad H B 2010-04-16 06:28
I faced the same problem, with WD MY book (1TB) external Hard disk.
The eSATA port works for first 5 min, and the windows freezes for some time or i used to get PD(or some such) time out warning and newer stops. Initially i suspected about the WD hard disk, when i contacted them, they said there is some problem with marver controller (which is used in DX58SO mother board). so i took this issue with Intel support team, but its of no use..

Tried installing latest BIOS, Marvel driver, Intel Matrix storage drivers which are available in Intel webpage, its of no use.

My intention to buy DX58SO was mainly for using eSATA port for which i had huge data (around 25 Gb) to be used for testing purpose. now because of the one HDD (eSATA) is not working why will i invest on another HDD for which to make sure the problem is not there in Intel Mother board. So i brought low cost PCI-eSATA card (which is 10 $) which is working fine with DX58SO.
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# RE: Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 MotherboardDogwood 2010-04-16 13:40
Aha! I finally found an official word that maybe clarifies the need for the unusual extra "auxiliary power" connector on the DX58SO. This Intel page indicates that the extra power cable is only necessary when the primary power connector is an old 2x10 connector, but it's not necessary with a newer 2x12 connector. So this is just Intel's way of making the board compatible with older hardware.

"Next generation high-end graphics cards will consume from 75 watts up to 150 watts of power. The PCI Express x16 connector can deliver up to 75 watts. In order to achieve 75W, an ATX12V power supply with a 2x12 main power connector is recommended. However, 75W can also be achieved with ATX12V power supplies with 2x10 main power connector when using the 1x4 power connector on the board."
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# RE: Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 MotherboardDave_O 2010-07-23 08:31
FYI - Purchased this board in June, 2010. Intel has changed the internal SATA connectors so they plug in from the back, not from the top as noted in the review.
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# RE: RE: Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 MotherboardOlin Coles 2010-07-23 08:33
Thank you for the update! Do you happen to know which revision your motherboard is (should be printed), so I can update this article?
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# RE: RE: RE: Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 MotherboardDave_O 2010-07-23 09:07
The label on the box is - AA E29331 - 702
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 MotherboardOlin Coles 2010-07-23 09:15
Hmm... usually it will be printed on the motherboard itself. For example: R2 or Rev 2.
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# RE: Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 MotherboardClyde Snider 2011-11-24 05:41
Where did the name "Smackover" come from? Was it from the town Smackover, Arkansas?
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# RE: RE: Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2011-11-24 08:04
Good question. Intel doesn't say.
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