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Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 Motherboard E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by Miles Cheatham - Edited by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 23 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 Core i7: Platform

What is Nehalem Technology?

The Intel Core i7 microprocessor is built using a new micro architecture, codenamed "Nehalem," that allows chips to handle more data, quicker and more energy efficiently. Go inside Intel's labs and meet some of the thousands of Intel engineers who helped design and test the new processor. "Building this microprocessor brings a lot of people together, like architects, micro architects and the design teams," says Rani Borkar, vice president of Intel's Digital Enterprise Group. "As you get into the development phases, working with the process technology, it's a mind-boggling effort that requires a lot of teamwork across the board."

Before going into the specifications and features of the entire Intel Core i7 processor series we thought some background information about the new Nehalem technology might be in order. While doing research for this review I came a cross a very useful document on Intel's website entitled: "First the Tick, Now the Tock: Next Generation Intel Micro-architecture (Nehalem)". This white paper article helped me to gain a much better understanding of not only the features we'll see today in the Core i7 series of processors, but in future product releases we're likely to see that will implement other aspects of the Nehalem architecture. The article itself is 8 pages long so I'll leave it to you to read it in its entirety, but I will share a few excerpts that may help you to gain a better understanding of the products we'll visit today.

Intel DX58SO

The first chapter is all about scalability. Next generation Intel micro architecture (Nehalem) is a dynamically scalable and design-scalable micro architecture. At runtime, it dynamically manages cores, threads, cache, interfaces, and power to deliver outstanding energy efficiency and performance on demand. At design time, it scales, enabling Intel to easily provide versions that are optimized for each server, desktop, and notebook market. Intel will deliver versions differing in the number of cores, caches, interconnect capability, and memory controller capability, as well as in the segmented use of an integrated graphics controller. This allows Intel to deliver a wide range of price, performance, and energy efficiency targets for servers, workstations, desktops, and laptops.

To extract greater performance from this new micro architecture, in targeted market segments, Intel is also introducing a new platform architecture: Intel QuickPath Architecture. Through integrated memory controllers and a high-speed interconnect for connecting processors and other components, Intel QuickPath Architecture delivers best-in-class performance, bandwidth, and reliability. In turn, it truly enables systems to fully unleash the new levels of performance that new and more powerful next generation micro architecture-based processor cores will deliver.

Next generation Intel micro architecture (Nehalem) marks the next step (a "tock") in Intel's rapid "tick-tock" cadence for delivering a new process technology (tick) or an entirely new micro architecture (tock) every year. The first Nehalem-based processors are expected to release in the latter part of 2008. The family will grow to include server, workstation, desktop, and mobile processors.

The next generation micro architecture's performance and power management innovations include:

  • Dynamically managed cores, threads, cache, interfaces, and power.
  • Simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) for enabling a more energy efficient means of increasing performance for multi-threaded workloads. The next generation micro architecture's SMT capability enables running two simultaneous threads per core-an amazing eight simultaneous threads per quad-core processor and 16 simultaneous threads for dual-processor quad-core designs.
  • Innovative extensions to the Intel Streaming SIMD Extensions 4 (SSE4) that center on enhancing XML, string, and text processing performance.
  • Superior multi-level cache, including an inclusive shared L3 cache.
  • New high-end system architecture that delivers from two to three times more peak bandwidth and up to four times more realized bandwidth (depending on configuration) as compared to today's Intel Xeon processors.
  • Performance-enhanced dynamic power management.

For more information on Intel's Core i7 series, please visit our Featured Reviews: Processors section which includes comprehensive articles on the Core i7-920 (BX80601920) and Core i7-965 Extreme Edition processors.



# 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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