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Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 Motherboard E-mail
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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
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
CINEBENCH
Crysis, WIC and Power System Tests
"Smackover" Final Thoughts
Intel DX58SO Conclusion

"Smackover" Final Thoughts

When looking at our benchmarking results we see as with any two closely matched boards with some benchmarks that are very close and some that are not so close. In any case the ASUS P6T X58 Deluxe OC Palm Edition was the clear winner on all of the benchmarks that we ran. We were somewhat concerned initially that the lack of turbo boost on the P6T might put it at a disadvantage in the overclocking realm. Such was not the case, as it is apparent at least in this series of tests that turbo boost works quite well at stock processor speeds giving as much as 266 MHz boost in some cases to the base clock rate. In the realm of overclocking we can't be certain of how much turbo boost may have helped or hurt the Intel DX58SO, but its obvious the lesser clocked ASUS P6T Deluxe certainly was the performance winner.

The DX58SO trailed the P6T Deluxe by around no more than 5% on most benchmark results. To be fair we must mention that we were using the latest version of the DX58SO's BIOS at the time of testing but since then a newer BIOS has been released. ASUS has had a number of iterations to its BIOS since the Release of the P6T Deluxe and is quite mature for a motherboad this early on the retail market.Since their inception, Intel motherboards have always been known as rock solid when it comes to reliability and more in the midrange when it comes to performance. Only in the last couple of years has Intel begun to place more of an emphasis on performance by unveiling BIOS features that would allow the enthusiast to push these boards beyond their stock settings. Should the Intel DX58SO "Smackover" motherboard be on your short list of boards to purchase, we believe it does have the the best incarnation of performance features available in the BIOS to date and it should improve with time.

Intel DX58SO

The most frightfully obvious problem with the Intel DX58SO is the layout of the board's components. It is blatantly evident that this board was designed by engineers that have little regard for what computer enthusiasts abide by on a daily basis. A short recap of the blunders we detailed earlier reveals the following issues:

  • The memory slots were moved to an area where the processor socket had resided for many years
  • This change in the memory slot configuration required Intel to only include four memory slots in the DX58SO
  • The forth memory slot allows you to add an additional 2GB of DRAM, but that module is only accessed at single-channel performance rate, decreasing performance of that module by 66.66%
  • An additional auxiliary power connection is required on the DX58SO that is not required on any other X58 board currently on the market
  • The positioning of the SATA ports severely hampers the use of the current full sized graphics solutions without the sacrifice of 2-4 SATA ports
  • The 8-pin auxiliary power connector is placed in a very awkward position in the center of the board

Intel's i7 series of processors are currently the fastest production processors in existence and their X58 chipset powers the fastest motherboards available. Our question is why can't Intel design a motherboard layout with the same forward thinking skills that these other two excellent products exhibit? We think that Intel's primary market for their motherboards is still the business arena where the demands for extreme performance and grace are still superseded by reliability. Old habits die hard and event though we're seeing a major effort from Intel to breakaway from their tradition it will take time. This is in no way saying that the DX58SO is not a good motherboard, only that it's not a great motherboard that would firmly increase Intel's dominance in the computer world.



 

Comments 

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

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 mysterious...it'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.

##intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/cs-012073.htm

"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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