|Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Miles Cheatham - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 23 December 2008|
Page 18 of 18
Intel DX58SO Conclusion
We at Benchmark Reviews are always amazed by the differences in the advertising campaigns that different computer products manufacturers utilize when launching a new product. Most motherboard manufacturers tend to bloviate with a long-winded diatribe about all of their features and specifications that can be confusing a best for the the potential consumer. Intel, on the other hand gives little or no useful information about their consumer grade products and touts one of the shortest advertised feature sets in existence for their DX58SO "Smackover" motherboard. They make up for this by approaching their product information from a scientific/engineering prospective in the form of white paper articles that are generally somewhat obscure and in most cases well over the reading level of many of their potential consumers. The DX58SO motherboard in specific and the X58 series in general are entirely new to the consumer market and function somewhat differently than their predecessors. We feel that a board of epic proportion such as the DX58SO certainly deserves more useful information than Intel has seen fit to provide.
The overall appearance and presentation of the Intel DX58SO "Smackover" Motherboard is severely detracted from by the aberrant layout of the board's major components. We feel that a consumer should get what they pay for and we support this by suggesting the following potential real-life scenario: A user that simply read the specifications and features of the Intel DX58SO purchases the board with the intent of running two graphics cards in CrossFire configuration along with three SATA drives and a SATA optical drive. The features and specifications alone more than support this boards ability to support those components. THe layout of the SATA ports do not.
The construction of the DX58SO is in keeping with its predecessors, rock solid and built to last. Intel added to their already solid construction by using an 8 layered printed circuit board (PCB) for added components and motherboard rigidity. Even the featured components that in our opinion are misplaced on the board are well constructed so we can't detract from that in this arena.
The performance of the Intel DX58SO is quite good and within 5% of the fastest X58 motherboards available. Given the business market segment that this board will likely target the performance will most likely be highly acceptable. Our only real concern in this area of review is the memory limitation the board provides. Granted you can house up to 8 GB of DDR3 on the DX58SO, but if you choose to maximize the memory the last 2 GB stick will only be addressed at a single channel rate. This effectively decreases the performance of this one stick of RAM by approximately 66%, while we didn't test the board loaded with memory we have to conceptualize that it will take a performance hit from this design implementation. If you were choosing a motherboard for processor intensive tasks such as CAD/CAM or video editing and you have the option to choose 12 GB at full speed or 8 GB with the limitation we just described, which would you choose? Another fact to be considered is that the unlike the vast majority of the DX58SO's competion which support for the first time both SLI and CrossFire, the DX58SO only supports CrossFire.
The Intel DX58SO "Smackover" is at present one of the lowest priced X58 motherboards on the market, which is highly unusual based on Intel's pride in their products. At the time of this writing New Egg offers the Intel BOXDX58SO LGA1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard for $258.99 which is $20.00 cheaper than the MSRP and a minimum of $20.00 cheaper than most of their competition. At the price and given the performance if your willing to put up with the layout issues we mentioned it's a great deal.
At Benchmark Reviews we pride ourselves on releasing as complete of a product overview as is humanly possible. We feel that we have continued in this tradition with the Intel DX58SO "Smackover" Motherboard. The DX58SO has so much potential and could have been Intel's finest board to date had they taken the user's perspective more into consideration with their placement of components. While these flaws detract from this board's likelihood of becoming a highly praised front runner, the board does have some excellent features that we hope will be building blocks for a new revision. We cannot in good conscience recommend this board to the computer enthusiast. We can see where the DX58SO would have place in the business world as long as all of the considerations we have expounded upon are taken into account.
+ Highly feature laden BIOS for an Intel manufactured motherboard
- Only three fully functional memory slots - Fourth memory slot addressed at single channel speed
Final Score: 7.95 out of 10.
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