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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

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.

Pros:

+ Highly feature laden BIOS for an Intel manufactured motherboard
+ Excellent, rock-solid construction
+ Excellent on-board sound codec
+ Rear I/O ports minimized to fit today's standards
+ Ability to independently adjust each core's multiplier when running the i7-965 EX
+ Ability to run turbo boost in both stock and overclocked modes of operation
+ Use a socketed BIOS chip as opposed to having the chip soldered on the board
+ The price is right

Cons:

- Only three fully functional memory slots - Fourth memory slot addressed at single channel speed
- Additional auxiliary power connector required
- Horrible positioning of the 6 available SATA ports
- Supports only CrossFire in lieu of both CrossFire and SLI supported by the competition
- Poor placement of 8-pin auxiliary power connector

Ratings:

  • Presentation: 7.50
  • Appearance: 8.25
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 7.00
  • Value: 8.00

Final Score: 7.95 out of 10.

Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.


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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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