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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 First Look

Motherboards haven't seen a lot of change in the past two years, so we guess it was due time for Intel to shake things up a bit with the DX58SO. We will discuss the significant layout changes to this motherboard just a little later in this review. The biggest difference with this X58-Express product is that it updates the socket from LGA775 to LGA1366 in order to support the Intel Core-i7 series of processors. Additionally, the Dual-Channel DDR support that reigned supreme since the Pentium 4 days has also been updated to include Triple-Channel DDR3.

Intel may have introduced DDR3 support on their mainboards almost two years ago, but high costs paired with low adoption by manufacturers led to a reprieve for DDR2. That all ends now, as X58 is built for DDR3 only and Intel has no plans to allow DDR2 back into the game. This might seem like a move which slams the door in the face of mainstream enthusiasts wanting more value from their hardware, but the truth is that P45 and X48 chipsets will continue in production for many more months to come. Moving to triple-channel DDR3 also adds momentum for 64-bit computing, but also optimizes current 32-bit systems. Windows XP for example, offers a 4GB maximum memory mapping space on the 32-bit variety of the O/S.

Intel DX58SO

Our first look at the layout of the Intel DX58SO "Smackover" motherboard shows a nice looking black PCB which returns to 8 layers allowing for better rigidity of the board. A more detailed visual scan shows that Intel decided to make a few changes in the previous status quo. The biggest change, and probably the most recognizable is the location of the memory slots which were moved to the area where the processor socket had resided for many years. Intel explains their rationale for this change as a needed improvement in cooling the memory by subjecting it to better airflow.

Intel DX58SO

While on the topic memory Intel opted to only include four memory slots in the DX58SO. In these boards the full memory performance potential is only achieved with the primary three slots filled. The forth 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%. Other motherboards such as the ASUS P6T Deluxe provide a full six memory slots that allow for a maximum capacity of 12 GB of DDR3 at full performance potential. With this board being an excellent candidate for a workstation, we certainly can't quite grasp the logic in this configuration.

Intel DX58SO

Another layout issue that bothered us tremendously was the need of having to utilize either one of your SATA power connectors or a 4-pin Molex connector to provide "auxiliary power" to the board. The locations of the connectors are denoted by the red arrows in the image above. Intel currently is the only X58 based motherboard manufacturer that we are aware of that requires this additional power connection. We certainly can't understand why with both the 24-pin main power cable and the 12 Volt 8-pin power adapter connected why there is a need for additional "auxiliary power".

Intel DX58SO

Alas, finally a layout change that makes sense! Looking a the rear I/O panel you can readily see that the parallel port, the 9-pin serial port(s), and both the PS2 mouse and keyboard connectors are missing. We say bravo to Intel for finally removing these useless connections from the rear I/O panel. We feel the vast majority of enthusiasts have been waiting for this change to take place for some time. While not shown in the image we also are ecstatic that Intel chose to also remove the floppy drive connector and the PATA drive connectors on the DX58SO. These connectors were totally useless on a board of this caliber and only took up excess space as far as we are concerned.



 

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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