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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: Closer Look

Probably thing single biggest fiasco with the layout of the Intel DX58SO is the positioning of the six SATA ports. As you can see from the image below all six of the SATA ports are in an upright position and two to four of the six become totally useless if you use a large graphics card such as the NVIDIA GTX280. On a board of this caliber which will obviously be used for extremely high-end functions we find this kind of mistake completely unforgivable. The images below will help to make our point much more clearly.

Intel DX58SO

In the first image we installed a single NVIDIA GTX280 and as you can see two of the standing SATA ports are effectively eliminated from use.

Intel DX58SO

In the next image we installed a second GTX 280 in the second PCIe slot. We are well aware that the Intel DX58SO only supports CrossFire and not SLI but the second NVIDIA card is approximately the same size as the ATI 4870. Again by using the CrossFire option which is touted as a major feature on this board, we effectively eliminate two more of the six SATA ports leaving us only two to operate with. This is terribly wrong and could have been easily eliminated by moving the SATA ports to different locations and still keeping their upright presentation. An even simpler solution would have been to have configured the SATA ports in a low profiled right-angle presentation.

Intel DX58SO

We did find another bright spot in this seemingly endless array of layout faux pas on the DX58SO motherboard. Intel chose to use a socketed BIOS chip in lieu of the current trend used by many other manufacturers of soldering the chip to the board. Intel uses the Winbond 25X16, a 16 Megabit BIOS chip to handle these duties. This chip is reputed by Intel to highly fault tolerant and virtually eliminates downtime due to a corrupted BIOS.

Intel DX58SO

Another extremely positive aspect of the Intel Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 Motherboard is the use of 8-channel (7.1) Dolby Home Theater* Audio subsystem with five analog audio outputs and two S/PDIF digital audio outputs (coaxial and optical) using the Sigmatel* 9274D audio codec. This codec allows for extremely high signal-to-noise ratios for an onboard sound system producing around 108 dB when using the digital outputs and experiencing a small drop to 106 dB when the analog segment is used. This makes the DX58SO and excellent option for home theater use.

We leave this section of our review with an image which gives and overview of the Intel DX58SO motherboard with call-outs of all of the boards features and their locations. You can see quite easily from studying this graphic that there are a few more layout issues that we failed to touch on in our overview.

E42436-001_SmackOver_Callouts.jpg



 

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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