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Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS P6X58D-Premium SATA6G Motherboard
Intel Core i7: Platform
Intel X58-Express Platform
ASUS P6X58D-Premium Features
ASUS P6X58D-Premium Specifications
First Look: P6X58D-Premium
Closer Look: ASUS X58D
BIOS and Overclocking
Motherboard Testing Methodology
EVEREST CPU Benchmarks
Maxon CINEBENCH Results
PCMark Vantage Test Results
HD Tune Pro Benchmarks
Far Cry 2 Benchmark
Power Consumption Results
Tylersburg Refresh Final Thoughts
ASUS P6X58D-Premium Conclusion

ASUS P6X58D-Premium Conclusion

Although our rating and final score are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at different points in time. While we do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that would render our rating obsolete. Please do not base your purchases solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating at the time of publication.

Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate. The first is performance, which considers how effective the ASUS P6X58D-Premium X58-Express SATA-6G motherboard performs in operation against direct competitor products. Graded on a scale of 1.0 to 10, the ASUS P6X58D-Premium receives a score of 9.25 when compared against the other products in its related category. CPU benchmark performance was usually 5% higher than other X58 motherboards, even with the exact same settings applied. DDR3 system memory bandwidth was average for the P6X58D-Premium, but overall system performance was slightly better than others. The Marvell SE9123 SATA 6Gb/s controller performed extremely well compared to other SATA6G options, but firmware changes will keep all motherboard solutions closely approximate to each other. SuperSpeed USB-3.0 functionality is possible because of the NEC D720200F1 chip, although the market has yet to respond with storage devices optimized for the new specification.

Performance is further enhanced by utilizing SLI/Triple-SLI and CrossFireX/Tri-Fire video card sets for high-performance graphics. Intel supports their Extreme Edition (EE) Core-i7 processors on the LGA1366 socket only, and according to Intel's roadmap the future code-named "Gulftown" six-core Westmere chip will also be supported on the ASUS P6X58D-Premium motherboard.

Opposite of other manufacturers, ASUS refrains from turning their motherboards into a full-color canvas. A black printed circuit board helps blue anodized aluminum components to stand out, and nickel-plated heat-pipe gives the hardware an exciting look. The colors used for expansion card slots are matched to bus speed and type, and the power phase and onboard LEDs give just as much for user feedback as they do for captivating looks. At the end of my testing I was pleased to say I don't miss copper heatpipe tubing winding around the motherboard, because the ASUS P6X58D-Premium gets the job done with a single rod.

ASUS_P6X58D-Premium_Motherboard_Corner.jpg

Much like their original X58-Express motherboard series, ASUS has achieved near-perfect component layout on their P6X58D-Premium platform. The construction is what you would expect from world's leading manufacturers of mainboard products: outstanding. The Marvell-SE9123 and Intel ICH10R Southbridge SATA ports are turned sideways, except for two located along the bottom of the mainboard, allowing full access to them even with large video cards installed. Six DDR3 memory module banks are located far enough away from the socket for better access to them and unrestricted cooling for the processor.

In terms of functionality the ASUS P6X58D-Premium offers everything that previous X58-Express motherboards delivered, plus it adds third-generation SATA 6Gb/s and SuperSpeed USB-3.0 support. The second-revision Marvell 88SE9123 SATA 6Gb/s controller doesn't offer RAID functionality, but excels in single-drive performance as our test results have shown. Eight-channel high-definition audio and dual-Gigabit Ethernet adapters compliment the platform, along with 24GB total DDR3 memory capacity. Intel's X58-Express chipset receives 32 total PCI-Express link lanes, but when you consider that the SATA6G and SuperSpeed USB 3.0 take up to six PCI-E lanes there's only one place to borrow them from: graphics. With the Marvell and NEC controllers enabled in a single card configuration there are still sixteen link-lanes remaining for PCI-Express graphics bandwidth, which is more than enough, but a dual-card set would be reduced to 16+8 since these controllers require the remainder. For most gamers, this isn't going to make a difference because they're using only one or two video cards anyway, but triple-card sets may experience a small performance penalty.

As of 06 December 2010, the ASUS P6X58D-Premium motherboard sells for $286 at Amazon and NewEgg. This prices comes in well below the $400 ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer and $350 ASUS Rampage-II Extreme X58-Express motherboards (neither of which offer SuperSpeed USB-3 or SATA 6Gb/s), but it also offers a better value than the $350 Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 motherboard which it competes with directly. As it stands now, the P6X58D-Premium is the only ASUS X58 motherboard to support the new USB3/SATA6G features.

In conclusion, the ASUS P6X58D-Premium demonstrated that it can deliver better overall system performance against related X58-Express platform while also adding updated SuperSpeed USB-3.0 and SATA-III 6.0Gb/s functionality. The 16+2 Xtreme Phase Power Design offers energy efficiency similar to other motherboards of this platform when high-end power VRM features are incorporated. Casual gamers and mainstream computer users need not concern themselves with the P6X58D-Premium, especially since ASUS offers the Maximus-III Formula and P7P55-WS SuperComputer which both offer outstanding performance and value for the Intel P55-Express platform. However, if you're one of the elite few who use an Intel Extreme Edition processor or multiple video cards, then the ASUS P6X58D-Premium would go nicely with a Crucial RealSSD-C300 SATA-III 6Gbps SSD. If 64-bit Windows-7 is your Operating System of choice, there are several 12GB DDR3-1600 memory kits that will deliver exceptional performance for the density.

Casual overclockers may be a little overwhelmed, but enthusiast overclockers will feel right at home with the detailed BIOS options offered on the P6X58D-Premium. My feeling is that real-time power status would still be best served beside the power options, but otherwise the 0702 firmware tested in this article was bullet-proof. The ASUS Express Gate SSD feature is helpful if the O/S is unavailable or you're without a boot drive, but otherwise the added boot-up time will force many users to disable this feature until it's needed. Eight total SATA ports will ensure that no drive is left behind (a popular initiative for my SSD collection), but the SATA-III 6Gbps interface will only benefit compatible modern drives that can reach or exceed the SATA-3GB/s threshold. SuperSpeed 3.0 is really the only functional leap over the others, as SuperSpeed USB 3.0 External Storage Products are actually selling. The full depth of ASUS's proprietary product features is well worth the asking price, although TPM encryption security would have been a nice touch. Considering the improved real-world performance against existing USB-2.0/SATA-3G X58-Express solutions, enthusiasts can count on improving system performance with the ASUS P6X58D-Premium.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ Outperforms GA-X58A-UD7 head-to-head
+ SuperSpeed USB-3.0 offers 5Gbps transfer speed
+ 16+2 Xtreme Phase Power VRD reduces power costs
+ Supports ATI CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI dual and triple video card sets
+ Supports 24GB of dual-channel DDR3 up to 2000MHz
+ BIOS offers infinite enthusiast overclocking options
+ Japanese-manufactured surface mount all-solid capacitors
+ Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Full-rate audio with DTS connect
+ Marvell 88SE9123 SATA 6Gb/s controller adds forward compatibility
+ 6 Intel ICH10R SATA ports deliver RAID 0/1/5/JBOD
+ NEC-D720200F1 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 controller
+ MemOK! ensures memory boot compatibility
+ Express Gate SSD allows system/web access without O/S

Cons:

- Expensive 'enthusiast' motherboard solution
- BIOS options can be complicated for some users
- Only 3GB total memory be utilized by 32-bit O/S
- Lacks hardware-based encryption features
- SATA6G/USB3 borrow from PCI-E link lanes

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.25
  • Value: 7.75

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

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


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Comments 

 
# Mobo or OS?supotlol 2010-02-18 11:17
"Only 3x 1GB RAM modules can be utilized by 32-bit O/S"

Why is this a con when this is not the fault of the motherboard but of the OS?
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# Agree...Mouser 2010-04-21 11:28
The limitation of 3GB of memory supported by a 32-bit OS is not a "con" of the motherboard design by any stretch of the imagination. This "con" does not belong in this review.
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# That depends...Olin Coles 2010-04-21 13:50
If you've been using dual-channel motherboards, then you've become accustomed to having the (nearly) full 4GB memory address available. With X58 you're limited to 3GB, which is further reduced by any other memory (video/audio/etc) that may amount to more than 1GB.

It's a con.
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# it is not a confrank 2010-10-03 12:16
In dual channel with 4GB RAM + 1GB GPU your OS would give 3GB RAM to the CPU and 1GB to GPU which leaves 1GB of RAM unusable. A triple channel system having 3GB RAM + 1GB GPU would actually be right on spot with the 4GB OS barrier. So obviously, not only your logic is flawed but your basic math is also wrong.
I don't see how it is different to have 4GB RAM + 1GB GPU or 3GB RAM + 1GB GPU. In the end your CPU will only address 4GB memory so in the dual channel config you are wasting 1GB. Assuming a 2GB GPU in dual channel configs you will get 4GB RAM + 2GB GPU= 2GB RAM + 2GB GPU which means you will waste 2Gb of RAM (assuming the OS will keep favouring GPU memory over RAM). In triple channel you would get 3GB RAM + 2GB GPU = 2GB RAM + 2GB GPU.
If the OS decides to cut off the extra 1GB from the GPU then you still end up with 3GB RAM and 1GB GPU in both configs.
Not a con.
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# 3GBSilver 2010-02-18 12:15
Why would someone that buys a $300+ mobo run a. 3gb of ram or b. a 32bit os. I see no reason to even bring up something so trivial, especially as a 'con'. Also "BIOS options can be complicated for some users", if you buy this board, again someone spending $300+ on a high-end board probably knows what they're doing.
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# RE: ASUS P6X58D-Premium SATA6G MotherboardOlin Coles 2010-02-18 16:44
Just because you might personally know and understand that only 64-bit Operating Systems will support anything more than 4GB of system memory, doesn't mean that everyone else does... including people who have bought this enthusiast motherboard. Just take look at some of the feedback left at the retailer websites for proof.

My rating is subjective, and it is my own. As I say at the beginning of the Conclusion page: Please do not base your purchases solely on our conclusion.
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# Not true about "only 64-bit OS"Rod 2010-02-19 18:21
32-bit Linux supports >4G while utilising Intel's PAE
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# Memory LimitationPhilip Merritt 2010-02-18 17:36
Be aware that page 2-11 of the P6X58D Premium User Manual says "Due to Intel spec definition, X.M.P.DIMMs and DDR3-1600 are supported for one DIMM per channel only." That means higher speed memory is only supported for 3 DIMMs, leaving 3 memory slots empty. Be cautious if you plan to use 24 GB of system memory at the higher speeds. Searching the web for success/failure stories is advised.
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# Thanks for the Review.Shane Broussard 2010-02-19 04:36
Hello. Thanks for the great review of this board. I have been using this board for the past two weeks with great success. But I have only seen one other website review this board. Thanks.
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# new user "memory recommendations??"john 2010-02-25 19:44
just bought board with i7 920,mushkin enhaced 1600 ddr3.memory seems slow for this board any ideas,tweaks or new memory recommend...
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# USB 3.0/SATA-6GJames 2010-02-27 20:41
Excellent review, but I noticed a possible error.
You stated that 6 of 32 PCIe lanes are borrowed from graphics for USB 3.0/SATA-6G support. However, Intel?s X58 IOH supports 36 PCIe lanes, of which 32 are required for 16x/8x/8x triple-SLI/CFX. I?m not sure why the motherboard would reserve six lanes, since only four are used by the ASUS U3S6 PCI-E 4x expansion card. It appears that the graphics performance of this motherboard may not be crippled after all. Although I?m still not sure what happens in the 16x/16x/1x configuration, since an extra lane is required.
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# Oxymoronmisha 2010-03-01 16:57
Your cons: "- Expensive 'enthusiast' motherboard solution; - BIOS options can be complicated for some users"

If it is an enthusiast board as you say, you'd expect rookies to buy a simpler solution, no? Complication not really a con here!
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# Comments about 3GB RAMJMember 2010-03-08 17:44
Then buy 4 RAM modules, won't it work? =O
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# CorrectionsRagingDragon 2010-03-17 20:07
The memory controller is integrated on LGA1366 CPU's, like the LGA1156 CPU's, though the latter seem to have more aggressively optimized memory controllers (perhaps being dual channel they can be optimized more than a triple channel controller?).

The X58 IOH has: 36 PCIe lanes, 4 PCIe lanes linking to the ICH10 southbridge, and a QPI link to the CPU. Unless ASUS are insane, the SATA3 and USB3 controllers would use 4 PCIe lanes from the IOH, leaving a full 32 PCIe lanes for graphics (16 + 16, or 16 + 8 + 8). The PCIe 1X slot, the 1X lane for 16 + 16 + 1 mode, and PCIe lanes for the gigabit LAN would be provided by the ICH10.
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# ManfromtheLandof"QRichard Eckert 2010-03-21 08:14
This P6X58D runs cool 39-45cent with 7-7-7-20 Patriot pc10666,3x2gb.My evga 141-BL-E757-TR run 60cent but it is great to leran to adjust cpu. I let speedstep in Advance Menu(bios) use my operating sytem to run the o/c.
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# 32 stuffBengie 2010-04-02 17:46
#1. It's not a memory limit, but an address space limit. System memory+Sound Card+Video Card+NIC+Etc all have share this 4GB memory space.
#2. Windows client(Non server variants), use to support PAE for memory reasons, but drivers ALSO need to correctly support the feature otherwise memory/data corruption can happen. MS decided too many companies couldn't make decent drivers and disabled extended memory for non-server versions.
#3. Who uses 32bit OS's anymore? That's like using dial up when you have access to FIOS.
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# ArchitectBill 2010-04-14 13:16
(1) Does the fact that both the ASUS and Gigabyte motherboards are designed so SATA-III borrows from PCI-E link lanes mean that I am not going to get the benefit of SATA-III ?

(2) Am I correct to assume that the ASUS motherboard will not support SATA-III Raid 0 ?

(3) Which gives the most bang-for-the-buck: the Crucial RealSSD-C300 with a SATA-III controller (the Marvell SE128 on the Gigabyte motherboard), or the Intel SSD 80GB with a SATA-II controller (the Marvell SE123 on the ASUS motherboard) ?

(4) And finally, if I go with the Gigabyte board, I am thinking about going with the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 as opposed to the ?UD7... as I am an architect using CAD and GIS and not a gamer and thus don?t see the need for advanced cooling. Any problems with this decision ?
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# @BillOlin Coles 2010-04-14 14:17
1) SATA-6G (aka SATA-III) is limited to 5.0 GB/s for motherboards using a controller on the PCIe bus. Presently there isn't an SSD that comes close to that limit, and HDDs barely touch SATA-3G. You'll need a SATA-6G drive that produces more than 300MB/s to make it worth the while.

2) You are correct.

3) Crucial is faster for sure, but I think the OCZ Agility or Corsair Nova are the best bang for the buck.

4) I would use P55 and not X58. My company has built many CAD/CAM systems, and you want to spend your money on a very fast HDD or SSD, decent video card, and plenty of RAM. P55 does a better job with memory and CPU performance than X58... clock for clock.
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# bossHostile 2010-06-04 00:02
Excellent MOBO. I got Asus P6X58D Premium, Intel core i7 975, 2*XFX Black Edition Radeon HD-5970 (4*GPU) video-cards, 12GB Corsair 1600MHz RAM, 1000W Corsair PSU etc... and i like this MOBO very much. Good to overclocking. So are video-cards and processor too. I can say that, this mobo(chips etc.)really kicks hard...
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# mobo died in a yearChris McFaul 2012-03-27 11:15
P6x58D Premium died a silent death. Just decided it would not power on one day. Lightly used, anyone else have this issue?
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# Blank_DiskAndy 2012-08-11 22:26
After reading this review i would agree that the 3 gb barrier is no fault of the mainboard but a limitation of 32 bit o/s, they should of tested it on 64 bit o/s as i run win 7 64 myself and its fantastic on one of these boards with 6gb ddr3 1866 & i7920 clocked to a modest 3.5 ghz, runs everything very quickly, have even had my processor up to 4.2 ghz with no problems but the 920 requires a lot of voltage for that to be stable, the only flaw i can see is the 2 pcie X16 slots are too close for 2 dual slot cards to be ran other than that its a great solution in my opinion
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# RE: Blank_DiskOlin Coles 2012-08-12 08:53
So you read this article, but didn't see our Test Methodology section that clearly states we used Windows-7 Ultimate Edition 64-Bit? Oh, and it's a 4GB barrier, not 3GB; although our test system used 6GB DDR3.
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