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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

Intel X58-Express Platform

The ASUS P6X58D-Premium motherboard platform consists of the Intel Core i7 processor (CPU), Intel X58-Express Chipset (IOH) and the ICH. The CPU now incorporates the system memory controller and accesses DDR3 memory through three independent memory channels. The IOH provides support for the two PCIe graphics slots and connects to the CPU via the Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) bus. The ICH provides the support for the SATA, USB and other system interfaces and is connected to the IOH via the DMI bus.

Intel Core i7 CPU Socket 1366 Processor and Intel DX58SO Smackover Extreme Edition X58 Motherboard Platform Performance Benchmark Test Comparison Review

All motherboard busses and components are driven from a single 133.33 MHz base clock. The resulting component speed values are generated by applying a multiplier value to this base clock. There are four multipliers on the motherboard which are used to set the system speed:

  1. CPU Speed: When multiplied by the system base clock speed (default 133.33 MHz) gives the CPU frequency. Four multipliers are used to define different speeds based on the number of active CPU cores.
  2. Memory Speed: When multiplied by the system base clock speed gives the memory frequency. For example a memory multiplier of 10 times the base clock of 133.33 MHz results in a memory frequency of 1333 MHz.
  3. Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) Speed: Selectable transfer rate of data transferred between the CPU and the IOH.
  4. Uncore Speed: This multiplier applies to the non-CPU related items in the processor. The limit on this multiplier is set by the memory multiplier.

The Intel X58 Express ChipsetIntel_X58-Express_Badge.jpg

The Intel X58 Express Chipset continues to push innovation with capabilities designed to deliver quality, performance and headroom The Intel X58 Express Chipset achieves this performance by supporting the latest Intel Core i7 family of processors at 6.4 GT/s and 4.8 GT/s speeds via the Quick Path Interconnect (QPI), and enabling increased system bandwidth by supporting industry leading technologies, such as PCI Express 2.0 graphics, Intel Turbo Memory and support for Intel High-Performance Solid State drives.

PCI Express 2.0

Intel's high-end desktop chipset continues support for PCI Express 2.0 and adds flexibility with support of dual x16 and up to quad x8 graphics card configurations and combinations in between. The greatly improved 32GB/s of graphics bandwidth capability enables much higher levels of performance on graphics intensive applications such as high end gaming and video rendering for digital content creation.

Faster System Performance

With the growing imbalance between processor and memory performance, it is critical to optimize the memory controller design to obtain the maximum possible performance from the memory subsystem. The transition of the integrated memory controller (iMC) into the processor significantly increases overall system performance through the optimization of available bandwidth along with reduction of memory access latency. The Intel Core i7 family of processors brings triple channel DDR3 memory technology support. The DDR3 SDRAM devices operating at 1066 MHz, offer peak data transfer rates of up to 25.6 GB/s (when operated in triplel-channel interleaved mode), enabling the platform to take advantage of the higher bandwidth, faster system performance, and higher performance per watt at 1066MHz2.

Intel I/O Controller Hub 10 (Intel ICH10 and Intel ICH10R)

The Intel ICH10 I/O controller hub of the Intel X58 Express Chipset integrates several capabilities to provide flexibility for connecting I/O devices.

  • Intel Matrix Storage Technology1: Native support of external SATA ports (eSATA), combined with Intel Matrix Storage Technology (Intel MST), provides the flexibility to add an external drive for increased data storage with up to 6 times faster performance than USB* 2.0 or IEEE 1394 4002. Support for eSATA enables the full SATA interface speed of up to 3 Gb/s outside the chassis. The Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) provides easier expandability with support for eSATA devices and native hot plug, while boosting boot and multi-tasking performance with Native Command Queuing (NCQ). In addition, support for Command Based Port Multipliers, and RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 10 enable greater reliability for personal data, or maximum storage performance for intensive applications.
  • Intel Rapid Recover Technology (when configured with ICH10R I/O controller): With the ability to instantly boot off of a clone hard drive, Intel Rapid Recover Technology provides a fast, easy to use method for the end user to recover their data and return their system to an operational status.
  • Intel Turbo Memory: The Intel X58 Express Chipset with the Intel ICH10R also supports Intel Turbo Memory, an innovative flash memory-based overall system performance and boot time accelerator. This feature is easily implemented using a PCI
    Express x1 module and can be used with any SATA Hard Drive to improve system responsiveness. Intel Turbo memory enables faster application loading and concurrent performance enhancements when used in conjunction with Intel Matrix Storage
    Technology. Intel Turbo Memory, paired with the Intel X58 Express Chipset, also allows the user to easily control the applications or data in the cache using the new Intel Turbo Memory Dashboard interface, boosting performance further.
  • Intel Solid State Drives support: The Intel X58 Express Chipset, when paired with Intel X25-E Extreme and X25-M Mainstream SATA Solid State Drives (SSDs), provides a high performance solution that can enable faster overall system response, boot and resume times. With no moving parts, SSDs run cooler and quieter and are a more reliable option than hard drives. In addition, SSDs remove input/output (I/O) performance bottlenecks associated with hard disk drives that help maximize the efficiency of Intel processors, such as the new Intel Core i7 processor family.



 

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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