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Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 Motherboard
Intel Core i7: Platform
Intel X58-Express Platform
Gigabyte X58A Features
GA-X58A-UD7 Specifications
eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D)
Gigabyte X58A-UD7 Components
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
Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 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 

 
# Smart TPM initialization problemJohn Berthoty 2010-03-18 14:34
Tried to initialize, got an error: InvalidArgument=Value of '-1' is not valid for 'index'. Parameter name: index

Any clues anyone?
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# RE: Smart TPM initialization problemOlin Coles 2010-03-18 14:41
You should take this question to our forum, where there are more people avialable to respond. You should also include more information, such as your O/S, software version, and steps taken.
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# RE: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 MotherboardLeibritz 2010-04-09 10:09
none MB utilizes more than 3GB of memory on 32-bit Windows...
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# SATA-II and SATA-III Raid 0 SupportBill 2010-04-16 14:47
(1) Are there two SATA controllers on the motherboard, one for SATA-II and one for SATA-III ?

(2) Either way, will the respective SATA controller support Raid 0 for two SATA-II SSD storage devices ?
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# Answered in the article...Olin Coles 2010-04-16 14:51
"There are two eSATA ports available with a 4-pin Molex power connector between them for a total of two eSATA ports. In regards to standard integrated SATA ports, the X58A-UD7 motherboard offers six Intel ICH10R (colored blue) Southbridge ports capable of RAID-0, 1, 5, and 10. Along side these ports are four SATA-6.0 connections supplied by the Marvell 88SE9128 controller (colored white) which support RAID-0, 1, and JBOD."
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# RE: Answered in the article...Bill 2010-04-16 14:56
Perfect! Thanks for the information :)
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# ProlimaTech MegahalemsDustin 2010-04-21 14:38
Did the ProlimaTech Megahalems fit with the included mobo cooler which takes up a pci express 1.0 slot?
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# No problemsOlin Coles 2010-04-21 14:59
The Hybrid SilentPipe is positioned below the Northbridge, if you choose to use it. This add-on is nowhere near the CPU, and doesn't get in the way of any heatsinks I've tested.
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# ThanksDustin 2010-04-21 15:05
Thanks for the fast response. I'm a big fan f your work :)
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# SATA 6.0Gb HDDTinus Pruis 2010-05-14 13:34
Hi, on the GA-X58A-UD7 with the I7-Core.. which SATA port do I connect my 2TB Barracuda HDD (7200) with Windows 7? On SATA 0 or SATA 6 where the 6.0Gb connection I think should be connected?
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# RE: SATA 6.0Gb HDDOlin Coles 2010-05-14 13:40
Hello Tinus: Although the Barracuda XT's are SATA-6G compatible, you won't see a difference. The X58A-UD7 motherboard offers six Intel ICH10R (colored blue) Southbridge ports capable of RAID-0, 1, 5, and 10. Along side these ports are four SATA-6.0 connections supplied by the Marvell 88SE9128 controller (colored white) which support RAID-0, 1, and JBOD.
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# RE: SATA 6.0Gb HDDTinus Pruis 2010-05-14 14:14
Hi Olin, thank you for your quick response.. hmm ~ sorry but you are going way over my head..
iaw. I can connect my hdd on SATA 0 and the DVD-rom on SATA 1? Won't make a difference, cause I also don't run any RAID configuration..
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# RE: RE: SATA 6.0Gb HDDOlin Coles 2010-05-14 14:16
Conntect them to any of the ports, and you'll be fine. Ideally the hard drive should be on one of the white ports, and everything else on blue.
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# TempSobo 2010-06-01 14:48
Hi everyone !
My i7-930 cpu is at 60*C temperature in idle with no OC and box cooler, what can i do ?
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# Best CPU Cooler PerformanceOlin Coles 2010-06-01 15:44
@ Sobo: You need to read our "Best CPU Cooler Performance" articles located in the Cooling section from the main menu of this website.
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# crossfiremartin 2010-06-19 05:29
is there is a problem to make crossfire with this motherboard + HDD with sata 3 - because i read 1 of pci x16 slots start working at x8 when sata 3 and another story with fps drop at half when this sata 3 is working with 1 vga at this slot(x16 who drops at x8)
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# RE: crossfireOlin Coles 2010-06-19 08:11
Martin: your question has already been answered in this review, as well as in the user comments.
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# RE: RE: crossfiremartin 2010-06-20 09:32
well first -thank you for the answer
second - i didnt made my question exactly correct - yes i can read there its possible and 'no problem ' but i cant find any real time test with high end crossfire/sli configurations + sata 3 HDD ,thats why i asked
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# RE: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 Motherboardleo 2010-07-21 20:54
hay alguna que sea parecida a esa y que este un poco mas barata para un i7 920
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# RE: RE: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 MotherboardOlin Coles 2010-07-21 20:59
Este es un producto para overclockers serios, pero hay modelos mucho más asequible.
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# RE: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 Motherboardleo 2010-07-21 21:05
entonces esta es para overlockers.igual gracias porque me escribis en español.
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# MrSheps 2010-08-01 01:01
Is trim supported by the GA-X58A-UD7 in raid0 with 2 OCZ vertex2e ssd drives.
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# Not In RAIDBruceBruce 2010-08-01 05:58
TRIM is currently not supported by any SSDs in any RAID configuration. It is not strictly a function of the Motherboard, more like an alliance between the Southbridge, device drivers, the OS, and the firmware on the SSD.
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# RE: MrOlin Coles 2010-08-01 07:06
It doesn't matter what motherboard you use, TRIM is an O/S and SSD function. On the Intel ICH10 controller, it's my understanding that TRIM only works with the Intel Rapid Storage Driver when used in a RAID array.

I have to tell you though, SSDs aren't HDDs. You don't need RAID-0, and you'll notice no real-world difference like you would with a HDD.
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# OlinJJ 2010-09-30 17:33
While TRIM is a function of the OS, the SSD must support the functionality. TRIM cannot be passed to drives in a RAID array. TRIM also does not require the Intel Rapid Storage Driver.

AHCI performance is, however, affected by the IRSD. You will get a noticable increase in performance with AHCI on AND using the updated IRSD. There is currently no way to make TRIM work with RAIDed drive members.
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# RE: OlinOlin Coles 2010-09-30 18:03
Sorry to correct you, but TRIM actually is possible on SSDs in a RAID array. They have to be on an Intel ICH controller, and you have to use the Intel Rapid Storage Driver.
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# AlsoJJ 2010-09-30 17:38
Though SSDs are not HDs, there in fact IS a huge difference in performance with RAIDed SSDs. The real issue is, unless you are using a dedicated PCIe RAID card (not the onboard ICHxx RAID solution which uses the SATA bus), your crazy fast SSD RAID will be limited by the 250 MB/sec SATA II bottleneck. Two Crucial Real SSDs would reach more than 500 MB/sec on a PCIe RAID card solution.

Would you really know the difference between 250 and 500 MB/sec when you're opening IE, Word, or any day-to-day application? Probably not. For applications that benefit from multiplication of throughput rates... yes, you would. Again, TRIM would be out the window in that configuration.
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# Motherboard recommendationNag 2010-10-29 20:34
May I trouble you to recommend a Gigabyte X58 motherboard?

Main use: cpu-intensive, computational. memory or HDD i/o is not an issue.

My constraints:
1. cpu = i7 950
2. stable motherboard--no overclocking, no fancy features, must be reliable and durable with most kinks ironed out, good thermal features.
3. 6 memory slots: prefer to start with 12GB (3 x 4GB)--again speed is not a constraint--with a max of 24GB.
4. Summers are hot--45C
5. Prefer one eSATA port and USB 3.0 Do not care about SATA 3. Perhaps you can recommend one MB wihout eSATA, USB 3.0 being a constraint and one MB with eSATA and USB 3.0.

Thanks
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# RE: Motherboard recommendationOlin Coles 2010-10-30 09:11
Hello, thanks for posting but this is really a question for our forum. The quick answer is that X58 is intended for SLI/CrossFire video card sets, and would be 'overkill' for your needs. Because of the processor, I recommend any of the lesser-expensive X58 options. Nearly all will feature eSATA and USB 3.0, and SATA-6G is merely an option. Take a look at NewEgg, and sort by price.
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# Sata 3.0Oni 2011-03-01 15:44
Guys i want to Connect my 250 gb HDD to the 6gb/s how do i do it i know its a stupid question but is it possible to increase the data transfer I have 1 HDD

My PC
Core I7 930 O.C. ar 3.4 ghz
Gigabyte X58 A UD7
Hitachi 250gb HDD
2x 250 GTS SLI
Gigabyte Odin Pro 550 PSU
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# RE: Sata 3.0Olin Coles 2011-03-01 15:46
Don't bother. SATA 6Gb/s connections are only useful for drives designed to reach past 3GB/s, and your hard drive only offers 1GB/s speeds. Only the newest SSDs are able to make use of the extra bandwidth.
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# Dualdavid wisotsky 2011-03-27 09:24
I just came off a dual zeon tiger board thinking I would go faster with this 4 core 3.2
I was very disappointed with this board. Stalls and makes allot of hard drive noise So i shut off paging helped a little
Then i shut off power saving features and it seems to really help
I think the default starves the CPU
If you have good cooling do it
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