Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review :: Intel DX58SO Layout

12-28-2008 · Category: Motherboards

By Ben Sun

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review Board shot

Board shot

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review X58 Express chipset

X58 Express chipset

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review ICH10R Southbridge

ICH10R Southbridge

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket


Intel's new LGA-1366 interface is similar in most respects to their LGA-775 interface except it is larger due to the larger number of pins contacting the CPU Socket. The installation of a Core i7 is done almost exactly as the old interface with lifting up the lever, lifting up the cover removing the CPU cover and inserting the CPU into the Socket and reversing the process to install the CPU. After applying some Thermal Paste onto the CPU and attaching the CPU cooler you are good to go.


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review 8-pin power

8-pin power

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review 24-pin power

24-pin power

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review USB Headers

USB Headers

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review Front Panel HDR

Front Panel HDR


The positioning of the 8-pin power connector is a bit troubling. Rather than place it on top of the board under the IO area as most motherboards do, Intel installed the connector on the bottom of the board next to the X58 Express chipset Northbridge heatsink. This means that the 8-pin power cable has to go over the entire board to get to the connector. The 24-pin power connector is in the correct position on the bottom right portion of the board.


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review DIMM Slots

DIMM Slots

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review IOH Fan

IOH Fan

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review Aux Power

Aux Power

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review Rear of board

Rear of board


There are four DIMM slots on the board. One thing to note with the Core i7 CPUs is that they support triple channel memory meaning that to use triple channel memory on this board you need to install memory modules in the three blue slots. The DIMM slots are next to the CPU Socket. Intel's board is free from obstructions around the CPU area, with low-profile Solid capacitors. The MOSFETs are cooled by heatsinks, allowing cool operation.


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review Expansion

Expansion

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review PCI Express locks

PCI Express locks

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review Power button

Power button

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review Rear fan

Rear fan


The DX58SO has two PCI Express slots for expansion that only work in CrossFire. This allows the DX58SO to have up to two ATI cards in Crossfire mode. Unfortunately, while there are many X58 boards that support NVIDIA's SLI technology, the DX58SO does not, meaning that if you want to run two NVIDIA cards in SLI mode you need to buy another motherboard as Intel did not license the SLI technology from NVIDIA. The other expansion options on the board include two PCI Express x1 slots a PCI Express x4 slot and a PCI slot for legacy devices.


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review 4 SATA ports

4 SATA ports

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review 2 more SATA ports

2 more SATA ports

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review CPU area

CPU area

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review Marvell PHY

Marvell PHY


Drive expansion on the motherboard is important especially now that everything has moved to SATA and away from IDE drives. Intel's X58 chipset has support for up to six SATA drives natively, and the reference board has six SATA ports to support the maximum that the chipset supports. The six ports are separated in pairs. This is one reason manufacturers use sideways facing SATA ports. Intel's retail box has low-profile right angle SATA cables allowing installation with long video cards. The board does not have an IDE port or FDD ports which are legacy hardware now.


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review Northbridge

Northbridge

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review Winbond

Winbond

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review TI chip

TI chip

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review 4-pin Molex

4-pin Molex


Onboard audio is provided by the Sigmatel 9274D audio CODEC. Sigmatel's audio CODECs were bought by IDT Electronics in 2006, meaning that it actually is an IDT chip now. The 9274 supports up to 10 channel audio with 7.1 and 2-speaker sound simultaneously supported by the DX58SO board. The 9274D has a DAC SNR of 106Db with support for SPDIF In/Out on the board. Intel has been using this CODEC for the X38 and X48 reference boards as well as the DX58SO board.


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review IO

IO

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review FP Audio

FP Audio

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review CPU Fan

CPU Fan

Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review Solid Capacitors

Solid Capacitors


Intel's board has an interesting IO area in that the PS/2 Ports that we have been used to since the early days of computing are gone. I would have preferred to have a single PS/2 port for legacy keyboards in case the USB keyboard doesn't work in the BIOS, but computing marches on. In place of the PS/2 ports are two external SATA ports which is a good tradeoff. 8 USB 2.0 ports, a Firewire port, a Gigabit LAN port and 5 jacks for the onboard audio are present. A TOSLINK port for digital sound rounds out the IO area.