Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review :: Intel DX58SO BIOS and Overclocking

12-28-2008 · Category: Motherboards

By Ben Sun

Intel uses a modified version of their BIOS that was used in their X48 chipset which is split into Main, Advanced, and Performance, Security, Power, Boot and Exit submenus. The Main submenu has the BIOS version, the Processor type, number of processor cores, Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, Processor speed, System Memory Speed, Current QPI Data Rate, L2 and L3 Cache RAM, Total memory and Memory Channel settings. Language, Date, Time and Additional System Information is also here.

Advanced is split into Boot Configuration, Peripheral Configuration, Drive Configuration, Event Log Configuration, Video Configuration, Hardware Monitoring, Chipset Configuration, and USB Configuration menus. Drive Configuration is where you set the RAID configuration in the BIOS and where the HDDs are detected. Video Configuration is where the Primary Video Adapter is set. Hardware monitoring is where the temperatures voltages and fan speeds are listed on the running system.

Performance is where the overclocking on the BIOS is set. Note that there is an warning screen that flashes before you enter the Performance section saying that altering clock frequency and or voltage may reduce system stability and useful life of system. To get beyond that screen you must click yes to continue. The Performance submenu is split into Host Clock Frequency Override, Processor Overrides, Memory Overrides and Bus Overrides. Once you enable Manual overclocking of the clock frequencies you can change the Host Clock frequency from the default 133MHz.

Processor Overrides is where you would override the default settings for the CPU. The settings here are Static CPU Voltage Override, Dynamic CPU Voltage Override Offset, Enhanced Power Slope, Maximum Non-Turbo Ratio, CPU Idle State, Intel Dynamic Speed Technology, and CPU VR Current Limit Override. Note the Maximum Non-Turbo Ratio is limited on the 920 and 940 CPUs but can be changed on the 965 XE CPU. Memory configuration is where all of the memory options are. Bus overrides are where the QPI Configuration, PCI Express Configuration and PCI configuration is done. Here's a chart of the various settings available:


SettingRange
Active Processor cores All, 1, 2
Active Multithreading Enable, Disable
Failsafe Watchdog Enable, Disable
Host Clock Frequency Override Automatic, Manual
Host Clock Frequency 133-240MHz in 1MHz increments
Static CPU Voltage Override 1.0-1.64V
Dynamic CPU Voltage Offset 0-494MV in 6MV increments
Maximum Non-Turbo Ratio 12x-20x on Core i7 920, 12x-22x on Core i7 940, 12x-24x on Core i7 965 XE
CPU Idle state Low Performance, High Performance
Turbo Mode Enable, Disable
TDC Current Limit Override 0-500 Amps in 1 Amp increment
TDP Power Limit Override 0-500W in 1 Watt increments
4 Core Ratioi Limit 12x-63x in 1x increments
3 Core Ratio Limits 12x-63x in 1x increments
2 Core Ratio limit 12x-63x in 1x increments
1 Core Ratio limits 12x-63x in 1x increments
IOH Core Voltage Override 1.10-1.50v in 0.025v increments
QPI Voltage Override 1.50-1.80V in 0.025v increments
QPI Data rate CPU Dependent 4.8GT/second on Core i7 920 and 940, 6.4GT/second on 965XE
PCI Express Burn-In Percentage 100MHz, 101-110Mhz in 1MHz increments
PCI Latency Timer 32-248 in 32 increments
Performance Memory Profiles Auto, Manual
UCLCK Multiplier 12x-30x in 1x increments
Memory Multiplier Auto, 6, 8,10, 12
Memory Voltage 1.5v-2.5v in 0.04v increments
Command Rate Auto, 1T, 2T
DIMM DQ REF +128 to -128 in 1 increments
DIMM CA REF 128 to -128 in 1 increments

Overclocking on the DX58SO was pretty successful. I was able to overclock the reference board by upping the Base Clock and upping the voltage on the CPU to over 4GHz with the Thermalright CPU cooler and an air system. Note that the Core i7 920 does not have unlocked multipliers so I was unable to change the multiplier to get a more precise overclock. Air cooling using the Intel reference cooler allowed the CPU to overclock to 3.52GHz, not too shabby as the CPU is 10% faster in clock speed than the 965 XE.


Bios screenshots


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review


Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review
Intel X58 Extreme DX58SO Motherboard Review