MSI X58M Motherboard Review :: Features

07-16-2009 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
  • Active Phase Switching
  • All Solid Capacitors
  • True Blu-Ray audio
  • Live Update Online
  • Live Update 3
  • M-Flash
  • Easy OC Switch
  • User Friendly
  • Supports Intel Core i7 based processors in LGA1366 package
  • Intel X58 Chipset
  • Supports QPI up to 6.4GT/s
  • Southbridge ICH10R Chipset
  • VGA Booster
  • NVIDIA SLI Supported

MSI X58M Motherboard Review

Part Number 141-BL-E759
Manufacturer EVGA
Chipset X58
North Bridge Intel X58
Socket LGA1366 Socket
Memory speed 1600/1333/1066/800 DDR3
Processor Types Core i7
Number of CPUs 1
QPI Up to 6.4GT/second
Memory Type DDR3
Memory Channels Triple
Maximum Memory 24GB
External Graphics PCI Express x16 x4
South Bridge ICH10R
Audio 8-channel
IDE 133/100/66
SATA 3.0 GB/s
RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, 10
LAN 10/100/1000 4 LAN Ports
Firewire IEEE 1394a
BIOS Phoenix Award

MSI X58M Motherboard Review

The X58M uses the X58 chipset for the Northbridge and the ICH10R chipset for the Southbridge. The X58 chipset is the only one to support Intel's Core i7 CPU and is the first Intel chipset to natively support NVIDIA's SLI Multi-GPU solution as well as ATI's Crossfire multi-GPU solution. The Front Side Bus has been replaced by the Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) which has a bandwidth of 6.4Gigatransfers/second.

MSI uses All Solid Capacitors which are designed to last longer than the traditional capacitors used in motherboards, up to 50000 hours of life. One of the big features of the Core i7 CPU is the ability to use phase switching to lower power requirements when the system is not under load. The X58M motherboard has Active Phase Switching which controls the power demand for the CPU, Memory and Chipset PWM. It saves power depending on the load (i.e. 3D gaming full load, browsing the Internet a lighter load) and uses power more efficiently compared to motherboards without this feature.

MSI includes an Easy OC switch which allows the end-user to overclock the Base Clock on a Core i7 CPU with the flip of a couple of switches. There are three settings for the Core i7 CPU: 133MHz (Default) 166MHz, and 200MHz. With the Core i7 you multiply the Base clock by the multiplier to get the clock speed instead of the FSB. On a Core i7 920 for example the multiplier is 20 so you would get a clock speed of 2.66GHz with a 133MHz BCLK or 3.33GHz via 166MHz and 4GHz via 200MHz. MSI calls their board User Friendly due to the Power button onboard allowing out of the chassis boot and stacked SATA ports.

MSI Live Update Online and Live Update 3 are driver and BIOS update utilities. Live Update online automatically downloads and updates the BIOS and driver when a new version is available online. It reduces the risk of getting the wrong file and minimizes the searching for drivers most users have to go through. Live Update 3 automatically checks BIOS, driver and utility updates and installs them for you saving time essentially doing the same thing. MFLASH allows the end-user to update the BIOS from a USB Flash drive. Even if the BIOS crashes you can still boot from a USB Flash drive if needed, giving extra security on the possibility of a bad BIOS Flash.