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There's certainly been a fair share of early looks at upcoming X58 motherboards from the likes of ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI, Foxconn and others, but you 'aint seen nothing yet. Hows this for eye candy :-
XFastest recently got hold of some of the most talked about and extreme X58 boards we've seen to date for an all out photo shoot. There's absolutely no shortage of angles and closeups in this compilation.
The boards comprise ASUS' well regarded P6T Deluxe and Rampage II Extreme, GIGABYTEs GA-EX58-DS4 and GA-EX58-EXTREME, as well as MSIs X58 Eclipse and Foxconn's Digital Life Renaissance.
Head over to this section of XFastest's forums to see the complete collection.
We've seen GIGABYTEs top-end EX58-Extreme motherboard in all its heat-pipe weilding glory. And while the board is certainly worthy of its "Extreme" title, the thought of its associated price tag would be enough to tone down much of the excitement for many.
However, another very similar board has now been spotted from the giant mobo maker, the EX58-UD5. XFastest managed to
get a shot of it in its final revision form for us all to feast our eyes on.
Using their latest Ultra Durable 3 construction, the board also carries across almost all of the features the Extreme variant boasts, but it sports a different colour sceheme we haven't seen in the past and also does away with the massive cooling system in replacement for a (still quite impressive looking) design.
Whilst in attendance at IDF Tapei, the folks at Fudzilla have snapped some nicely presented photos of a bunch of X58 motherboards, some of which we haven't seen until now.
This is one particular offering I don't believe has been spotted before; ECS' X58B-A. And it would appear this one's in its final revision state with a rather healthy looking cooling system in place.
Another sighting of the mighty Blood Rage from Foxconn, this time showing the board from a different angle to the shots we first saw recently. Please note that the cooling system shown here is not final; as mentioned the other day, Foxconn has a full heatpipe system ready for the board with interchangeable cooling options on the Northbridge, including a waterblock.
Fudzilla spotted something else quite nifty about this board; it has two holes for the CPU heatsink legs; one set of holes to suit your existing LGA775 cooler. Let's hope we see some of the other manufacturers doing this.
You can view shots of several other boards here, including a bit of an odd ball offering from Shuttle and a beefy workstation solution from Supermicro.
A forum user over at XtremeSystems, by the name of Ivanqu, has managed to take an MSI P45 Platinum motherboard to a whole new level by reaching an incredibly high FSB.
Use plenty of LN2 loving, he managed to take an Intel 45nm Wolfdale Core 2 Duo E8400 (only one core enabled, though and with just one stick of 512MB memory in single channel mode) to a clock speed of 4235MHz but that is not the impressive part. By using liquid nitrogen on the Northbridge, Ivanqu managed to pump the FSB all the way up to an amazing 705MHz with the CPU multiplier running at six.
You can read more over at the XtremeSystems forum thread here and the CPU-Z Validated page is right here.
Yet another X58 based Nehalem board for the desktop market gets an early showing, this time from SUPoX which, if you weren't already aware, was actually once EPoX before it faded away and the new company was born.
This here is a viewing of their AP58+ GTR; a full featured board with a quite serious looking copper cooling system. Features include CrossfireX and most likely SLI, eight SATA ports, dual Gigabit, reset and CMOS clear buttons, three x16 PCIe slots, six DDR3 slots for triple channel memory configurations and 7.1 integrated audio.
The board is being promised for release upon the Nehalem launch date; we're not yet aware of pricing.
XFX reckons and we aren't kidding, Now You Can Have the "Mother" You've Always Wanted.
Yep, that's right, as you can see above in the marketing poster. XFX is out with its brand new nForce 750i SLI motherboard and now usually wwe don't get excited because XFX normally use NVIDIA made boards but from what we can see, this board looks to be made and designed by XFX.
It features an XFX designed passively cooled heatpipe, "tweaked" FSB good up to 450MHz, overclocked DDR2 good up to 1600MHz DDR, all Japanese made solid capacitors, clear CMOS on rear I/O panel and more.
It probably won't help you to break any world records but for the price, this board will give you plenty of bang for buck. You can get the full lowdown from the press release, which is right here.
We visited Eric, Jarry and Jet at the DFI headquarters in Taipei today where they gave us an exclusive up-close look at a working sample of their forthcoming LANPARTY UT X58 motherboard.
We got a look at the first revision of the board and sadly the new heatpipe cooler was not quite ready for us to take photos of. This board will get a similar made by Thermalright cooler as seen on older boards, but this time around DFI has decided to make the coolers themselves to try and reduce costs. It was mentioned that while the cooler will be similar, it will be improved by allowing users to use their own after market or custom cooling equipment or "weapons" as Jarry put it, whereas with other brand motherboards that is not always that easy to do. That did allow us to get an unobstructed view of the no fuss high-end enthusiast performance motherboard. Jarry Chang, the head engineer and designer at DFI, had some interesting points to make about the LANPARTY UT X58 and much of it made perfect sense.
The first question of course had to be about the DDR3 voltage limitations on the X58 Express chipset with Core i7, which came to light online recently. DFI told us that they were not aware of any serious issues and that they've tested memory working around 1.8 - 1.9 volts without killing a CPU. DFI has no intention of limiting the amount of voltage to go to the memory on the LANPARTY UT X58 and stated that they will probably support up to 2.0 - 2.1 volts and are considering providing a warning to users depending on how further testing goes up until when the board goes on sale in November.
He mentioned that other motherboard brands often pack a lot of fancy features onto their high-end boards, but he noted that most of them were over the top and not used or not required. For instance, this X58 motherboard gets eight CPU power phases whereas some other brand boards have up to 12 phases and even more. Jarry noted from his own internal testing that no CPU, even quad-core, would need this many and the rest would just go wasted and unused.
DFI is purely focused on creating high-end performance and super overclocking motherboards without the extras that other brands include - as mentioned, you don't get the so called "GPS" and "airbags" with DFI boards, but you do get great performance - and we would agree with that statement. We all had a laugh when it was mentioned by DFI that folks like GIGABYTE and ASUS are creating boards with loads of power saving features but pack on a lot of unnecessary parts and materials that are not really needed and go against the whole notion of saving the planet.
Getting back to the motherboard itself, the LANPARTY UT X58 will support ATI CrossfireX and NVIDIA SLI. Jarry mentioned that the board we saw today was not the final shipping version (but very close) and the final version would be the same, but will have its three PCI-E 2.0 expansion slots running electronically at x16, x8 and x8 lanes. NVIDIA suggested rather persistently to DFI over a couple of meetings that this was the best setup for optimal performance and a requirement of three-way SLI. The board will get two PCI slots of legacy devices along with a single x4 PCI-E slot.
As far as power phases go, the Socket LGA-1366 CPU gets eight phases, two phases for the triple-channel DDR3 memory, two for the Northbridge and also two for the PWM. IDE is not forgotten with a single IDE port that supports two devices along with an FDD port, which could probably go now.
There are eight SATA-II ports but sadly no eSATA at the moment. Jarry mentioned that he was not happy with placing eSATA ports on the back of the board on the I/O panel, since it's not really "true" eSATA, because the user has to go to the back of the case and that's a hassle. Instead, DFI is working on a device, like a break-out box, which allows users to run a 10m cable from the back of the motherboard to a box, which could be placed on your desk for better ease of use - this is a great idea and we look forward to seeing it.
While it's not a new feature, it was the first we really took a lot of notice of it. We are talking about DFI's BIOS chip, which is setup to easily be able to be removed and replaced with a new one if it goes bad during overclocking. It also allows Jarry and other DFI engineers to send its BETA testers and overclockers new BIOS' to test out and see which works best. There is also a programmable pin header just above the BIOS area next to the blue jumper that allows power users to manually program the BIOS. You get a look at that part of the motherboard above.
As far as availability goes, the board should go on sale no later than the end of November after the launch of the first three Intel Core i7 processors and while the price hasn't been fully decided yet, it should go on sale for "at least" $300 USD - start saving your pennies, as no X58 motherboard is going to be cheap.
DFI alerted us just recently that they've been playing around with one of its LANPARTY JR P45-T2RS micro-ATX motherboards and has been able to FSB all the way up to an astonishing 685MHz with the CPU operating at around 4.1GHz.
This impressive overclock from a small motherboard managed to score a Super PI 1M result of 7.25 seconds - it's not as impressive as the DFI DK P45-T2RS Plus which broke a world record last month, but for a micro-ATX mobo, we're impressed.
With the restriction of space, most of the microATX motherboards have to loss part of the configurations and performance, but the "small = low performance" myth has been completely broken by LANParty. Within the limited space, the best Bus speed of JR P45-T2RS is up to 685MHz, and the performance of Super Pi 1M is second to none; it surpasses not only the micorATX, but also most of the ATX-designed motherboard. It can be said without fear of exaggeration that JR P45-T2RS is the most powerful microATX in the history.
Why does LANParty JR P45-T2RS have such amazing performance under the restricted conditions? During the process of design, the majority of micorATX motherboards often suffer considerable signal interference because of the lack of space; therefore, the conservative wiring approach is often adopted to pursue stability at the expense of performance. However, the LANParty R & D team hold that "stability is merely a basic element", while the pursuit of stronger performance is the only objective. It's under such concept that the true overclocking microATX motherboard has been invented.
DFI is claiming its baby P45 mobo is king of Super PI and we'd have to agree.
We have seen X58 Core i7 boards from the usual suspects already, but one company that has only just joined the party is Biostar.
The folks over at Matbe were able to get a picture of the Biostar T-POWER X58 board and while it does not reveal anything overly exciting, it does go a long way in showing that Biostar is still fighting pretty hard when it comes to high-end performance motherboards.
This board looks to include a standard heatpipe that cools the PWM, Northbridge and Southbridge and it appears to be passively cooled with no fancy options to add water cooling or anything else. Of course being for the Core i7 Nehalem, it gets triple channel DDR3 support and it also includes three PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots running at full speed.
Interestingly Matbe claim the board supports CrossfireX and SLI but we'll need to wait and see when we get our hands on one in our labs probably late next month.
In all the excitement surrounding Intel's upcoming Nehalem microarchitecture and, the associated, X58 platform, we've not heard much about NVIDIA's chipset offerings recently.
NVIDIA-loyal EVGA, has released a refresh of its nForce 790 SLI FTW motherboard, known as the nForce 790 SLI FTW Digital PWM, seen above.
In addition to the feature set of its predecessor, including 8-phase power and a sideways exhaust cooling system, the new offering boasts digital power management which is claimed to improve stability, efficiency and allow for improved overclocking prospects.
Intel's Core 2 Duo, Quad and Extreme CPUs are supported by EVGA's latest offering and a $339.99 price point, is gracing current stock availability.