The P6X58D-E follows the ATX layout. It uses a heat pipe cooling system, but one that only connects the Northbridge and part of the power regulation setup. The Southbridge and the other half of the power regulation use stand-alone heatsinks to keep things cool.
Taking a look at the top of the board, we give you a good look at the six RAM slots. Unlike many of the ASUS boards we have played with recently, the P6X58D-E does not have one-armed RAM slots. However, this is not going to be a problem; the primary PCIe slot is far enough away from the RAM that you should not have any issues with installing or removing RAM. There is also enough clearance to allow an active RAM cooler to be used.
The MemOK! button is in this area as well. To use this you simply press it during POST and the board automatically sets the proper RAM timings for the best balance of performance and stability.
The CPU socket area is very clean. Looking at the row of capacitors, we can see that ASUS has left some space between the rows to allow for air flow. This should help keep things cool here. The EPU processor is barely visible on the left of this shot, but this helps to control the phases providing the right amount of power to keep everything stable. The 8-pin 12V Aux power connector is at the upper edge of the board. It is not hindered by either of the heatsinks in this area, but if you wait to connect power until after the board is mounted you might have an issue.
The lower half of the P6X58D-E has a combination of PCIe and PCI ports that are intriguing. The three PCIe x16 slots give you options for Tri-SLI and Crossfire X. The options are noteworthy; if you are running only two GPUs (in the blue slots) both will run at x16. When you load up all the slots, the primary GPU will be x16 and the other two will run at x8. In-between the PCIe slots ASUS has placed two PCI 2.0 slots to allow for good flexibility. There is a single x1 PCIe slot just in case you want to drop in a discrete audio card or TV tuner.
Moving over to the other side of the board, we see the IHC10R under its smaller passive heatsink. We also see the Marvell controller that runs the dual SATA 3.0 ports on the board. There are two SATA ports (ports 5 and 6) away from the rest of the SATA cluster.
The I/O ports on the board are not very exciting, but they do offer some nice options. You get two USB 3.0 ports, a single Firewire (1394a), Coaxial and Optical S/PDiF out along with the standard fare.
The P6X58D-E is a well laid out board which offers some good flexibility depending on the setup you want to run.