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MSI X58 Eclipse SLI Core i7 Motherboard

By: Cameron Johnson | Socket LGA 1366 in Motherboards | Posted: Feb 1, 2009 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: MSI

Inside the Box - Continued


MSI X58 Eclipse Motherboard Review


If you thought the documentation and CD's were a handful, the cables and additional accessories are enough to make you gag. First off, MSI provides you with a total of six internal SATA data cables along with three molex to SATA power converters, one IDE cable with two-drive support and an FDD cable, all red in colour to make up the internal cables. MSI includes the same PCI expansion cover bracket with two e.SATA ports and a power port in the rear to allow you to have two e.SATA ports by stealing two of the internal headers.


MSI X58 Eclipse Motherboard Review


Due to the cross platform GPU support, MSI has included two Crossfire link cables as well as a single SLI link cable. There are no 3-Way SLI link cables included, so if you want to run Tri-SLI you need to get one of the bulky cards somewhere else. However, Quad SLI is possible with the single SLI cable using any of the GX2 line of graphics cards or the new GTX 295. Included as well is a two-port USB expansion bracket that takes up a spare PCI expansion slot.


MSI X58 Eclipse Motherboard Review


MSI has made a change to how the new Genie Power unit works. On past boards MSI has just used voltage regulators and software to handle the power saving, but this is now happening on a whole new level. MSI has included a new plug pack that goes between the motherboard and the PSU; this not only monitors in real time the amount of power being used by the system, but it is able to reduce the power flow to help conserve as much power as possible before it reaches the motherboard. But unfortunately this proved to hamper overclocking, which we will explain later.


MSI X58 Eclipse Motherboard Review


While onboard audio has gotten a lot better since the original AC'97 audio was introduced, audiophiles will clearly say that even Azalia Audio doesn't produce crystal clear sound, especially when playing back Blu-ray movies. To this end MSI has decided to ditch the Intel audio option and go with an external source. Using the X-Fi audio processor, MSI has included a PCIe x1 based X-Fi audio card.


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