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MSI X58M review

Alan Lu
21 Sep 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
124
inc VAT

With a relatively low price and blistering performance, the X58M is the ideal motherboard if you want to build a performance PC.

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Specifications

LGA1366, microATX, Intel X58 chipset, supports: Core i7, Core i7 Extreme Edition

Building a Core i7 PC is expensive, but motherboards such as MSI's X58M - the cheapest Core i7 motherboard we've ever reviewed - make it a little easier on the wallet.

As you'd expect from a performance motherboard, it has two PCI-E x16 slots with CrossFireX support, which will satisfy gamers who want to squeeze every ounce of performance from an already powerful system by using a pair of matching Radeon graphics cards.

It's a microATX board, so there's less room for expansion slots than you'd find on a larger motherboard, but it has a PCI-E x4 slot and a PCI slot. If you fit only one graphics card, you can use the second PCI-E x16 slot for other expansion cards. Six triple-channel memory slots occupy a large part of the motherboard, and can handle up to 24GB of RAM. MSI still manages to find room for seven SATA ports and an IDE connector.

The rear I/O panel is generously equipped with ports. It has six USB connections, a pair of PS/2 ports, eSATA and FireWire connections. If six USB ports aren't enough, the motherboard comes with a USB bracket that can be connected to one of the three free internal USB headers.

If you're planning to build a Core i7 PC, you'll be concerned about speed, and the X58M has that in spades. It gave us one of the fastest benchmark scores we've ever seen. At £124, this board could never be described as a bargain but it's incredibly cheap compared with every other Core i7 motherboard out there.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
Processor socketLGA1366
Form factormicroATX
Size245x245mm
Processor supportCore i7, Core i7 Extreme Edition
Processor external bus400MHz (1,600MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridgeIntel X58
Chipset south bridgeIntel ICH10R
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3 800/1066/1333/1600 (overclocked)
Maximum memory speedPC3-10600
Memory slots6
Maximum memory24GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£124
Supplierhttp://www.scan.co.uk
Detailsuk.msi.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots2
Dual graphics architectureCrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots1
PCI-E x1 slots0
PCI slots1
Fan headers4
Floppy ports0
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports7
RAID chipset (max disks)Intel ICH9R (6x SATAII, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10), Jmicron JMB363 (2x eSATA, RAID 0, 1, JBOD)

Features

Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC888 (6x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers6/3
Firewire ports / headers1/1
Legacy ports2x PS/2
Other portseSATA
Cables included1x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included1x USB

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment400MHz

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