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Asus P6X58D-E review

Seth Barton
13 Aug 2010
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Asus P6X58D-E
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
150
inc VAT

If you’re looking to build a powerful Core i7 PC without taking out a second mortgage then this board is the best choice.

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Specifications

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

The original Core i7 processors, which use the LGA 1366 socket, are a no-compromise design for all-out performance. Confusingly, late last year Intel released a new range of Core i7s for the LGA 1156 socket, but these just weren’t as quick. Asus's release of the new P6X58D-E motherboard shows that there's still a lot of enthusiasm for the original chips, particularly amongst those who want to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of their PC.

One problem we had with the original chips was the high cost of motherboards based on the compatible X58 chipset. The P6X58D-E may not sound cheap at £150, but it’s actually a bargain by X58 standards. Especially considering that Asus hasn't cut any serious corners in its design or specification, as well as including some of the latest features you'd expect in a board at this price.

As well as the X58's own ICH10R southbridge (which supports six SATA2 ports), Asus has added a SATA3 controller with two ports. We're yet to be convinced of the necessity of this new high-speed interface, but it could come into its own with the next generation of solid state drives (SSDs) – which those building the most powerful PCs might consider fitting.

Asus P6X58D-E

There's also a pair of USB3 ports for high-speed file transfers to and from portable disks. Other ports includes four standard USB ports, FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1 analogue surround sound output and coaxial and optical SPDIFs. It's a reasonable collection, though a few more USB ports wouldn't go amiss.

As with all X58 boards, there are six memory slots supporting triple-channel memory. You can fit up to 24GB of RAM, with support for speeds up to PC3-16000. Other slots include one PCI-Express x1 and two PCI. More noteworthy are the three PCI-Express x16 slots, with support for multiple graphics cards under both SLI and CrossFire. Up to three Nvidia cards can be fitted, or two CrossFire cards. Cleverly, the three slots can run at speeds of x16/x8/x8 for three cards, or at x16/x16/x1 for two card setups. If you do fit two dual-slot cards, you will lose access to both PCI slots. The addition of a third dual-slot card will also require a larger than normal case, with eight expansions slots, as the bottom card will hang below the edge of the board – one example is Antec's Nine Hundred Two case (£82 inc VAT from Scan)

The P6X58D-E didn't stand out in our benchmarks, which we run using our reference Intel Core i7-920 processor. Stock speed performance isn't the big issue with X58 boards, however, as the majority of owners will instead be looking at overclocking. We've recently seen this board in a PC system pushed to 3.8GHz with no problems, and Asus have certainly provided the tools for such undertakings. The BIOS is awash with adjustments for clock speeds and voltages; there's also a range of Windows tools for further tweaking performance – though we doubt any serious overclocker would give them a second glance.

If you're thinking of building an incredibly powerful PC, then an overclocked Core i7-930 processor (£214 inc VAT from Aria) is a sound choice. The P6X58D-E isn't the most exciting-looking motherboard to pair with such a processor, but if you aren't swayed by flashy boxes, names and heat sink designs (all standard on Asus's own Rampage series of boards) then the P6X58D-E does the job, without the frills, and at a very reasonable price.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
Processor socketLGA1366
Form factorATX
Size305x244mm
Processor supportCore i7, Core i7 Extreme Edition
Processor external bus133MHz (3.2GHz QuickPath Interconnect)
Chipset north bridgeIntel X58
Chipset south bridgeIntel ICH10R
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR3 1066/1333/1600/2000(OC)
Maximum memory speedPC3-16000
Memory slots6
Maximum memory24GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£150
Supplierhttp://www.overclockers.co.uk
Detailswww.asus.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots3
Dual graphics architectureSLI, CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots1
PCI slots2
Fan headers4
Floppy ports0
IDE ports0
Serial ATA ports8
RAID chipset (max disks)Intel ICH10R (6x SATAII, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10)

Features

Wired network ports10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC889 (6x analogue out, coaxial and optical S/PDIF)
USB2 ports / headers6/2
Firewire ports / headers1/1
Legacy ports2x PS/2
Other ports2x USB3, 2x SATA3
Cables includedN/A
Brackets includednone
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustmentN/A

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