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7 Intel Core i7 X58 Motherboards Tested and Compared
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Old 25th February 2009, 18:34   #1
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Default 7 Intel Core i7 X58 Motherboards Tested and Compared

We put seven feature rich X58 motherboards for Intelīs latest Core i7 CPU to the test. Comparing performance, overclocking scaling in a multitude of applications and games. Which one comes out on top? Read on to find out!

http://www.madshrimps.be/gotoartik.php?articID=903
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Old 26th February 2009, 15:40   #2
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I think this thread was meant to be in the Articles section?

Good review, nice to see almost all of the major boards together in one thorough review. I like how the OC tests were split up and the specific areas focused upon.

I know it would have lengthened the time with testing/overclocking but I would have much preferred to see 5-10 minutes of IntelBurn for stability testing... SuperPi 4M or even 32M only proves the system won't BSOD at desktop randomly. As overclocking is one of my top factors in deciding which board to chose to buy, this is important to me as a future X58 buyer.

Testing all the boards with the same processor in a single review (after plenty of BIOS revisions have already been released) means this review is one of the best comparisons for showing which board overclocks the best... but SuperPi 4M means nothing in terms of stability so I can't really draw definitive conclusions from the OC tests.

The only other thing I could ask was maybe throwing some UD3 or UD4 and either vanilla or deluxe P6T results in to show how they compare with the flagship boards in the OC tests. Just wishing, anyway...
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Old 26th February 2009, 17:46   #3
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Huge!!!
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Old 26th February 2009, 23:02   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
I know it would have lengthened the time with testing/overclocking but I would have much preferred to see 5-10 minutes of IntelBurn for stability testing... SuperPi 4M or even 32M only proves the system won't BSOD at desktop randomly. As overclocking is one of my top factors in deciding which board to chose to buy, this is important to me as a future X58 buyer.

Testing all the boards with the same processor in a single review (after plenty of BIOS revisions have already been released) means this review is one of the best comparisons for showing which board overclocks the best... but SuperPi 4M means nothing in terms of stability so I can't really draw definitive conclusions from the OC tests.
I can't disagree: 4M is not really a good estimate for 24/7 overclocks, but for me it was the better choice in terms of stability testing and available time. Testing one motherboard's overclocking capabilities took me 1 full day, and that's only if everything went alright. Take into account the troubleshooting and you're off for a long journey :-).

The conclusions you draw are not supposed to be conlcusive in terms of absolute overclocking capabilities, but should be comparison ONLY. The overclocking process is being affected by more than just the motherboard (as you know): for instance, the memory overclocking results can be slightly better or worse depending on the quality of your memory chips. That's what the comments under the graphs are for, btw :-).

Next time, I'm going to change some things, though. I now already know that the maximum CPU-Z BCLK frequency will be replaced by maximum boot BCLK frequency. Actual stability tests are not an issue, as long as I have the time to do propper testing; with 7 motherboards on the testbed, that was kinda impossible. In stand-alone reviews, it shouldn't be a problem, though
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Old 27th February 2009, 07:09   #5
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Quote:
The conclusions you draw are not supposed to be conlcusive in terms of absolute overclocking capabilities, but should be comparison ONLY.
I just think having done this much, it would be worth doing that extra bit more to make it a comprehensive OC article. For all intents and purposes, I think I can safely say most X58 users will be overclockers.

Even 5 minutes of IntelBurn is not much longer than SuperPi 4M, and more simple to use than 4x1 instances of SuperPi. If time is that critical, perhaps you could set arbitrary CPU, VTT, QPI (etc) voltages/BCLK settings and just see what boards pass or fail at given settings? Just a thought, not sure if it was a good one.

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The overclocking process is being affected by more than just the motherboard (as you know): for instance, the memory overclocking results can be slightly better or worse depending on the quality of your memory chips.
Yes, of course. But for your review you used the same kit of memory. Just as everything else except the motherboard was kept identical. Which is why your overclocking results have the potential to be the most useful to readers than any other single-board review. Same CPU, memory, tests, OS, and same date that takes into account revised BIOS's. This review is as close to apples-to-apples OC comparisons as one can get.

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In stand-alone reviews, it shouldn't be a problem, though
That is partly my point. In a stand alone review often memory/CPUs and other hardware gets changed, more time elapses so BIOS's get updated and further refined, general OC knowledge for a new platform is improved, etc. All of those make it less of a direct comparison if doing ~ 7 individual reviews verses 1 large roundup. I know "ideal" is very often different from "practical", but still it would be "ideal" to have.
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Old 1st March 2009, 13:20   #6
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those prefab voltage read out points are just awesome for the overclockers and testers out there, too cool
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Old 1st March 2009, 13:51   #7
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Foxconn Bloodrage has them too.

There's quite an interesting story to tell about who 'invented' those pre-fab voltage read-outs, by the way
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Old 1st March 2009, 14:06   #8
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where are they located on this board? Can't spot them in the pics at first sight
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Old 1st March 2009, 14:13   #9
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Next to the DIMM sockets. In the article, they're not visible (at least, not if you don't know where they are). I only noticed them when I prepared the board for this OC session :-)
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Old 1st March 2009, 14:26   #10
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pics!
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