1 - Introduction
Intel Extreme motherboard DX58SO
299 USD - 249 EUR
So then, not only did Intel release a really impressive processor series today, to support it, they also had to build a new infrastructure for it. This review is going to cover the basics of Intel's X58 mainboard chipset. The key features of course bringing support to QPI, triple-channel memory and Socket 1366 thus Core i7 processors. Before we start I need to say, this is in fact a reference review with supplied memory, cooler etc. We have another X58 review for you guys where we use multiple multi-GPU graphics cards, snazzy OCZ memory, 3rd party X58 mainboards, new cooling etc .. you know true Guru3D style. But this is the reference X58 Intel board, the first of many X58 reviews to come.
Though you have learned this chipset to be named X58, some of you might recognize the "Tylersburg" as well which was the developers codename.
This new chipset will use the same ICH10(R) "South bridge chipset" as the Intel P45 (Eaglelake) chipsets, but the X58 chipset overall obviously will be drastically different.
- The X58 Express will use the new LGA1366 socket (also known as Socket B).
- No more memory controller
- Intel QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) the interconnect between the Core i7 processor and the X58 Express.
There's another feature about the X58 chipset that will appeal the enthusiast crowds like myself as well. This will be the first (besides Skulltrail) non NVIDIA chipset based mainboard which supports SLI and Crossfire making THE choice of weaponry for future high-end upgrades as you are no longer limited towards an NVIDIA supporting SLI chipset of for that matter a Crossfire bound infrastructure.
But to get SLI support activated, the mainbord series has to be submitted (by manufacturer) and certified by NVIDIA, after which they'll open up support through their drivers. To get multi-card graphics cards support Intel obviously had to include support for at least two x16 PCI Express 2.0 slots with the option for four x8 slots to support quad-graphics cards (CrossfireX).
All in all, plenty of stuff to talk about. Over the next pages we'll take a brief look at the chipset architecture, then a photo shoot and then obviously a test or two to get these geek juices flowing.