4 - ICH10 - bless You
So we have the X58 chip "Northbridge" on that motherboard covering all the primary functions, but what about secondary lower level functions. Well Intel will pair the motherboard with the ICH10 or the ICH10R "South bridge" similar to the Intel P45 (Eaglelake) chipsets.
ICH10(R) implements a 10Gb/s bidirectional DMI interface to the X58. ICH10 is basically a die-shrink of ICH9, boasting similar specs. It supports several interfaces to the somewhat slower peripherals on your motherboard like SATA and USB:
- Six PCIe version 2 ports, four of which can be configured as either 4x1 or 1x4
- Six SATA 3Gb/s ports in either legacy IDE or AHCI mode. These can support external eSATA
- One PCI slot
- Intel high definition audio
- Integrated gigabit LAN.
- Six USB 2.0 controllers 12 ports
I was thinking, it kind of blows is that ICH10 does not offer direct PATA or LPT support. It's the weirdest thing. Do except some motherboard manufacturers to include a 3rd party IDE controller chip into their motherboard to ensure thats supported, but fact is .. in theory support for IDE devices is now officially getting a thing of the past. Interesting to see is support of 'hot-swap' SATA functionality. ICH10 also offers reduced load on CPU and decreased power consumption. But the reality is that strangely enough ICH10 doesn't seem to add a lot of new new features compared to the current ICH9.
Most motherboard vendors however will pair it with the slightly more expensive ICH10R chip. This silicon has all aforementioned features, yet adds RAID support to the mainboard, RAID levels 0/1/5.
So the mainboard we are testing today is the Intel DX58SO. With everything we just explained to you, you should already have a pretty decent idea of what kind of features this mainboard has.
Intel DX58SOX58 (Socket 1366) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard
- Supports Intel Core i7 Socket LGA 1366 Processors ONLY
- 4x DIMM DDR3 Memory Slots closes to CPU (Socket Supporting Tri-Channel)
- 8-layer PCB
- 8x USB2.0 Ports
- Optical & Digital S/PDIF
- 7.1 Surround Sound with DTS
- 6x SATA Ports
- 4x DDR3 Slots (Supporting Tri-Channel)
The Intel DX58SOX58 is in fact a very cool mainboard to look at, nice aesthetics with a black design and all that combined with stunning performance. Let's have a close look at it and move onward to the photo-shoot where we'll talk you through the mainboards features photo by photo. We have a lot to tell and show you.