Intel DX58SO review

£231
Price when reviewed

Intel created the Core i7 and the X58 chipset, so you might expect it to produce the definitive motherboard. Sadly, the DX58SO seems more like a proof of concept than a real contender.

Intel DX58SO review

The DX58SO’s most visible shortcoming is its four DIMM sockets. Since the Core i7 uses a triple-channel RAM controller, giving it four sockets makes no sense at all. It gives limited scope to upgrade, and no way to get the best performance once you go past three DIMMs.

It’s also notable that Intel has omitted numerous older connectors: there’s no IDE, no floppy controller, nor any PS/2 ports. Sure, these connections are all obsolete, but it limits your scope to bring across components and peripherals from an older PC.

Modern-day frills are thin on the ground too. The DX58SO’s two PCI Express x16 slots don’t support SLI, and there’s only one Ethernet socket. If you were hoping for niceties such as onboard displays, you’ll be disappointed: Intel’s only concession to user-friendliness is a surface-mounted power button, which is neither illuminated nor capped.

That philosophy extends to the ugly proprietary BIOS – although once you find your way around it you do get a fair degree of control over voltages and clock speeds. As with other boards, you can even tweak the base clock to speed up i7-920 and i7-940 chips, which aren’t supposed to be overclockable.

The DX58SO’s frugal design probably helps keep its power footprint down to 109W – one of this month’s most economical. But, incredibly, despite being clearly the least capable board here, the DX58SO is also the most expensive. Hardly a winning combination.

Details

Motherboard form factor ATX
Motherboard integrated graphics no

Compatability

Processor/platform brand (manufacturer) Intel
Processor socket LGA 1366
Motherboard form factor ATX
Memory type DDR3
Multi-GPU support yes

Controllers

Motherboard chipset Intel X58
South bridge Intel ICH10R
Number of Ethernet adapters 1
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
Audio chipset Realtek ALC889

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type 8-pin
Main power connector ATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total 4
Internal SATA connectors 6
Internal PATA connectors 0
Internal floppy connectors 0
Conventional PCI slots total 1
PCI-E x16 slots total 2
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 1
PCI-E x1 slots total 1

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors 0
USB ports (downstream) 8
FireWire ports 1
eSATA ports 2
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 5
Parallel ports 0
9-pin serial ports 0

Diagnostics and tweaking

Motherboard onboard power switch? no
Motherboard onboard reset switch? no
Software overclocking? yes

Accessories

SATA cables supplied 4
Molex to SATA adaters supplied 0
IDE cables supplied 0
Floppy cables supplied 0

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