The X58 Motherboards You Can Afford


BIOS Settings & Test Setup

BIOS Settings

The BIOS on these three boards were typical of the vendors, with their own proprietary technologies integrated within. There were plentiful of options for tweaks on all the boards and anyone who will be looking to purchase such motherboards will find them unfamiliar. Here are some of the more important settings:

BIOS Settings
O/C Settings ASUS P6X58D-E Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R MSI X58A-GD65
Base Clock (MHz) 100 - 500 100 - 600 100 - 400
CPU Ratio  12 -  63 12 - 64 12 - 60
DRAM Frequency/Ratio  Auto, DDR3-800, 1066, 1333, 1600, 1866, 2133, 2400 Auto, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 Auto, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Voltage Adjustments
  • CPU Voltage: 0.85 to 2.10V (0.00625V steps)
  • Memory Voltage: 1.20 to 2.46V (0.02V steps)
  • ICH Voltage: 1.1 to 1.4V (0.1V steps)
  • QPI/DRAM Core Voltage: 1.20 to 1.90V (0.00625V steps)
  • CPU Voltage: 0.50 to 1.90V (0.00625V steps)
  • Memory Voltage: 1.30 to 2.60V (0.02V steps)
  • QPI/VTT Voltage: 1.075 to 2.015 (0.02V steps)
  • ICH Core: 0.920 to 2.38V (0.02V steps)
  • CPU Voltage: -0.320 to +0.630V (0.01V steps)
  • Memory Voltage: 1.20 to 2.77V (0.01V steps)
  • QPI Voltage: -0.320 to +0.630V (0.01V steps)
  • ICH Voltage: 0.70 to 2.13V (0.05V steps)
Tested Overclock Settings Base Clock: 220MHz max Base Clock: 210MHz max Base Clock: 220MHz max

 

Test Setup

While our high-end X58 roundup used a pretty expensive configuration, we go back to our usual setup for these three boards. That means a quad-core Core i7-965 XE instead of the 6-core Core i7-980X and a modest GeForce 9800 GTX graphics card. The configuration used is listed below:

  • Intel Core i7-965 XE (@3.2GHz, Intel Turbo Boost, HyperThreading enabled)
  • 3 x 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1333 @ 7-7-20 CAS 7.0
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gbps hard disk drive
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX (ForceWare 195.62)
  • Intel INF 9.1.1.1025 and Intel Matrix Storage manager 8.9.0.1023 driver set
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit

The following benchmarks were used:

  • BAPco SYSmark 2007 (version 1.05)
  • Futuremark PCMark Vantage (1.0.3.1)
  • Futuremark 3DMark Vantage (1.0.3.1)
  • SpecView Perf 9.0
  • Far Cry 2