The Intel DX58SO2 Motherboard

Intel DX58SO2 X58 Motherboard Layout

It isn't that often that we have an Intel branded motherboard come across the Legit Reviews test bench. Fortunately for you, that is exactly what we have for you today! The Intel DX58SO2 X58 motherboard is part of the Intel Extreme series of motherboards. The DX58SO2 X58 motherboard is the latest and greatest motherboard from Intel for their X58 chipset.

Some may argue, that building an Intel X58 system right now, is a bit of a waste. That may be true for those that are building a brand new system as the performance of the new Intel P67 platform will dominate the scene when looking at clock-to-clock performance between the two processors. The Intel X58 Express chipset still has one major advantage over the socket LGA1155 systems though, six-core processors! If you are in need of a processor like the Intel Core i7 990X which runs six cores and an additional six threads, then the Intel X58 chipset is the only way to go, for now. Early adopters of the X58 platform also might be looking for a newer motherboard as the Intel X58 Express chipset first came out back in November 2008. That means many users out there are running the early boards that didn't have SATA 6Gb/s, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 and many of the other features and improvements that have been made or discovered since 2008.

The Intel DX58SO2 has just about every feature under the sun. USB 3.0 and SATA 3 are both supported through discrete chips onboard the DX58SO2. The expansion slots are plentiful with three PCIe X16, two PCIe X1, and even an old school PCI slot. There is a total of eight SATA ports, two of which are SATA 3 and up to 12 USB ports! So whether you are building a office computer (perhaps a bit of overkill) or a top notch gaming rig, the Intel DX58SO2 has plenty of expansion for whatever you need!

Much of the chart below we will cover in the coming pages, but it's always good to have it in one spot.

Intel DX58SO2 X58 Motherboard Specifications

Form Factor ATX (304.80 millimeters [12.00 inches] x 243.84 millimeters [9.60 inches])
Processor Support for an Intel processor in the LGA1366 package
Main Memory
  • Six 240-pin DDR3 SDRAM Dual Inline Memory Module (DIMM) sockets arranged in three channels
  • Support for DDR3 1600+, DDR3 1333 MHz, DDR3 1066 MHz, and DDR3 800 MHz DIMMs. Speeds over 1600 MHz are supported via XMP profiles
  • Support for ECC and non-ECC memory
  • Support for up to 24 GB of system memory
Chipset Intel X58 Express Chipset consisting of:
  • Intel X58 Express Chipset I/O Hub (IOH)
  • Intel I/O Controller Hub (ICH10R) supporting Intel Matrix Storage Technology
Graphics Support for multiple PCI Express graphics cards including linked cards using Nvidia SLI technology and ATI CrossFireX technology
Audio
  • Independent multi-streaming 8-channel (7.1) audio and 2-channel audio subsystem, featuring:
  • Intel High Definition Audio interface
  • RealTek ALC892 codec
  • HD Audio front panel header
  • Onboard 3-pin S/PDIF header and a back panel optical S/PDIF connector
Expansion Capabilities
  • Three PCI Express 2.0 x16 ports
  • Two PCI Express 1.1 x1 ports
  • One PCI* bus connector
Legacy I/O Support Legacy I/O Controller that provides Consumer Infrared (CIR) support
Peripheral Interfaces
  • Up to 12 USB 2.0 ports:
  • Six ports routed to the back panel
  • Six ports routed to three USB headers
  • Up to two IEEE 1394a ports:
  • One port routed to the back panel
  • One port routed to an IEEE 1394a header
  • Two Serial ATA (SATA) channels (6.0 Gb/s) via a discrete controller
  • Six Serial ATA (SATA) channels (3.0 Gb/s) via ICH10R
  • Two external SATA (eSATA) channels via a discrete controller
RAID Intel Matrix Storage Technology for Serial ATA
LAN Support Gigabit (10/100/1000 Mb/s) dual LAN subsystem using the Intel 82567L and Intel 82574L Gigabit Ethernet Controllers
BIOS
  • Intel Platform Innovation Framework for extensible firmware interface
  • 16 Mb symmetrical flash memory device
  • Support for SMBIOS Intel Rapid BIOS Boot
  • Intel Express BIOS Update
Power Management
  • Support for Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI)
  • Suspend to RAM (STR)
  • Wake on USB, PCI, PCI Express, LAN, CIR, and front panel
  • ENERGY STAR capable
Hardware Management Hardware monitor with:
  • Four fan sensing inputs used to monitor fan activity
  • Intel Precision Cooling Technology fan speed control
  • Voltage sensing to detect out of range values

Now, I'm sure you have totally memorized that chart, right? No, I suppose that's alright, like I said we will cover most of it in the next few pages. For now though, let's move on to the retail box and bundle on the next page!

The Intel DX58SO2 Motherboard Retail Package and bundle

Intel DX58S02 Retail Box and Bundle

Intel kept the retail box for the Intel DX58SO2 X58 motherboard clean and simple. The front of the packaging boasts a couple of the key points for the DX58SO2 such as, BIOS Vault Technology, Superior Phase Shedding technology, and LGA1366 Processor support.

Intel DX58S02 Retail Box and Bundle

The back of the DX58SO2 packaging has all of the features and specifications we could want. There is also a picture of the DX58SO2 motherboard itself which gives you and idea of the layout and the color scheme that Intel chose for the board.

Intel DX58S02 Retail Box and Bundle

Opening up the packaging for the Intel DX58SO2 X58 motherboard reveals that the motherboard is well secured within the packaging.

Intel DX58S02 Retail Box and Bundle

The bundle that accompanies the Intel DX58SO2 comes in a bit of a disarray, fortunately that wont affect what comes along with the board.

Intel DX58S02 Retail Box and Bundle

Everything you need to fire up the DX58SO2 comes inside the bundle, plus a few things. As you can see we get six SATA cables, I/O shield, SLI and Triple SLI bridge, and a driver disk with utilities. Extras that Intel included include some decals for you case, and a new mouse pad, just in case you have worn yours out in those countless hours of fragging your friends. The black candy bar on the right side of the photo is actually a WiFi/Bluetooth module. This can be installed behind a front bay cover, top of the chassis or essentially anywhere the internal USB cable will reach.

The Intel DX58SO2 Motherboard Layout

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Layout

The Intel DX58SO2 X58 motherboard is quite busy looking. Perhaps it's the contrasting colors, or simply to much text on the board itself. Thankfully, that doesn't particularly matter! As long as the Intel DX58SO2 works the way it should, they can give it just about any look that they would like to! Though, I'll be honest, I do dig the skull on the northbridge heatsink assembly! The Intel X58 chipset and PWM's are passively cooled with a series of heatsinks which are connected with heatpipe technology. The ICH10R chip is also passively cooled though it isn't connected to the others.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Layout

The Intel DX58SO2 will support up to 48Gb of memory in triple channel configuration! That is an impressive amount of memory. The Intel DX58SO2 will support DDR3 memory from 800MHz and up. Speeds over 1600MHz are supported through XMP profiles.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Layout

Taking the Intel DX58SO2 for a short spin to look at the next corner, there is quite a bit happening here! The first feature to jump out, probably because it's the only red item on this corner is the front fan header. There is a total of four fan headers (three system fans and one CPU fan) on the Intel DX58SO2, and all of them are four pin headers. The Intel DX58SO2 has eight SATA ports, six SATA 2 and two SATA 3.0 (6Gbps). The Blue SATA 3 ports are controlled by a Marvell 88SE9128 controller. Rounding the corner and working our way up the left side of the board we have three USB 2.0 headers followed by the Consumer Infrared headers for transmitting and receiving. Beyond the CIR headers we have a yellow jumper for the CMOS reset and the front panel header hiding behind the jumper. The final piece of technology along the edge is the front panel IEEE1394a. At the rear of the PCIe X16 slot is the POST code LED display.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Layout

Spinning the board around once more we can get a good look at the layout of the expansion slots. There is a pair of PCIe X1 slots, three PCIe X16 slots and a PCI slot. The PCIe X16 slots are each spaced with enough room for a double slot card. They are laid out in a X16, X16, X8 configuration. If you plan on taking advantage of full bandwidth for a pair of graphics cards they will be stacked one on top of the other, not the best bet for air cooling. Working our way down from where we left off, we have a series of onboard buttons. Going in order we have: reset, power, base clock frequency decrease button, and the base clock frequency increase button. Immediately next to the onboard buttons is the second of the four fan headers on the Intel DX58S02. Moving down we have a number of LED's. These LED's are the diagnostic/status LEDs. Just past the LED's is our yellow front panel audio with the Yellow SPDIF header just above it. Taking a peek at the integrated circuits on the Intel DX58S02 we have a Realtek ALC892 Audio codec to the bottom right of the pair of solid capacitors and the Intel 82567L and Intel 82574L Gigabit Ethernet controllers beyond the capacitors. Our final item along this edge is the third four pin fan header.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Layout

Spinning around one last time, we can get a good look at the last corner of the evening. Here we can see the 8pin CPU power, PWM heatsinks and several more integrated circuits. Immediately next to the motherboard mounting hole is a Marvell 88SE6121, this controls the pair of eSATA parts next to it. Beneath the edge of the heatsink is the Renesas/NEC D720200F1 USB 3.0 host controller chip.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Layout

Intel changed up the "traditional" layout on the I/O panel for the Intel DX58SO2. Instead of replacing the PS/2 ports with USB ports for the keyboard and mouse, that spot has been filled with a pair of eSATA ports. The Intel DX58S02 doesn't have a BIOS reset button on the back panel, instead Intel has equipped the DX58S02 with a Back to BIOS. This allows you to boot into the BIOS using default settings while your overclocked settings are in place and not lost to the wind. We have a pair of USB 3.0 (blue) ports and an additional six USB 2.0 ports. We have a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, a single Firewire (IEEE1394a) and five 3.5mm audio jacks plus and optical SPDIF.

Now that our tour of the Intel DX58SO2 X58 motherboard is complete, lets throw some parts into it, and apply a bit of power. First we'll stick our heads into the BIOS and then we can get into a bit of testing. See you on the next page!

The Intel DX58SO2 Motherboard System BIOS

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

Much like the first page of most system BIOS, the Main page of the Intel DX58S02 system BIOS we can see the general specifications of the hardware we will be using. Across the top of the screen we can access all of the sub-pages for the Intel DX58S02 X58 motherboard.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

The Configuration page of the DX58S02 motherboard will grant us access to the Onboard Devices, SATA Configuration, Event Log, Video, Fan Control and Real-time monitoring, and PCI/PCIe Add-in slots.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

The Onboard Devices page allows us to enable or disable any of the devices we aren't planning on using. Below there, things are kind of an interesting. We can see the layout of the rear I/O panel. This is a little pointless, but it doesn't hurt anything to be there.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

The SATA configuration lets you choose between RAID, AHCI, and IDE. As a default the DX58S02 has the SATA ports set to AHCI.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

The Fan Control and Real-Time Monitoring page give us access to, well Real-Time Monitoring and Fan Control.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

The Real-Time Hardware monitoring shows our current voltages, temperatures, and fan speeds. These are constantly being updated as they are read from the system. Any changes within the BIOS will not be reflected until the settings are saved and the system has been rebooted.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

Along the right side of the above image we can see a layout of the Intel DX58S02 which indicates how the expansion slots are numbered. The left side, indicates which expansion slots are populated and the Vendor ID and Device ID.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

The Performance page gives us access to the Host Clock Frequency directly. We also have access to several more sub-pages for the Processor, Memory, and the Bus settings.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

The Processor page with in the Performance settings lets us change the processor voltage settings. The Intel DX58S02 X58 motherboard will supply a full 2.0 Volts to your processor. This should be enough voltage for just about every overclocker out there. We can also change the V-droop settings, multiplier, power settings, Hyper-threading, and Turbo settings.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

The Memory page gives us access to all things memory related. Including 2.0 Volts for our DIMMS, QPI Voltage, and multipliers. The Performance Memory Profiles will let you toggle between manual and XMP settings.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

The Bus Overrides page lets us change the settings for the QPI, PCI Express, and PCI bus.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

The Security page is for everything security related. Including passwords, and Chassis Intrusion.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

The Power page of the Intel DX58S02 motherboard allows us to change the Intel Dynamic Power settings, including SpeedStep, C States, and QPI Power Management.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

The Boot page, yup you guessed it. Anything and everything related to booting the Intel DX58S02.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System BIOS

Last, but by no means least is the Exit page. This page allows us to save or discard and exit, or simply discard the changes we have made. We can also load and save our BIOS Profiles here. This helps out when you have your system overclocked and are going to rebuild the system and want to revert back to factory settings during the installation of the operating system.

The Legit Reviews Test System

All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit with all the latest updates installed. All benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. The Corsair Vengeance memory modules were run in Dual-channel mode at 1600MHz with 9-9-9-24-2t timings. The XFX Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards were run with 10.12A CATALYST suite drivers. The Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 1Gb Graphics cards were running driver version 260.99. The Intel Core i7 950 processor was running at the default clock of 3.07GHz with turbo enabled. The Intel DX58S02 was running BIOS revision 0779

Intel X58 Test Rig

 Processor  Intel Core i7 950
 Live Pricing
 Motherboard  Intel DX58S02
 
 Memory  6gb Corsair Dominator CMP6GX3M3A1600C8  Live Pricing
 Hard Drive  Kingston SSDNow 96GB SSD  Live Pricing
 Video Card  XFX Radeon HD 6950  Live Pricing
 CPU cooler  Corsair A70  Live Pricing
 Chassis  None - Open Bench  
 Power Supply  Corsair TX750   Live Pricing

Intel P67 Test Rig

 Processor  Intel Core i5 2500K  Live Pricing
 Motherboard  See Above  
 Memory  8gb Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9  Live Pricing
 Hard Drive  Kingston SSDNow 96GB SSD  Live Pricing
 Video Card  XFX Radeon HD 6950  Live Pricing
 CPU cooler  Corsair A70  Live Pricing
 Chassis  None - Open Bench  
 Power Supply  Corsair TX750   Live Pricing

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Test Bench

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard System Settings

SiSoft Sandra 2011c Memory Bandwidth

SiSoftware Sandra 2011c Memory Bandwidth

A year ago, SiSoftware released Sandra 2010 with full support for Windows 7; in the 18 months since the launch of Windows 7, more than ever before we have seen the line blur between PC and entertainment hubs. Two months ago we released a Blu-Ray benchmark, now we have added a brand-new Media Transcoding benchmark using the new Media Foundation of Windows 7. We have also added yet another benchmark (GPGPU Cryptography) which allows direct comparison of CPU performance (using crypto instruction sets) and GPGPU performance.

ASUS P8P67 Deluxe SiSoftware Sandra 2011c Memory Bandwidth Results

Benchmark Results: The Intel DX58S02 X58 motherboard memory bandwidth performance is right on par with our other Intel X58 motherboards. The float buff'd memory bandwidth of the Intel DX58S02 was identical to the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin and .028 GB/s behind the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard. The Int Buff'd memory bandwidth of the Intel DX58S02 was .021 GB/s faster than the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin and .024 GB/s behind the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard. The slight differences in memory performance isn't any difference you will notice in day to day usage.

NVIDIA SLI Performance Scaling

Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 1Gb SLI Kit

Since the release of the Intel P67 chipset, we decided to change a few things up in our testing. The next two pages are all about the scaling of multiple GPU's in our systems. First off, we are going to test how well the P67 chipset scales multiple NVIDIA cards. In order to do this we contacted our friends over at GALAXY and they were kind enough to send over a pair of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1Gb graphics cards that are available in a two card SLI kit.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard NVIDIA SLI Scaling in Aliens Vs. Predator

The Intel DX58S02 X58 motherboard had a solid single card performance in Aliens Vs. Predator at both resolutions of 1280x1024 and 1920x1080. With a single card at 1280x1024 the Intel DX58S02 averaged 35.9 frames per second, throwing in the second Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 the Intel DX58S02 jumped to 67 frames per second. That is an increase of 86.6%. At 1920x1080 the Intel DX58S02 started out at 26.2 frames per second and jumped to 49.4 frames per second for an increase of 88.5%.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard NVIDIA SLI Scaling in Metro 2033

The Intel DX58S02 saw decent gains in Metro 2033 with NVIDIA's SLI technology. At 1280x1024 we saw a gain of 73.4% going from 26.38 frames per second up to 47.74 frames per second. Running the resolution of 1920x1080 we saw an average gain of 68.9%. In the single card configuration the Intel DX58S02 averaged 18.25 frames per second, adding the second Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 we saw our average increase to 30.82 frames per second.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard NVIDIA SLI Scaling in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

In S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Call of Pripyat we didn't see the gains that we expected to. At 1280x1024 the Intel DX58S02 single card configuration we saw an average of 85.1 frames per second. This is in the ballpark of the other boards in a single card configuration. Tossing in the second Galaxy GeForce GTX 460 we expected gains comparable to what we have seen on our other systems which have pushed into the 145-148 frames per second realms. The Intel DX58S02 only averaged 129.1 frames per second. This is a gain of 51.7% which is a far cry from the average gain of 71.6%. The gains at 1920x1080 were much more inline with what we expected. The single card performance of the Intel DX58S02 was 57.6 frames per second. Throwing in the second card we jumped to 102.1 frames per second for a gain of 77.3%

AMD CrossFireX Performance Scaling

XFX Radeon HD 6950 2GB Graphics Card

As with the previous page where we tested the NVIDIA SLI scaling between the chipsets, we want to do the same for the AMD CrossfireX. When we decided to run this series of tests, we were able to get in touch with our friends over at XFX and they kindly sent over a pair of XFX Radeon HD 6950's.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard AMD CrossFireX Scaling in Aliens Vs. Predator

Not only does Aliens Vs. Predator scale well in SLI, but it also scales extremely well in CrossFireX, actually even better. The Intel DX58S02 X58 motherboard is no exception in Aliens Vs. Predator. At 1280x1024 the Intel DX58S02 went from 50.4 frames per second with a single XFX Radeon HD 6950 to 100.7 frames per second in CrossfireX. That's a gain of 99.8%! At 1920x1080 we started out at 37.9 frames per second and jumped to 75.4 frames per second in CrossfireX for a gain of 95.8%!

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard AMD CrossFireX Scaling Metro 2033

Metro 2033 and the Intel X58 chipset don't seem to play well together. All of the Intel X58 systems we have tested have seen gains in the single digits. The Intel DX58S02 fits right in with our other X58 systems. At 1280x1024 we saw a gain of 1.72 frames per second or 5.9%. 1920x1080 was slightly better we saw a gain of 3.4 frames per second which is an increase of 12.8%.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard AMD CrossFireX Scaling in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

In S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat the Intel DX58S02 did a significantly better job in CrossfireX than it did in SLI. At 1280x1024 we jumped from 104.4 frames per second to 151.8 frames per second for a gain of 45.4%. 1920x1080 we started out at 73.1 frames per second and jumped to 117.1 frames per second by adding in our second XFX Radeon HD 6950. This is a gain of 60.2%.

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Synthetic Benchmark

3DMark 11 Screenshot

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the 3D graphics performance of gaming PCs. 3DMark 11 uses a native DirectX 11 engine designed to make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.

3DMark 11 Settings

Since Futuremark is releasing 3DMark11 today we decided to run the benchmark at both performance and extreme presets to see how our hardware will run.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard 3DMark 11 Benchamrk Results

Benchmark results: The Intel DX58S02 X58 motherboard fell slightly behind our other Intel X58 motherboards. When running the performance preset in Futuremarks latest DirectX 11 benchmark 3DMark 11, the Intel DX58S02. had a respectable score of 4712 3DMarks. Compared to the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard that's a difference of 1.4%. Looking at the score from the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin, which is the top performing Intel X58 motherboard, there is a difference of 2.4%. Running the Extreme preset in 3DMark 11 the Intel DX58S02 scored 1576 3DMarks. That's 1.5% behind the Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard and 1.7% behind the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin.

Rightmark Audio Analyzer

RightMark Audio Analyzer

The RightMark Audio Analyzer suite is designed for testing quality of analog and digital paths of any audio devices, be it a sound card, an MP3 player, a consumer CD/DVD player or an acoustic set. The results are obtained by playing and recording test signals passed through the tested audio path by means of frequency analysis algorithms. The latest version of RightMark Audio Analyzer can be found here.

RightMark Audio Analyzer Results

Rightmark Audio Analyzer Comparison Chart

(click for larger image)

Intel DX58S02 Audio Performance

The Intel DX58S02 X58 motherboard brought some hurt to the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin. The Intel DX58S02 uses an Intel High Definition audio subsystem, while the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin uses the Creative CA20K2 processor. The frequency response of the Intel DS58S02 had a rating of Excellent while the Creative CA20K2 had a rating of Very Good. The GIGABYTE G1 Assassin and the Creative CA20K2 had better Noise level, Dynamic range, and Stereo crosstalk ratings while the Intel DX58S02 scored better in the THD, THD + Noise, IMD + Noise, and the IMD at 10 kHz. When it came down the the general performance rating the Intel DX58S02 with the Intel High Definition Audio had a Very Good rating while the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin had a rating of Good.

Network Throughput Testing

NTttcp Tool

The Gigabit PCIe Ethernet controllers vary on each board, so it will be interesting to see what the performance is on all the boards. Each of the boards uses a different Gigabit Controller. Let's take a look at what controller is on each of the boards.

To test the Gigabit PCIe Ethernet controllers we used the NTttcp tool to test Ethernet Throughput and the CPU utilization of the various Ethernet controllers used on the AMD Motherboards. To do this properly we set up one machine as the server: in this test an Intel Core i7 970 system with an MSI Big Bang XPower motherboard acted as our Gigabit LAN server.

On the server side, we used the following Command Line for Gigabit PCIe Ethernet Testing:

Ntttcpr -m 4,0,<Client IP> -a 4 -l 256000 -n 30000

On the client side (the motherboard being tested), we used the following Command Line:

Ntttcps -m 4,0,<Server IP> -a 4 -l 256000 -n 30000

At the conclusion of each test we recorded the throughput and CPU utilization figures from the client screen as that is the system being tested.

Intel DX58S02 Network Throughput

Benchmark Results: Intel uses two totally different Gigabit NICs on the DX58S02 motherboard. The first is the Intel 82567LF (LAN Connect Interface) and the second is the Intel 82574L (PCIe v1.1) Gigabit Ethernet controller. We tested on the 82574L as that is the superior of the two ports and after benchmarking on this port we found highest transfer speeds among the Intel X58 Chipset boards and the least CPU usage of all 10 motherboards we have tested here.

Intel DX58S02 LAN Subsystem

SATA III 6Gbps Performance Testing

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

HD Tach

The SATA6 Testing was done using Crucial RealSSD C300 256Gb SATA6 SSD drive.

Intel DX58S02 HD Tach SATA3 Performance Results

Benchmark Results: The Intel X58 chipset doesn't support SATA 6 Gb/s natively, therefore the Intel DX58S02 features a Marvell 88SE9128 SATA 6Gb/s controller. In this case the performance of the Intel DX58S02 was less than stellar in HD Tach. With an average read speed of only 244.4MB/s it was the slowest we have seen to date. The average write speeds averaged across three runs was only 145.6MB/s. The Sapphire Pure Black X58 motherboard also uses the Marvell 88SE9128 controller while the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin which had an average read of 318MB/s and an average write of 202.63MB/s, uses the Marvell 88SE9182 controller. The different controllers made a significant difference in the SATA 6 Gb/s performance.

HD Tune Pro 4.01 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

HD Tune

HD Tune

Intel DX58S02 HD Tune SATA3 Performance Results

Benchmark Results: HD Tune tells a very similar tale to HD Tach. The Intel DX58S02 X58 motherboard had an average read rate of 232.2MB/s compared the the 306.8MB/s average read of the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin. The average write of the Intel DX58S02 was 147.8MB/s while the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin took the top spot of 221.43MB/s.

SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Performance Testing

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

HD Tach

Testing of the USB3 was done using the SUNBEAMTECH Airbox USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure. The drive used was a Crucial Technology RealSSD C300 SSD.

Intel DX58S02 USB3 HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The USB 3.0 performance of the Intel DX58S02 X58 motherboard was a little on the lacking side. With an average read of only 104.53MB/s the Intel DX58S02 was the bottom board when it comes to read speeds. The Average write of 109.6MB/s gained some ground in our charts and the Intel DX58S02 is no longer in the bottom spot.

HD Tune Pro 4.01 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

HD Tune

HD Tune

Our testing of the USB 3.0 performance was done using the SUNBEAMTECH Airbox USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure. The drive used was a Crucial Technology RealSSD C300 SSD.

Intel DX58S02 USB3 HD Tune Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: HD Tune continues the saga of the Intel DX58S02 X58 motherboard. The Intel DX58S02 had the lowest average read rate with a rate of 101.1MB/s while the top board averaged 114.53MB/s. The average write of the Intel DX58S02 was 106.5MB/s which put it into the middle of the pack.

System Power Consumption

CPU Power Consumption

Since power consumption is a big deal these days, we ran some simple power consumption tests on our test beds. The systems ran with the power supplies, case fans, video cards and hard drives. To measure idle usage, we ran the system at idle for one hour on the desktop with no screen saver and took the measurement. For load measurements, Prime95's in-place large FFT's were run on all cores to make sure each and every processor was at 100% load for maximum power consumption and heat. Curious about real world scenarios, we decided to drop Furmark and ran 3DMark 11 on the performance preset and took the maximum power consumption during the first GPU test.

System Power Consumption

Benchmark Results: The Intel DX58S02 motherboard was right between the other Intel X58 Express based motherboards when it came to power consumptions, so nothing too crazy or unexpected here.

Intel DX58SO2 Overclocking

Overclocking greatly varies due to what hardware is being used and who is doing the overclocking. Always remember that no two pieces of hardware will perform the same, so our results will differ from what you might be able to get.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Intel Core i7 950 CPUz

The Intel Core i7 950 utilizes a bus speed of 133MHz, though the Intel DX58S02 is picking it up at 133.4MHz. Under full load the Intel Core i7 950 uses a multiplier of x23 to achieve the final clock speed of 3.07GHz. Our Intel Core i7 950 isn't an Extreme Processor so we will limited to increasing the Bclk to achieve our overclock on the Intel DX58S02.

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Overclocked Intel Core i7 950 CPUz

The Intel DX58S02 X58 motherboard ws able to push our Intel Core i7 950 to the same 188MHz Bclk we have see on several of the boards we have looked at recently. It did it with relative ease. Each and every motherboard that comes across the Legit Reviews bench is different and has different quirks that will help your overclock on that particular board. With a little more time, and a better cooling solution than air I am confident we would be able to push the Intel DX58S02 motherboard further!

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Overclocked memory

While we were at it, we decided to push the memory a little. With the Bclk of 188MHz, we set the memory multiplier to X10 and the Uncore to X20 and we had our memory running at 1882MHz. That's an increase of 282MHz!

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Layout

When it comes down to it, there is little not to like about the Intel desktop board DX58SO2 X58 Express chipset motherboard. Overall I was happy with the boards performance. Was it enough though? You have to keep in mind that the Intel DX58SO2 is a $259.99 motherboard. By no means is the Intel DX58SO2 the most expensive motherboard out there, nor is it the least expensive. Before we get to the bottom line of the Intel DX58SO2 X58 motherboard, we have to take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly

One area that was lacking was the SATA III 6Gbps performance. That is due to the performance of the Marvell 88SE9128 controller. Perhaps we have become accustomed to the performance of the SATA 3 on the Intel "Sandy Bridge" P67 Platform, but the performance of the Intel DX58SO2 just didn't compare. If we look at the performance compared to the other Intel X58 systems, it looks better, still not great though. Intel had the option to use a newer SATA III controller like the Marvell 88SE9182 that was used on the GIGABYTE G1 Assassin, but opted for the Marvell 88SE9128. Likely a less expensive route to help keep the price down. Though if you are going for an extreme board, shouldn't performance be the number one concern? Or perhaps SATA III performance wasn't a key point that Intel was concerned about as when this board was designed their SATA III 6Gbps SSDs were not available yet.

The gaming performance of the Intel DX58SO2 was average at best. The only game we saw a serious issue was the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat benchmark in SLI. Our other systems were putting up numbers ~145 frames per second, and the Intel DX58SO2 put up an average of only 129 frames per second. The upside to the gaming performance, it got it done and worked like it should!

One area the Intel DX58SO2 X58 Motherboard did a great job in was overclocking. We were able to push our Intel Core i7 950 to 4.329GHz on air cooling! If it wasn't for the warmer weather lately, we would have likely seen a higher clock, but our air cooling just couldn't keep up.

Intel is known producing quality products and while the DX58SO2 wasn't the best performing that we have looked at, it certainly didn't disappoint! Retailing for $259.99 the Intel DX58SO2 is a decent chunk of change, but far less than the Gigabyte Assassin G1 ($489.99 after rebate) and the same price as the Sapphire Pure Black X58 ($259.99) that we compared it to today. Would I say it's overpriced? No, I don't think it is. It's a quality board from Intel that had solid performance, rock solid stability and gave us good peace of mind when running it.  The Intel DX58SO2 X58 motherboard comes backed by a three year warranty, which is nice as competing boards like the Sapphire Pure Black only come with a one year warranty. The Intel DX58SO2 can also run NVIDIA SLI, which is something the Sapphire Pure Black X58 can't do. Be sure to do your research before you buy a motherboard, but you'll find it impossible to find a more stable and solid board in this price range.

Legit Bottom Line: The Intel DX58SO2 X58 Motherboard has the features needed to make it a great choice for any system. If you are building an Intel X58 system, this could be the X58 Motherboard you need!