X58 Motherboard Round-Up January 09

19. OverclockingOn Last Page


Final Words and Conclusion


MSI X58 Platinum
When we reviewed the Intel DX58SO we criticised it for being the only X58 board to lack SLI support at the time of review, the MSI X58 Platinum also lacks this functionality though it is not an issue as they offer higher priced alternatives with that functionality intact. Instead this model can be viewed as a board which is aimed at those who want to enter the Core-i7 world but at a minimal cost.

Despite the cost cutting removal of SLI and the low retail price there is little else which seems to have suffered and what we have is a board which supports everything that most consumers will require such as CrossFireX, 7.1 audio and 24 GB of DDR3-1600. MSI also manage to include useful features such as onboard power and reset buttons as well as external clear CMOS.

Overall this is a well rounded product which has great performance for a very low cost when compared to the other X58 boards in this review.
 

Available from SCAN – £231
Available from NewEgg – $220

Foxconn Renaissance

The Renaissance board impressed us greatly with its excellent performance and great functionality. There is plenty of scope for building a very flexible system around this product, whether it is the potential for installation of 24Gb of memory or the ability to use Dolby and DTS sound this motherboard does not disappoint and the same can be said of its performance. Throughout this review the Renaissance was always close to the exceptional BloodRage and even managed to overclock better than the two non-Foxconn boards we tested.

Essentially the Renaissance is a product which provides the excellent performance of BloodRage but adds simplicity of use for those who do not require in-depth overclocking.

Available from OCUK – £230
Available from NewEgg – $275

Foxconn BloodRage
There is very little we need to say about the Foxconn BloodRage other than it is the best X58 based board we have tested to date. In almost every test in this review this board was the fastest and the overclocking features and results are second to none. There are also several nice design aspects such as the inclusion of motherboard holes which allow the installation of Socket 775 coolers or the ability to change chipset cooling.

In addition to this Foxconn have come a long way in a very short time in terms of their package/bundle, it is clear that they now understand what makes a great overall product. As soon as they start bundling items that match the Asus Q-Connector/MSI M-Connector and include a BIOS flashing tool it will be hard to fault their products.

TBC
Available from NewEgg – $299

ECS X58B-A Black Series
The X58B-A is the second Black Series motherboard we have reviewed recently and like the P45T-AD3 there are plenty of positives regarding this product. As with the other boards in this review it was completely stable throughout our testing and performance is at a very similar level to some of the more well known manufacturers such as MSI. In addition to this we have great flexibility in terms of support for CrossFireX and SLI as well as the ability to install up to 24 GB of DDR3.

ECS still need to do a little work in terms of padding out their bundle to ensure consumers receive all of the cables and connectors they require and then some. We would also like to see them include a BIOS flashing tool in future products as it is now offered by three major manufacturers. Additionally there is still a little work to be done on the BIOS with items such as CPU temperature, a standard feature on all other boards, still missing. To their credit ECS have been quick to pass us updated BIOS files when we have reported other issues so we expect this issue to be resolved soon.

TBC
Available from NewEgg – $270

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