ASUS P6X58D-E Motherboard ReviewRHKCommander959 - August 9, 2010
» Discuss this article (1)
Not all motherboards are created equal. Generally, manufacturers create one solid item and then chop features off of it to fit lower price points. This is true for more than motherboards too, as AMD processors have been having cores disabled for a while to fit price ranges; graphics cores have also had parts disabled to fill lower price segments. The same applies to hard drives with the number of platters, memory with the number of ICs, and other parts and pieces that can be tweaked to fit the bill. Occasionally, parts are upgraded from the base design, usually in cooling, power delivery, and clock rates. Another example of this are processors that have all the same specifications except part number and clock rate where the manufacturer has simply increased the multiplier and bumped the price up (or bumped it down and dropped the price).
This information applies to the ASUS P6X58D-E that is up for review here today, which looks identical to the ASUS P6X58D Premium but with some features removed. One LAN port is removed, the top heatsink no longer has a back plate, and two heat pipes are removed between the top two heatsinks and the Northbridge and Southbridge are separated. A reset button is removed from the board as well and the SATA 3.0 support chip was changed out and appears to be more robust.
The new motherboard from ASUS supports triple card configurations, one PCI Express x1 slot, and two PCI slots, which is a decent layout but may leave PCI users unhappy if they choose to use more than one graphics card. It has the standard six DIMM memory slots, typical for nearly all LGA 1366 X58 motherboards, and has the 24-pin power next to the memory slots and 8-pin power connector near the PS/2 port, similar to other board designs as well. ASUS has covered both the red and blue color schemes as well as some mixed up colors, with boards that look similar to other manufacturer boards. This gives consumers more choice, especially for those who want a certain color in their setup. The P6X58D-E has eight SATA ports with six of them 90° ports and two facing out from the motherboard. Overall it looks like it has the goods but we shall see when we test it!
The box is most blue with some gray accents on it, a swooping metallic line separates the box in half and anchors a badge and four features upon itself. This board supports SATA 6Gb/s RAID where the Premium didn't support RAID. The motherboard also supports the new 6-core 32nm processors recently released by Intel. Also supported is USB 3.0 through a chip by NEC, the SATA 3.0 is supported by a Marvel 9128 chip. Both say True SATA/USB but I have to wonder as opposed to what exactly? The 16+2 Phase power design should allow the motherboard to overclock decently. Also it is more extreme to spell the word "Xtreme" wrong. Flipping the cover open shows for different colored blocks containing information about some of the features, and the "Xtreme" badge in the middle is the same as the one on the other side. Express gate is a feature that allows users to access the internet before logging into their operating system, in use I've never seen a need but it could come in handy when troubleshooting if you don't have any other means to the web. EPU is the ASUS version of power saving implementation and tries to modify the power levels being given to hardware to save energy. PCI Express 2.0 is explained in the blue box, and the ASUS Q-Design is explained in the orange box, "the Q-Slot, Q-Shield, and Q-Connector design speed up and simplify the DIY process!"
The next half of the fold-open inside has another four colored boxes explaining four more features and in design mirrors the other half. TurboV is the overclocking feature ASUS has implemented to allow real-time overclocking while in the operating system. A small chip near the CMOS battery is also labeled TurboV. MemOK! is a button on the motherboard near the edge by the memory slots and forces the motherboard to set speeds that should be fail-safe for installed memory allowing users to get into BIOS and set the memory up properly. The DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC explains that the board has surround sound capabilities that are adjustable. The 16+2 phase power design is explained lastly, 16-phase for the CPU vCore and 2-phase for the QPI (memory controller). This design is efficient at delivering proper power to the processor. The back side of the box reaffirms the features that were covered by the front and points out features on a picture of the motherboard. A gray band at the bottom has information in several languages about the SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.0, and TurboV features. ASUS contact information is at the bottom.
Finally opening the box we see a cardboard ledge that holds the accessories on the deep part and the manuals on the upper ledge. Removing the cardboard insert and items we can get a sneak peek at the motherboard through the transparent anti-static bag. A three-way SLI adapter, two-way SLI adapter, Q-Connectors for making it easier to connect motherboard wires (power, reset, HDD activity, and so on), I/O plate, six SATA cables, drivers disk and case badge, and lastly user guide are all included with the motherboard. A solid pack of items but nothing exciting, nonetheless enough to get most everyone up and running.
Time to get a closer look at the ASUS P6X58D-E!