DFI LANPARTY UT X58-T3eH8 Review
Flame Freezing the Intel X58 So far, Intel's latest CPU microarchitecture has been limited to the high-end niche segment. Blame it on the success of the Intel Core 2 microarchitecture, for Core...
Few motherboards can compare to the ASUS Rampage II Extreme for its sheer number of features dedicated to overclocking enthusiasts. DFI may have a deserved reputation for catering to the overclocking crowd with its software-based Auto Boost System for some of its motherboards and an overclocking friendly BIOS which leaves much room for enthusiasts to experiment and tweak, but it's no ASUS with its 'brute force' approach of overwhelming users with its feature list.
The same Auto Boost System is found on this DFI UT X58 board and that is something that we had mentioned before here. The other half of DFI's strategy of course is its BIOS from Genie, which sometimes feels like it has too many options or as we like to say, giving users more rope to hang themselves. Some of the more common and important ones are listed below:-
- Base Clock (aka FSB) Settings: 133 to 250MHz
- Boot up Base Clock: 100 to 250MHz
- QPI Frequency: Auto, 4.8, 5.866, 6.4GT/s
- PCIe Settings: 100 to 250MHz
- CPU Voltage Settings: 1.06255 to 1.60V (in 0.00625V steps)
- Memory Voltage Settings: 1.455 to 2.400V (0.015V steps)
- IOH/ICH 1.1V Voltage Settings: 1.1V to 1.73V (in 0.02V steps)
- CPU VTT Voltage Settings: 1.21V to 1.61V (in 0.01/0.02V steps)
- Turbo Ratio Limit: 12 to 24
Since the Uncore multiplier must be set to two times the memory multiplier for the Intel Core i7, incorrect values are automatically removed from the BIOS so users are unable to select the wrong values and cause the system to hang on reboot. We felt that this was a rather nice touch that should be on every Core i7 BIOS.
Setting the CPU multiplier to 12x to ensure maximum overclocking headroom, we managed a stable 220MHz for the base clock.
And on to the actual overclocking, where we adjusted the clocks such that our CPU and memory were not the components holding back the base clock gains. We found that the DFI was definitely on par with the ASUS Rampage II Extreme when it came to the overall base clock limit. It managed up to 220MHz, which is a very decent result and more than the Gigabyte and MSI X58 boards.
Following our Intel X58 motherboard shootout, we will be using the exact configuration for the DFI UT X58-T3eH8, which means a Core i7-965 Extreme Edition as the processor. 3GB of DDR3-1333 memory was used, set to triple channel and running @7-7-20 CAS 7.0. For all the boards, Intel Turbo Boost and HyperThreading was enabled. As stated previously, for the Gigabyte board, CPU-Z reported it as 7-7-7-22 despite us fixing the memory at 7-7-7-20 in the BIOS. The other components:-
- Intel Core i7-965 XE (3.20GHz, Intel Turbo Boost, HyperThreading enabled)
- 3 x 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1333 @ 7-7-20 CAS 7.0 (7-7-22 for Gigabyte GA-EX58-EXTREME)
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 200GB SATA hard disk drive (one single NTFS partition)
- ASUS GeForce 9800 GTX 512MB - with ForceWare 178.24 drivers
- Intel INF 184.108.40.2067 and Intel Matrix Storage manager 220.127.116.117 driver set
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 (and DirectX 9.0c)
The following benchmarks were used to assess the performance of the motherboards:-
BAPco SYSmark 2007 (with Patch 4 for DFI UT X58-T3eH8, Patch 3 for other boards)
Futuremark PCMark05 (ver 120)