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windwithme’s Core i7 review Part 11-MSI X58M Micro-ATX OC Review

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      4th Aug 2009
X58 chipset has been introduced to the market for 9 months, and is still on top-of-the-range of Intel product line.
For some main board manufacturers, Micro ATX is no longer a low-priced product.
Ever since DFI released its first Micro ATX X58 in January, MSI and Asus started to include Micro ATX in high performance product category.

As we analyzed the OC performance of DFI JR X58 in last episode, I believe most of you have basic understanding of X58 Micro ATX.
This time, we have MSI X58M which is a rare X58 Micor ATX in the market.
The lowest price for X58 ATX is around US$200, X58 Micro ATX will lower than that price.
We would like to introduce you MSI X58M which is a price-valued Micro ATX.

The spec of X58M changes the concepts of cheap, less function, just enough performance, and low grade for Micro ATX.
X58M allows Micro ATX users to experience high grade computer structure, in the meantime, the expandability and support have greatly improved.

Let’s take a look at the package

User’s manual. Driver and software CD. Cords. CrossFire connector.


Lower left of the main board
2 X PCIE X16 supports CrossFire and SLI, bandwidth X16+X16
There is a power button down below.

Lower right of the main board
7 X SATAII(ICH10R, Raid 0/1/5)
1 X Floppy

Upper right of the main board
6 X DIMM DDR3, DDR3 800/1066/1333(OC)
power input

Upper left of the main board
6 phase power supply. Active Power Switch
Cooling device also provides LGA775 which only can be found on FOXCONN X58 before.
This will save consumers’ money on purchasing high-end cooling device.

6 X USB 2.0
1 X 1394a

MOSFET material
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      4th Aug 2009
North bridge cooling module

Screen shot when system is turned on.

BIOS main page

Cell Menu

CPU Voltage -0.320~+630mV
CPU PLL Voltage 1.00~1.85V
QPI Voltage 0.88~1.83V
DRAM Voltage 1.20~2.77V

Through MEMORY-Z, detail setup of SPD can be viewed.

DRAM advanced parameter setup

H/W Monitor

The BIOS setup above is what I usually use on X58M which the CPU is quite stable when external clock is set to 218MHz.
Different CPU has different results from different BIOS setup.

Testing platform
CPU: Intel Core i7 950
POWER: CORSAIR HX1000W Modular Power Supply
Cooler: Megahalems

CPU OC 218 X 19 => 4150Mhz
DDR3 1748 CL9 9-9-24 1T

Hyper 8 X PI 32M 13m 48.734s
CPUMARK 99 650
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      4th Aug 2009
CrystalMark 2004R3


PCMark Vantage 16444

X58M has quite good OC performance. Compare with X58 ATX, the performance is nearly no difference.
External clock is one of its advantages as well. During the test, it is easy to reach 218 MHz.

DDR3 1748 CL8 8-8-24 1T
Sandra Memory Bandwidth-29895MB/s
EVEREST Memory Read-18845MB/s


When raise the clock of DDR3, the performance is not as good as expected.
ICH10R southbridge chip equips with CORSAIR high performance MLC SSD, the bandwidth is amazing.
ATTO reaches 227/153 MB/s.


Crysis Benchmark

StreetFighter IV Benchmark
1680 X 1050 21963

1920 X 1200 18735

Biohazard5 Benchmark

With great 3D support from X58 chipset, remarkable 3D effect can be performed with dual-VGA technology from ATI or NVIDIA.
By considering the available space in the ordinary chassis, the best choice for graphics cards are 9600 SLI and 4850 CF.
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      4th Aug 2009
1. High performance Micro ATX of X58 product.
2. All Japanese made solid capacitors. Debug signal. Built-in power botton.
3. Support ATI CrossFire and NVIDIA SLI.
4. Rich BIOS options. Wide range of power voltage. Outstanding external clock.
5. Price competitive amongst available M-ATX X58 in the market.

1. No cooling module above MOSFET
2. DDR3 OC performance is not as good as expected.
3. The temperature of northbridge is a bit high. Adopt larger cooling pipe will solve the problem.

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The major issue of X58M is in DDR3 OC performance.
As indicate in the spec, DDR3 1333 can be achieved under the condition of overclocking.
The default 133 MHz CPU clock can only reach DDR3 800 or 1066.
Compare with other competitors, MSI X58M will require some improvement in this part.

Intel new LGA1156 CPU will become available in the market in two months.
For the entry level X58, the price is around US$200 which is still quite competitive comparing with P55.
My wild guess of the price for the middle to high grade P55 is around US$150-250.
P55 will not be price competitive at beginning.

The price of the MSI X58M is fairly competitive.
The price of X58 is NT$5000, equivalent to US$152 which is very attractive to the users who are looking for X58 platform with limited budget.
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