windwithme 2nd episode testing of Intel LGA 1366-MSI Eclipse SLI with i7 965 Extreme


Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
697
Reaction score
39
Early in November 2008, Intel has released the next-generation platform LGA 1366.
In the middle of November, X58 motherboard and Core i7 CPU can be found in the market already.
Most motherboard manufacturers had done a good job in the pre-operation and offered several X58 motherboards to support the Core i7 CPU arrival.

Core™ i7 CPU structure different from the previous LGA 775,
are the built-in DDR3 memory controller in the CPU, and enhance the three-channel DRAM technology.
The DDR3 performance will be a lot of progress.
Moreover, the L3 Cache design in CPU can promotes the overall CPU performance.

As one of the three major motherboard manufacturer, MSI is also introduced four sections of X58 motherboards in the market.
They are Eclipse+, Eclipse SLI, X58 Platinum SLI, and X58 Platinum. This time, I was tested the MSI Eclipse SLI motherboard.


Product packaging is more different than the products in the past.
The simple expression can be the subject of a solar eclipse that looks great.


Accessories included the full manual and installation information, and the XP/VISTA/X-FI audio driver CD.


Wire
The black lines in the middle has the temperature measurement function.


MSI exclusive PCI-E Creative X-Fi sound card, GreenPower energy-saving module, and D-LED2
(debug features of a signal can be used with the temperature wire).


MSI Eclipse SLI motherboard






Motherboard Layout
3 PCI-E X16 slots (supports ATI CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI multi-graphics card technology)
2 PCI-E X1 slots
2 PCI slots
There are three buttons at the bottom, are switching Power/Reset/D-LED2 information display functions.
The red jumper enables users to set the CPU FSB directly, no need to penetrate BIOS.


6 SATAII slots (ICH10R, supports RAID 0/1/5/10)
4 SATA II (JMicronR 322, supports RAID 0/1/JBOD)
D-LED2 slot is installed next to the blue SATA slot.


6 DIMMs DDR3 memory slots is the special specifications, which support 600/1066/1333/1600/1866/2133MHz.
The next is the 24-pin power input.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
697
Reaction score
39
The CPU power supply using the 6+2+2 phase power supply and support the DrMOS energy-saving technology.
In addition, the PWM is using Hi-C CAP needed materials


I/O Interface
8 USB 2.0 slots
2 RJ45 connectors
1 IEEE 1394 ports
2 eSATA slots
Here there is a Clear CMOS button.


The North and South bridges cooling modules of MSI Eclipse SLI,
does not have the exaggerate the size of cooling, but look more delicate and more beautiful.


The PWM thermal design is quite special; left side is the location of 2+2 phases DrMOS.


3 Channels DDR3 1600 memory are installed on the motherboard.


Intel Core i7 965 Extreme also installed.



BIOS boot screen-a solar eclipse


BIOS main screen


Users can adjust the frequency and voltage in “Cell Menu”.


CPU Voltage -0.320~+0.630V (in 0.01~0.02 steps)
QPI Voltage -0.320~+0.630V (in 0.01~0.02 steps)
CPU PLL Voltage 1.00~1.80V (in 0.05 steps)
DRAM Voltage 1.20~2.77V (in 0.01 steps)
IOH Voltage 0.780~1.730V (in 0.01 steps)
ICH Voltage 0.70~2.13V (in 0.01 steps)
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
697
Reaction score
39
The unique feature of high-end Core i7 CPU, it allows processor cores to run faster than the base operating frequency.


MSI’s exclusively Memory-Z, which is similar to CPU-Z function, enables user to see the DRAM-related information through BIOS.


DRAM parameters details


Intel Extreme Memory Profiles (Intel XMP),
an easy-to-use and high-performance DDR3 memory overclocking tool—no time-consuming manual tuning required.


Four setting groups enables user to store or access the preference settings.


MSI has provided the BIOS update functions in BIOS setting environment.
In the past, user only can update the BIOS through OS for online updates, it is really quite inconvenient.


Green Power


H/W Monitor


Testing Platform
CPU: Intel Core i7 965 Extreme
MB: MSI Eclipse SLI
DRAM: CORSAIR Dominator 2GBX3 DDR3 1600C8D
VGA: MSI R4870X2-T2D2G-OC
HD: SAMSUNG 32GB SSD SLC
POWER: Corsair HX1000W Modular Power Supply
Cooler: Thermaltake V1 AX/JETART Nano Diamond


CPU test
Intel Core i7 965 Extreme
CPU: 161.6X24=>3875Mhz
DRAM: DDR3 1616 CL8 8-8-24 1T 1.6V

PCMARK2005
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
697
Reaction score
39
CrystalMark 2004R3


CINEBENCH R10


Core i7 CPU built-in 3-channel of DDR3 memory controller can enhance a lot of CPU performance.
In above test, the memory performance had a lot of progress than the previous LGA755.

DRAM test
2GBX3 CORSAIR CM3X2G 1600C8D




CPU default setting, open the Turbo Boost Tech.
DDR3 1600 CL8 8-8-24 1T 1.5V
Hyper PI 32M stable


EVEREST/Sandra bandwidth


OC DDR3 1807 CL9 9-9-28 1T 1.65V
EVEREST/Sandra bandwidth


Under the new CPU structure, DDR3 voltage is even lower than the previous chipset.
In the above test, DDR3 1600 CL8 in 1.5V also may reach a stable level.

Use VISTA 64-bit operating system to test the DDR3 6GB Kit full capacity.
We use the CrystalMark / Sandra to be the testing software.

Single Channel
34602/11789MB/s


Dual Channels
54345/20910MB/s


Triple Channels
65267/28401MB/s
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
697
Reaction score
39
Under the same clock, we use the 1GBx3 to do the comparison.
Triple Channels
60706/25214MB/s


From the above tests, we can see clearly, 3-channel provides the best performance.
Moreover, the performance of 2GBx3 is better than 1GBx3.
For the pursuit of DRAM performance, 2GBx3 is the best choice.


3D Performance
MSI R4870X2-T2D2G-OC,780/1800Mhz
We used the X58 driver which is revised by ATI in November 20th.

3DMARK2005


3DMARK2006


The 3DMark of the ATI specialized i7/X58 driver is about 5~10% better than the previous driver.
There were a lot of tests in the website, which mentioned the i7 CPU has no progress in Game, even a slight deterioration.
Following we are beginning to test the game performance.

Need For Speed Pro Street
1600X1200


Age Of Empires
1920X1200


Crysis Benchmark



Need For Speed Pro Street increased about 20 pages than ATI 8.10.
Although I have not used the “Age of Empires” to test for a long time, but this is the first time I have such result in a high level setting.
Crysis Benchmark is worse about 5~10% performance than LGA755.
It is possible i7 CPU is the difference with the previous structure.
The game performance problem is to need the amendments patch of game company to solve.

CPU: 200X20=>4000Mhz
DRAM: DDR3 1605 CL8 8-8-24 1T 1.6V


205Mhz Super PI 1M



MSI Eclipse SLI Result

Advantages:
1.The new packaging design.
2.BIOS stability, wide voltage and CPU/DRAM have great overclocking ability.
3.Simultaneously supports ATI CrossFireX and NVIDIA 3-Way SLI.
4.6+2+2 phases DrMOS power supply, All Made-in-Japan solid capacitors, and X-Fi sound card.
5.Provides 10 SATA slots, 2 eSATA slots, and IEEE1394 for expansion.
6.Four kind different function buttons. D-LED2 has the debugging and display temperature functions.

Disadvantages:
1.The DDR clock can go beyond the limit. It would be better if we can use the 133/1866.
2.The previous user’s setting would be filed away after BIOS update.


Performance 8.10
Components 9/10
Layout design 8/10
Cost/ performance ratio 7/10

MSI motherboard with LGA1366 structure provides a different usage in the past.
MSI products have few BIOS problems, especially in overclocking.
But this time, MSI Eclipse SLI currently doesn’t have problems, and fairly stable after overclocking setting.
We can see that MSI had effort to improve the BIOS stability.


MSI Eclipse SLI is priced about NT$10300 (310 USD), is in the medium-level position of the current high-end motherboard.
MSI X58 Platinum, the entry-level motherboard, is priced about NT$7400 (230 USD).
The new generation of new framework is replaced by X58 product, it should be replaced the position of X48 high-end motherboard priced about 230~420 USD.
But for the LGA775 users, high-end X48 and middle-level P45 motherboards are the most value choice.


Meanwhile, if the consumer was originally to buy the LGA 775 platform (high-end X48 motherboard with more than the Q9550 level CPU),
they changed their mind to purchase the X58 with Core i7 920 CPU is the better choice.
Users need to spend more money on DDR3 memory that would raise the whole platform cost.

Currently Core i7 is to replace the LGA 775 of high-end price.
I believe in the coming year will gradually after the introduction of price bands.
MSI Eclipse SLI motherboard has good performance in functional, performance, and overclocking.
It is a worthy reference to the inclusion product for the users who want to obtain the X58 motherboard.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 4, 2003
Messages
7,603
Reaction score
625
Excellent!

Very nice review mate. You have done us proud here at PCR

It seems the componants you chose work well togehter maybe I should start saving some pennies? ;)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Abarbarian

Acruncher
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
10,506
Reaction score
958
Another nice review.

I belive that you can use DDR 2 memmory in DDR 3 slots, while it will impact on performance you still get a bit of a boost I think and it keeps the initial build swap cost down. You can add DDR 3 later.

Is it possible for you to include a section in your review showing results using DDR 2, not a fuul suite of tests just one to show the difference ??

 
Last edited:

Waynos_Face

New Cruncher
Joined
Apr 12, 2008
Messages
1,458
Reaction score
0
Nice review mate,

I thought the memory controller was now apart of the CPU on Core i7 and it only supports DDR3???
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2008
Messages
697
Reaction score
39
Waynos_Face said:
Nice review mate,

I thought the memory controller was now apart of the CPU on Core i7 and it only supports DDR3???
Yes
Core i7 only for DDR3:)
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top