To shake things up, we are going to review the X58 motherboard in our maximum overclocked state. Many people today considering this product will be wanting even more performance than the stunning new Core i5-2500k and Core i7-2600k can deliver, even when overclocked. How much faster is a 980X when overclocked than the brand new Intel Core i7 2600k @ 5.1ghz for instance? We will answer this, and more today.
Intel won’t be updating the current six core ultra high end processors (Core i7 970 and 980X Extreme Edition) until later in the year, so this is the most viable reason for an enthusiast to purchase an X58 motherboard. We will be testing with one, two and three Sapphire HD6970’s and we will also use the Sapphire HD5770 Flex Edition in CrossfireX for our productivity testing earlier in the review.
We are using the excellent 80 Plus Gold Certified Enermax Modu87+ 700W power supply for the majority of our testing today. We switch to the Corsair AX1200 for the 3 way CrossFireX testing later in the review.
Later in the review we will be giving the Pure Black X58 a thorough workout when gaming across a single, then three screens.
To build our system today, we are using the Core i7 980X – Intel’s most expensive commercial consumer processor in their line up. We are partnering this with 6 GB of Kingston H20 memory.
For our 980x cooling, we have opted for the Noctua NH D14, or the ‘Austrian Sandwich’ as we affectionately call it. There is no better air cooler on the planet, so we can always be sure that it won’t be the deciding factor when we hit our top clocks.
The bios will be familar to many Intel users already. It is well laid out and offers a ton of options, without looking cluttered.
There are plenty of options for configurating the hardware, voltages, multipliers and ram settings are all accessible via the ‘performance’ menu. We will look at little more at this on the next page.
The bios not only offers two settings on the motherboard via a switch, but you can save up to four profiles in each of them, for quick retrieval of the settings.