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DFI LanParty UT X58-T3eH8 LGA 1366 Motherboard Review

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3oh6

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Joined
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Messages
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<center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/dfi_logo-1.jpg" alt="DFI Logo">


<b>DFI LanParty UT X58-T3eH8 LGA1366 Motherboard Review</b></center>



<b>Price:</b> $374+ CND <a href="http://hardwarecanucks.pricecanada.com/detail.php?product_id=591196&sku=LPUTX58T3EH8">Price Comparison</a>
<b>Manufacturer Product Page:</b> <a href="http://www.dfi.com.tw/portal/CM/cmproduct/XX_cmproddetail/XX_WbProdsWindow?itemId=561&downloadFlag=false&action=e&windowstate=normal&mode=view">DFI</a>
<b>TechWIKI Info:</b> <a href="">DFI Lanparty UT X58-T3eH8 - TechWIKI</a>
<b>Manufacturer's Part Number:</b> LPUTX58T3EH8
<b>Warranty:</b> Warranty Information Unavailable




<p style="text-align: justify;">The hits just keep on coming here at Hardware Canucks. First, the ASUS Rampage Extreme II opened our Intel i7 production, followed by the EVGA X58 SLI in the second act, and the finale is being played by perhaps the most exciting; the DFI LanParty UT X58-T3eH8. The DFI LanParty lineup has always been about performance, based around the UT nomenclature. Recent chipset iterations have opened up the DFI production list and it is now filled with not only UT motherboards but LT, DK, and Jr lines as well. DFI has also introduced an entirely new line called Blood-Iron with both Intel P35 and P45 options. This diversity has really helped bring DFI further into the mainstream markets to compliment their already entrenched reputation with enthusiasts and overclockers.

Ever since the early AMD Socket 7 and into the 939 days, DFI has been known as an enthusiast motherboard supplying monster. I personally have a DFI nF4 Ultra-D on my wall of fame, right where it belongs. Known for limitless BIOS options that allow fine-tuning for the most intense motherboard manipulating artists, DFI motherboards have always stood to be a bit daunting for the beginner or average overclocker. There may be truth to this fact, but DFI has always had the appropriate support through community driven forums to accommodate their complex motherboards. They continue that support with DFI Club today and we also noticed a vast number of FAQ articles ranging from cooling to overclocking on their primary LanParty web site. The DFI LanParty web site may not always be the fastest and it may be slightly un-intuitive to navigate, but it does have a lot of information contained within its borders. Perhaps this complexity is a natural parallel to their LanParty motherboards. No matter how you critique the web site, DFI knows performance motherboards and the Core i7 is sure to love the latest of the LanParty series.

Today we look at the crest of the LanParty mountain, and the UT series top dog. The DFI LanParty UT X58-T3eH8 is based on the Intel X58 chipset and supports all the features that has made the Intel X58 one of the most diverse and powerful chipsets to date. Features like Quad CrossFireX and 3-way SLI operation, six triple-channel memory DIMM slots, and dual gigabit LAN connections are all present on the UT X58-T3eH8. Of course, being the DFI flagship on the Core i7 ocean, DFI has pulled out all the stops in the cooling and BIOS departments. There is a DreamHack amount of information to cover so we will cut the opening act short and move on to the Specifications and Features section right now.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/index-1.jpg" alt="EVGA X58 SLI"></center>
 
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3oh6

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Specifications & Features

Specifications & Features

<p style="text-align: justify;">This being our third Intel X58 based motherboard, we have decided to beat the proverbial dead horse and forgo presenting the X58 chipset and corresponding discussion. We will get straight to the specifications of the DFI LanParty X58-T3eH8 instead. For a little bit of information on the X58 chipset please see the ASUS Rampage Extreme II or EVGA X58 SLI reviews.</p><center><table border="0" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" width="697"><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>CPU</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> LGA 1366 socket for Intel® Core i7 processors<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Intel® QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) technology - point-to-point interface that connects to X58; providing a dynamically scalable interconnect for increased bandwidth, lower latency and stability<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Integrated Memory Controller (IMC) supports 3 channels of DDR3<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Intel Hyper-Threading Technology delivers 8-threaded performance<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 8-phase digital PWM provides stable voltage to the CPU</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Chipset</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Northbridge: Intel X58 Express chipset<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Southbridge: Intel ICH10R<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> QPI System bus - 4.8GT/s to 6.4GT/s </td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>System Memory</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Six 240-pin DDR3 DIMM sockets<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600(O.C.) MHz DIMMs<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Triple-channel memory architecture<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Supports up to 24GB system memory<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Delivers up to 43.2GB/s bandwidth<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Unbuffered x8/x16, non-ECC and ECC, up to 4Gb DDR3 devices</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Expansion Slots</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 3 PCI Express (Gen 2) x16 slots <br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> a. 2-way CrossFire at x16/x16 transfer rate lanes<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 3-way SLI at x16/x8/x8 transfer rate lanes<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 PCI Express x4 slot<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 2 PCI slots</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>BIOS</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Award BIOS<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 8Mbit SPI flash memory<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> CMOS Reloaded</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Audio</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Bernstein audio module w/Realtek ALC889 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 2 coaxial RCA S/PDIF-in/out jacks<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 optical S/PDIF connector<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 108dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback (DAC) quality and 104dB SNR recording (ADC) quality</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>LAN</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Marvell 88E8052 and Marvell 88E8053 PCIE Gigabit LAN controllers with Teaming technology<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Fully compliant to IEEE 802.3 (10BASE-T), 802.3u (100BASE-TX) and 802.3ab (1000BASE-T) standards</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Storage</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Intel ICH10R chip<br> - Intel Matrix Storage technology<br> - Supports up to 6 SATA devices<br> - SATA speed up to 3Gb/s<br> - RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1 and RAID 5<br><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> JMicron JMB363 PCI Express to SATA and PATA host controller <br> - Supports up to 2 UltraDMA 100Mbps IDE devices<br> - Supports 2 SATA devices <br> - SATA speed up to 3Gb/s<br> - RAID 0 and RAID 1</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>IEEE 1394</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> VIA VT6308P<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Supports two 100/200/400 Mb/sec IEEE 1394a ports</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Rear Panel I/O</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 Mini-DIN-6 PS/2 mouse port<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 Mini-DIN-6 PS/2 keyboard port<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 IEEE 1394 port<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 6 USB 2.0 ports<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 2 RJ45 LAN ports<br></td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Internal I/O</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 3 connectors for 6 additional external USB 2.0 ports<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 connector for an external COM port<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 connector for an IEEE 1394 port<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 connector for the Bernstein audio module<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 IrDA connector and 1 CIR connector<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 8 Serial ATA connectors<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 40-pin IDE connector and 1 floppy connector<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 24-pin ATX power connector<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 8-pin 12V power connector<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 2 4-pin 5V/12V power connectors (FDD type)<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 front panel connector<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 8 fan connectors<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 diagnostic LED<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> EZ touch switches (power switch and reset switch)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Power Management</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> ACPI and OS Directed Power Management<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> ACPI STR (Suspend to RAM) function<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Wake-On-PS/2 / Wake-On-USB Keyboard/Mouse<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Wake-On-LAN and Wake-On-Ring<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> RTC timer to power-on the system<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> AC power failure recovery</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Hardware Monitor</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Monitors CPU/system/Northbridge temperature and overheat alarm<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Monitors Vcore/Vdimm/Vnb/VCC5/12V/V5sb/Vbat voltages1<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Monitors the speed of the cooling fans<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> CPU Overheat Protection function monitors CPU temperature and fan during system boot-up - automatic shutdown upon system overheat</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>PCB</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 6 layers, ATX form factor<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 24.5cm (9.64") x 30.5cm (12")</td></tr></table></center>

Features

<p style="text-align: justify;">In typical DFI and LanParty UT fashion, the X58-T3eH8 is absolutely loaded with features designed to make life easier for the enthusiast and high-en overclockers. The list of features is really too long to cover in full but here is a small sample of what this motherboard has to offer.</p><table align="center" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" width="662px"><tr><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>3-Way SLI® & CrossFire X</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/ati_nvidia_logo-1.png" style="float: left; margin: 4px 5px 0 0;" />For the first time in the history of either platform, both SLI and ATI CrossFire X technologies are allowed to run on the same system. The X58-T3eH8 fully supports both 3-Way SLI and ATI Quad CrossFire X. This is one of the biggest advantages of the Intel X58 chipset over previous generations.</td><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>8-Phase Volterra Full Digital PWM</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/volterra_digital_pwm-1.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 4px 5px 0 0;" />Powering the DFI X58-T3eH8 is the 8-phase Volterra fully digital PWM circuit providing unparallel power delivery to the CPU. This digital PWM allows for cleaner and more consistent power delivery to your CPU assisting in overclocking and stability.</td></tr><tr><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>Flame Freezer</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/flame_freezer-1.jpg" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0 0 5px;" />The LanParty UT series is designed for the highest end systems and the best overclocking. This inherently means temperature increases to key system components. These components include the PWM and chipset. Flame Freezer cooling is designed to remove that heat from the interior of the case and exhaust it outside to help cool the whole system.</td><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>Sintering Heat-pipe</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/sintering_heat-pipe-1.jpg" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0 0 5px;" />Sintering heat-pipes help alleviate some of the issues involved with heat pipes by increasing the thermal conductivity of the heat-pipe in both the vertical and horizontal positions. Sintering heat-pipes are used throughout the LanParty X58-T3eH8.</td></tr><tr><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>Debug LED</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/onboard_debug_led-1.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 4px 5px 0 0;" />Like any enthusiast top level motherboard, the X58-T3eH8 comes with an onboard debug LED readout. This provides system status during POST and better allows for diagnosis of a no POST situation. Having an onboard debug LED really helps when really pushing the system with overclocking as it will provide some insight into what is wrong with the system if pushed too far.</td><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>CMOS Reloaded</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/cmos_reloaded-1.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 4px 5px 0 0;" />The staple to any DFI motherboard has been CMOS Reloaded. This option in the BIOS allows for backing up and restoring of complete BIOS setting configurations. Being able to label overclocked settings in the BIOS has always set CMOS Reloaded apart from the crowd. With the X58-T3eH8, DFI has added features to CMOS Reloaded and made it even better than before.</td></tr></table><p style="text-align: justify;">As mentioned, there are so many more features that we will have to cover in this review that the DFI X58-T3eH8 provides. Things like onboard power and reset buttons that also act as an "EZ Clear" CMOS reset, UV reactive expansion slots, and onboard voltage read points really make this LanParty UT board one of the best in its class.</p>
 
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3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,052
Location
Edmonton, AB
Package & Accessories

Package & Accessories

<p style="text-align: justify;">As of late, buying a motherboard feels more like buying a suitcase. Some of the packages we have been receiving and purchasing in computer shops have been absolutely monstrous. The EVGA 790i packages for example, could double as a side table in a pinch. The DFI UT X58-T3eH8 fits right into the trend with a very thick and overall large package. Measuring in at 12cm thick, 30cm wide, and almost 40cm tall; the X58-T3eH8 package is quite substantial. This increase in package size seems to co-exist with the rather steep increase in premium motherboard prices starting with C2D socket 775 motherboards. Apparently these companies have a complex and feel by selling us larger packages, it somehow justifies the ridiculous costs. That of course is just a theory, but one that would be hard to argue with. Either way, let's take a look at some photos of the DFI UT X58-T3eH8 package from the outside. We will then dive inside and check for appropriate protection.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The overall feel of the package is quite subdued and very modern in its design. The front and rear of the package don't really impose a lot of information about the motherboard inside but they do a solid job of visually catching the buyer’s attention. We find the traditional LanParty UT logo in a few locations as DFI is still actively branding the LanParty logo but it certainly isn't as prominent as the LanParty packages of say the socket 939 days when the LanParty motherboard series was legendary. The one close up we have taken of the packages back side is the one thing we have been drooling over for years before the X58 chipset came along; NVIDIA SLI and ATI CrossFire logos co-existing in harmony. We cannot stress it enough, the fact that both SLI and CrossFireX are able to run on the same motherboard is probably the most important aspect of the new Core i7 processors, and it has nothing to do with the processor.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">We mentioned the lack of detailed information on the outside of the package about the motherboard, that job is handled by the inside flap of the front cover. This is where DFI has chosen to promote the various features and specifications of the X58-T3eH8. The information contained here is remarkably similar to the features section we just showed in the previous section. We also get a glimpse of the actual motherboard through a couple windows designed to highlight the Flame Freezer heat sink attachment and Bernstein Audio module. Before we look at those items, we dive inside the package and find a motherboard securely contained in a large molded plastic clam shell. It is hard to see but there are a couple pieces of foam taped to the underside of the top fold which act as mechanisms to holding the motherboard in place. The plastic shell isn't quite as solid or well formed to the motherboard like the EVGA X58-SLI motherboard we recently reviewed, but it still does a fabulous job holding the motherboard still and protecting it on its journey. Which, by the way, was made in the back of a UPS package crushing vehicle and despite the big brown doing the delivering duties, our package was in pristine condition when we received it. It turns out UPS isn't rough on every package, just 99.9% of them.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The accessories package included with the LanParty UT X58-T3eH8 are where we start to see the personality of the UT series of old. In case you didn't notice, the IDE/floppy cable sleeving and SATA cables are a neon, UV reactive green. Like everything else, they are tucked neatly in a separate box from the motherboard shell. Here is a full list of the items we can see in the two photos shown above:</p>
  • 1 x Sleeved UV reactive IDE Cable
  • 1 x Sleeved UV reactive floppy cable
  • 4 x UV reactive SATA cables
  • 2 x 4-Pin molex connector > dual 5-Pin SATA connector
  • Solid 2 Way SLI bridge
  • Solid 3 Way SLI bridge
  • Flexible CrossFireX bridge
  • Smart Connectors for front panel connections and USB/FIreWire onboard headers
  • Package of 4 jumpers
  • Small tube of thermal paste and applicator card
  • Ribbon cable for audio module
  • Manual & software CD + installation guide
  • Rear I/O panel
<p style="text-align: justify;">As we predicted in the EVGA X58-SLI review, X58 motherboards are starting to come with CrossFireX bridges as evidence here. The flexible CrossFireX bridge companions the two solid SLI bridges. We also have a small tube of thermal paste and applicator card which would be seemingly used for the Flame Freezer cooler but we aren't quite sure how the applicator card works. Perhaps it is used to apply thermal paste on the heat sink base when adding the Flame Freezer attachment to the NB portion of the heat sink. Speaking of the Flame Freezer, let's take a look at it now.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The Flame Freezer attachment isn't all that complicated but DFI has made it look quite impressive. It is simply a nickel plated copper heat pipe that is bent in a fashion to connect with the cooling fins. The DFI touch is that the cooling fins are separated by a uniquely designed aluminum piece. The heat pipe appears to be 6mm in diameter. This attachment will obviously be the focus for our thermal testing of the motherboard. Since we should have an accurate temperature reading from the digital PWM and X58 north bridge, we should really be able to see how much the Flame Freezer works on reducing temperatures.

We also have the Bernstein Audio module pictured above. Other motherboard manufacturers have started using vertical soundcards for onboard sound but DFI has been doing this forever with Bernstein modules. The idea is that moving the "onboard" soundcard off the board, interference from the motherboard is minimized in the audio. DFI implements this in a PCI expansion bracket which then connects to the motherboard with a ribbon cable that we saw earlier in the accessory package photos.

Next up is going to be a closer look at the motherboard in all of its UV reactive green and yellow glory.</p>
 
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3oh6

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A Closer Look at the DFI UT X58-T3eH8

A Closer Look at the DFI UT X58-T3eH8


<center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/dfi_x58-t3eh8_layout-1.jpg" alt="" border="0"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">The first thing that stands out with the DFI LanParty UT X58-T3eH8 is the color scheme. The LanParty board is certainly one of a kind and either you hate it, or you love it. With a dark PCB and the bright UV reactive connector colors, DFI has made this board stand out like LanParty UT boards of old. The other standout landmarks are those two massive heat sinks that combine to appear as one via a snaking heat pipe. The need to avoid active cooling at any cost is evident with these massive heat sinks that DFI has populated the X58-T3eH8 with. The overhead view really doesn't give a good perspective of just how big they are. Ground level photos in a few minutes will confirm our use of the term "massive" when describing the north bridge and PWM heat sinks. Overall though, the layout is pretty standard when compared to other boards and is on par with the best available right now. All connectors are at the edge of the board, PCI-E spacing is of the most opportune, memory DIMM slots are gapped nicely from the CPU socket, and just look at that CPU socket; it won't get much easier to insulate on the X58 platform than that.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">As mentioned, the socket of this DFI X58-T3eH8 is incredibly clean with the lack of MOSFETs and electrolytic capacitors. Instead, we have rows of ceramic surface mount capacitors backed by a pair of Cooper Bussman CPL-4-50 multi-phase inductors. These inductors will be paired with Volterra leadless VPR ICs to provide the PWM circuit for the motherboard, more on this in a moment. The massive party crasher hiding the last part of our PWM circuit is the aforementioned "massive" heat sink. At eye level, it is much easier to see the sheer mass that these two heat sinks have. They surround the CPU socket like a pack of wild animals stalking their prey..also know as paparazzi. Hovering, looming, ready to pounce; these heat sinks at first glance appear to be a CPU cooler nightmare. With a little investigation, however, we are sure to find that DFI did their homework and didn't remove any possibility for the more popular large heat sinks available.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">As promised, we will now visit the PWM circuit with the mountain of a heat sink and heat pipe removed. The two Cooper Bussman CPL-4-50 is paired with a Volterra system to make up the PWM circuit. The CPL-4-50 are ferrite core multi phase inductors that each provide 4 phases for a total of an 8 phase circuit and can operate at temperatures of up to 125C. This would be why they are not being cooled by the heat sink assembly cooling the rest of the PWM circuit.

This combination of power delivery to computer components is not un-common and in fact, quite common. The EVGA 790i FTW Digital PWM motherboard uses an almost identical setup and if the upcoming EVGA Classified board is anything like its ancestral roots, it will too. Almost all high end graphics processors use a similar setup to provide quality power delivery in a small footprint that can handle substantial heat. DFI has been in love with the digital PWM for their LanParty UT motherboards for some time now and it will be interesting to see how it handles the ridiculous loads of the massive i7 processor.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The next two important areas of the motherboard are the DIMM slots, and what we call 'SB Corner', also known as 'IO Valley'. Having been looking at X58 motherboards for a few months now on a daily basis, it still seems like six DIMM slots are massive. Perhaps a level of normality will never accompany that sight. DFI seems to have a tidy little 2 phase vDIMM circuit here tucked right up alongside the main 24-pin ATX power connector and the single IDE connector. From this photo we can see the gap to the CPU socket isn't huge but should be enough to fit the Dominator modules and their expansive heat sinks with a Thermalright Ultra-120 (TRUE).

The valley is home to the ICH10R south bridge and all that accompanies the input/output capabilities of the chipset. It is nice to see the full complement of SATAII connectors at a 90 degree angle, even the two JMicron JMB363 powered SATAII ports (yellow connectors). The JMicron controller is being fully utilized by DFI as it powers both SATA II ports and the IDE connector we just saw. We then have a bank of onboard USB 2.0 headers - providing six connections in total - sandwiched between a pair of 3-pin fan headers. DFI has always provided a plethora of fan headers on LanParty board and the X58-T3eH8 is no exception. We would have liked to see one of these up by the DIMM slots instead of down here but most any memory fan assembly should reach without problem. One last item to touch on is the barely visible row of pads between the lower motherboard mounting hole and the 90 degree SATAII connectors. These nine pads are actually onboard voltage read points. We will cover these in more detail during the Voltage Regulation testing.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The last photo of the south east corner shows the color coded front panel connectors, floppy connector, CMOS battery, onboard speaker, and a plethora of jumpers. The WinBond IT8718F-S super I/O IC controls most everything in this area including the floppy connector, fan headers, serial ports, and more. It is also responsible for the vast amount of voltage, fan, and temperature readings and control supplied to the motherboards BIOS. It is the modern legacy renaissance man. The last of the goodies down here are the pair of LED displays that provide POST code readout for ease of diagnostics. One thing we really like is the fact that DFI provides a jumper to enable or disable the onboard speaker. This seems to be a very simple feature, but even simpler to implement and DFI took the time to do so. This is just one of the many little things this board poses that we haven't found in other X58 motherboards tested thus far.

Moving west along the southern corridor we find another fan header, onboard serial and firewire headers, as well as the all important; onboard power and reset buttons. The beautiful thing about the power/reset buttons is that they double as a CMOS clear button as well. Let's now the all important expansion slot layout discussion that we initiated earlier.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The hottest topic in computer forums as of late regarding X58 motherboards in regards to layout is the placement of the PCI-E 16X slots. There are a number of X58 motherboards available now and they seem to group into two categories. Those that have one of the three PCI-E 16X slots at the bottom of the expansion slot pile, and those that don't. The DFI X58-T3eH8 falls into the category that doesn't. What this allows is the ability to house a dual slot graphics card in the bottom slot, regardless of your case. With the PCI-E 16X slot filling the very last location like on the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 or the ASUS Rampage II Extreme, a dual slot graphics card would not be permitted in certain cases that don't allow a gap below the motherboard. There are absolutely no issues in this situation with the DFI X58-T3eH8 as the bottom slot is just one of the PCI slots. The rest of the expansion slot layout is pretty good. The top slot won't come close to interfering with the DIMM slots and the south bridge heat sink is designed to be covered by large video cards as are the 90 degree SATA II ports. Heck, even the CMOS battery is rather easy to access and get to with all but 3-way SLI setup.

Spacing is what spacing does, cripples certain slots with dual slot video card coolers. There is just no way around it, with a dual slot cooler on a GPU in the top slot, the PCI-E 4X slot will be held useless. With the same card in the second slot, the first PCI slot is un-available. Of course the same holds true for the bottom PCI-E slot. The ATX form factor just doesn't allow much of anything else for options so we are going to have to live with it. What is one of the best features of the DFI X58-T3eH8 is the fact that the top and bottom PCI-E 16X slots run at full bandwidth when just two video cards are running. The EVGA, Gigabyte, and ASUS X58 motherboards we have looked at thus far have all had the two PCI-E16X slots squished together. For those adamant on needing dual 16X PCI-E slots, this is the ideal board with its gapped layout.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Starting at the bottom we can see that the south bridge is flat and low for GPU accommodation and is connected to the north bridge aluminum heat sink via a twisted heat pipe. This heat pipe then snakes its way through the base of the north bridge heat sink and out to the PWM cooling fins. The PWM is cooled, not so much by a tradition heat sink, but more by the heat pipe that makes its way from the north bridge heat sink that then ends up curling back through the mass of cooling fins back towards the north bridge heat sink. Apparently this is a better design that another solid aluminum heat sink like on the north bridge or perhaps, DFI just likes heat pipes...and yes, that was a sarcastic "perhaps". DFI loves heat pipes, we'll show you in the next section during installation.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The last of our layout photos concern us with the rear I/O panel, and the rear of the motherboard. The I/O panel at the rear of the board is the single most naked I/O area we have ever seen on a motherboard and we love it. PS/2 keyboard and mouse connections - yeah for DFI - accompany two gigabit ethernet connections powered by the fully featured Marvell Yukon 88E8052 & 88E8053 controllers. We also have six USB 2.0 connections and a 6-pin firewire connector. The rest of the space is reserved for, you guessed it, another heat pipe attachment. We told you DFI liked heat pipes. Moving our attention to the backside of the DFI LanParty UT X58-T3eH8 we can see that there isn't much to discuss except one thing that immediately caught our eye upon flipping the board over.

The hardware used for the heat sinks is the single best solution we have ever seen on a motherboard. Just simple nuts and bolts with back plates and grounding protection are all we - the enthusiast - has been asking for. DFI has not only provided it, but they have provided it in a perfect manner. There really is no way to improve the mounting of heat sinks in our opinion. Perhaps a bit more substantial back plate could make things better but that would really be asking too much. But speaking of mounting, let's finally get some hardware mounted and get this lime green and yellow hot rod moving.</p>
 
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3oh6

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Hardware Installation

Hardware Installation

<p style="text-align: justify;">Recent motherboard reviews and subsequent discussions have led us to the conclusion that there can't be too many photos in the installation section. For this reason, we will forgo the usual enthralling conversation and focus more on photos. If you are comfortable, let's begin this little photographic story about the DFI LanParty UT X58-T3eH8 and how it handles popular hardware.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Stock Intel cooling...check. Obviously we didn't expect any issues, and of course there wasn't. With the black heat sinks of the Corsair Dominator modules blocking off the east side, we have a nice little corral for the CPU socket created by the north bridge heat sink.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The North/South orientation of the Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme (TRUE), has been the nemesis thus far on the core i7 dance floor. The DFI X58-T3eH8 is no different in that it isn't 100% compatible with the tall Corsair Dominator memory. Yes, three modules in the green slots work perfectly with the TRUE in this orientation, but six modules wouldn't. This obviously doesn't apply if you are using standard height modules but with so many manufacturers releasing tall sticks, this is the primary installation test. Clearance over the surrounding motherboard heat sinks is great with the TRUE, and the fan attachment fits well either pushing or pulling. Let's now turn the TRUE 90 degrees to an East/West orientation.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">This first item on the agenda was checking for overhang, and there is some. For users with absolutely no room above the motherboard in your case, this configuration is off limits. For those with the space at the top edge of the motherboard, this is a great little configuration. With fans in push/pull, the chipset, PWM, and memory temperatures are sure to be kept in check. This is one slick looking setup when we start to add black video cards into the mix.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Like the EVGA X58, this DFI X58 motherboard is laid out very nicely to handle any graphics card combination. The south bridge heat sink and 90 degree SATA connectors play no role with large GPUs, and the lower edge of the board accommodates dual slot cooled video cards in the bottom PCI-E 16X slot. There is no overhang so those with limited real estate at the bottom of their motherboard are in good shape. The PCI-E slots on this board offer dual 16X slots in the top and bottom slot as we have already discussed. This luxury offers better airflow when running two video cards. We also have access to the other 16X PCI-E slot and a PCI slot when running SLI. Unfortunately, with three-way SLI, there is just nothing left on the motherboard to use. There is just no way around this when running three GPUs.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">These last photos explore the additional cooling solution known as the FlameThrower. This attachment provides additional cooling to the PWM/NB heat sink assembly. The Flame Thrower can be added to the PWM heat sink in the gap of the rear I/O panel, or it can be mounted within the NB heat sink. This second position makes no sense to us as it clearly interferes with the top PCI-E slots and really just runs havoc on the whole setup. Mounting the Flame Thrower out the rear of the case from the I/O panel makes much more sense and - in theory - would provide an additional avenue for heat to escape the case. We will be doing some testing on just whether or not the Flame Thrower actually helps the chipset and PWM cooling.

Let's now turn our attention to the BIOS of the DFI LanParty UT X58-T3eH8. DFI has been known for their complex yet powerful BIOSs in the past, it will be interesting to see how the X58 LanParty board compares to motherboards of past.</p>
 
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3oh6

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BIOS Rundown

BIOS Rundown

<center>
</center>
<p style="text-align: justify;">DFI has always been known for a complex BIOS absolutely stuffed to the gills with settings. Memory manipulation has been a specialty of the DFI LanParty UT BIOS in the past. This doesn't actually turn out to be the case with the X58-T3eH8. For beginners and amateur overclockers, this is a very good thing. The X58-T3eH8 is as easy to get clocking as any board we have tried. For the expe3rienced overclocker looking for every little edge, there is a level of disappointment. Let's take a look and see exactly what we are talking about.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The first few sections are rather boring, just typical BIOS features that we can adjust including IDE drives, the date & time, as well as the BIOS boot options. The layout is nice and straight forward though. There is no searching through endless menus to find what we are looking for. Everything seems to intuitively be where we want it.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Keeping in tune with the first three sections, the integrated peripherals section is just that. Here we find all of the onboard devices that the DFI X58-T3eH8 is home to. The sections are broken up nicely, again, in a cohesive and intuitive manner. The WinBond IT8718F-S gets its own section where we have control over all of the devices it powers. We also get a separate section for USB devices.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Next up is the Power Management, PnP/PCI Configurations, and PC Health Status pages. The PC Health Status page will be my focus for this blurb. DFI offers only "fully on" or "fully off" options for the CPU, NB, and a system fan header. These are pretty basic options that allow us to set the temperature, according to the monitored temperature for each, for when a fan should be at 100% or off. Considering the NB is passively cooled this is a basic carry over from another BIOS. To be honest, we feel it is quite a lazy effort. There isn't even a way to set steady fan speed % for the fans. This can be done through software which we will look at shortly, but having the ability to control fans in the BIOS is pretty common for high end motherboards these days. Having this ability is a must and DFI's implementation of it falls short here. We do get a whole slew of voltage readings which is a nice parallel to the onboard voltage readings we can pull with a digital multi-meter. This should also allow us a lengthy Everest on screen display of voltages and temperatures.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">This is where the real BIOS begins. Much like the rest of the BIOS, the Genie BIOS section is well laid out. Getting from top to bottom isn't too much a chore but we would still like to know why ASUS BIOS's are the only ones where the Page Down key moves the focus down a whole page. Either way, the initial Genie BIOS page is nice. We have three sub sections at the top followed by CP multiplier manipulation, and the main overclocking section which includes the BCLK control and QPI/DRAM/UnCore multipliers. Everything runs off the BCLK and it is nice to have all multipliers within the same vicinity. One item we would have liked to see is an output of what the current configuration will produce, such as CPU frequency, memory frequency, and UnCore. On this early BIOS we do not get those options, however, on later BIOS releases we do see what the memory and UnCore clocks will be.

The first sub-section is the CPU Features section which provides control over the various CPU Features. These include EIST which provides the ability for the system to lower the multiplier when the system is idle saving power and Thermal Management Control which allows the internal thermal controls of the CPU to regulate itself if the CPU gets too hot. The option at the top is the Set VR Current Limit Max and as obscure as it sounds, leaving this disabled results in the CPU multiplier fluctuating under load conditions at higher clocks so you will want to Enable this to prevent that from happening. With the 965 Extreme Edition processor the TDC and TDP limits can be set which is what the VR Current setting controls for non Extreme Edition processors. With a 920 or 940 processor, the last two (TDC and TDP) options are not available. Enabling the VR current option disables the onboard TDC and TDP limitations found on all i7 processors.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Although there weren't many, a major disappointment hit us when we reached the DRAM Timing page. History has not repeated itself with the DFI X58-T3eH8 and the LanParty tradition has failed. The amount of memory timing adjustments is easily bested by the EVGA X58-SLI or any X58 motherboard we have looked at thus far, even the notoriously user friendly Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 X58. This provides a level of security to the average user as there isn't a daunting page of options staring them in the face, but it severely lets down the power user. Without the ability to change memory timings within Windows, these lackluster timing options severely hampers memory tweaking capabilities on this motherboard.

What is not hampered is the voltage adjustments afforded to us. At least some things haven't changed with the LanParty series. The voltage adjustment options are plentiful and rich in value. DFI continues to use a base voltage setting in conjunction with the "Special Add" nomenclature for a percentage raise. It takes a bit of getting use to if you've never used a DFI board before as you don't actually set a specific voltage, you adjust percentages. This of course only comes into play well over the normal range of adjustment. So for the majority of users, it won't be something they need to bother with. As we said though, the voltage range for the important components seems almost limitless. Here is a table of the voltages and ranges we found.</p><center><table border="0" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" width="735px"><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="100"> </td><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="100"><b>Minimum</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="100"><b>Maximum</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="100"><b>Increment</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="335"><b>Notes</b></td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">CPU VID</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.0125v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.60000v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.00625v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Very small increments throughout the range</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">CPU VID Add</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">100.23%</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">130%</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.20%~0.24%</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Provides an almost limitless vCORE</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">CPU VTT</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.21v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.61v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.01v~0.02v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Increments vary at different points</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">CPU VTT Add</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.0125v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.1875v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.0125v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Theoretical 1.79v VTT limit</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">DRAM Bus</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.455v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">2.400v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.015v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">DDR3 JEDEC standard is 1.500v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">CPU PLL</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.80v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">2.15v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.15v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.80v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">IOH/ICH 1.1v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.11v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.73v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.02v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.11v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">IOH Analog</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.10v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.45v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.05v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.10v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">ICH 1.5</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec">1.50v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec">2.10v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec">0.20v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec">Standard is 1.50v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">ICH 1.05v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.05v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.35v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.10v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.05v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">DIMM DQ VREF</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">-15.5%</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">+15.5%</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.5%</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Default -0.00%</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">ADDR/CMD VREF</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">255</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Default disabled 110</td></tr></table></center></p><center><p style="text-align: justify;">We certainly weren't joking when we said the LanParty lineage of voltage levels was unchanged. I still remember the first time I took my DDR BH-5s to 3v on a DFI LanParty Ultra-D. It was a heavenly experience and one only afforded by the LanParty board. We won't be sending any ungodly amounts of vDIMM to our modules we are using today but for those into extreme overclocking, the additional vCORE afforded by the DFI X58-T3eH8 may just come in handy.</p>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The last BIOS screen shot we are looking at is our favorite part of the entire DFI BIOS, CMOS Reloaded. Other manufacturers offer similar functionality or take it a step further by offering the ability to save BIOS settings to a USB drive. DFI also offers that option - more on that in the Included Software section - but no one can compare the ability to save 4 complete sets of BIOS options that CMOS Reloaded can. In addition to saving every single BIOS option, CMOS Reloaded allows for a three line text description, and hotkey ability to choose which set of options you wish to load at startup. It is nice to see and old friend again and we hope DFI sticks with CMOS Reloaded on boards to come as it really is a dear friend of ours.</p>
 
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3oh6

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Included Software: Automatic Boost System "ABS"

Included Software Featuring: Automatic Boost System "ABS"


<center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/software-1.png" alt="" border="0"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">The DFI LanParty X58-T3eH8 comes with a pretty complete software package including a couple unique features. The Auto Boost System (ABS) and Smart Guardian are DFI only pieces of software. ABS offers the ability for an automatic overclock in addition to allowing the sharing or saving of BIOS settings in a Windows environment. Smart Guardian is an old DFI favorite monitoring software that recently received a bit of a face lift. We will briefly cover both of these features as well as the standard software that is included with the X58-T3eH8.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The main interface we encounter after the autorun for the DFI driver/software CD fires up is very simple and straight forward. The icons along the top provide access to Chipset, VGA, Audio, Network, and SATA drivers. We also get a utilities section for installing Smart Guardian and ABS alongside a very useful list of links in the Software section. This list of links is for many popular overclocking and benchmarking software web sites. This is the first time we have encountered something like this from the manufacturer and were quite impressed.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The first piece of software we will look at is the DFI Smart Guardian monitoring software. The design is fresh and futuristic but the layout is bulky and not very screen shot friendly. It does do what it is asked and does it well. Major voltage readings are available as well as three temperature readings and fan RPM outputs. The CPU temp reading is what we would consider a surface diode reading and not an internal on-die temperature reading from the likes of RealTemp or CoreTemp. The System temperature reading is actually the PWM and the Chipset reading is the north bridge appropriately enough. In the second screenshot we show the fan control options Smart Guardian offers. We prefer to control fans from the BIOS and not software within Windows, but for those that do, SG is a great tool. There are two different methods for controlling fans and no matter how you want them setup, Smart Guardian will allow it.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The next item on the agenda is the highly marketed Auto Boost System. The DFI homepage has a whole flash section dedicated to explaining what ABS does and how it can help. Unfortunately, we could only figure out that it allows for a basic automatic overclock - which we aren't really fans of here at HWC - and the ability to save/load/share CMOS Reloaded BIOS settings. This last feature is a very nice feature that DFI is offering and other manufacturers like ASUS have for a while. The only difference is that DFI offers a Windows based interface for doing the BIOS backup/loading. Let's take a quick look and see how it works.</p><center>
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Essentially, all you have to do to load the appropriate ABS profile is to press F1 before POST. The system goes into the dialogue of what it is doing after recognizing which CPU you have installed and loading the appropriate ABS profile. The default ABS profiles can be seen below. Once it loads the profile the system reboots and Windows loads up saying the ABS profile for the i7 965 processor upgraded successfully. Essentially all it did was set the BCLK to 160 and raised vCORE to compensate for the rather steep overclock. To its credit, our processor easily handled the overclock to 3840MHz with the 1.325v vCORE that was set, but we suspect that not all CPUs are going to play nicely with this feature. Our suggestion is to still stick to overclocking the old fashioned way.<center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/software-10.png" alt="" border="0"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">As mentioned, these are the default ABS profiles loaded into the CMOS Reloaded slots when you first receive the board. They all just raise the BCLK with the lower ranked chips going up to 166 and compensate with slightly higher voltages. Once you save over the CMOS Reloaded profiles, however, these are gone. Like we said, automatic overclocks won't work for everyone because in the world of overclocking, nothing is guaranteed and there are no stead fast rules to what a CPU/MB/RAM combination is going to be able to clock to. Guidelines are much more appropriate. What this software does allow us to do - as we mentioned and are really excited about - is provide an avenue to save and write CMOS Reloaded BIOS settings. So we can now back up settings and share them or use our working settings with others using similar hardware as a starting point for certain overclocks. The thing to remember is that when sharing CMOS Reloaded profiles, you HAVE to only share profiles using the same BIOS revision. Loading a CMOS Reloaded profile from a different BIOS than the one you are running can result in problems.

Let's now go over a few of the methodologies we will be using for a few remaining sections in the review including a complete run down of the hardware we will be using during testing of the DFI LanParty UT X58-T3eH8.</p>
 
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3oh6

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Test Setup & Methodologies

Test Setup & Methodologies


<center><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="735px"><tr><td align="left">
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</a></td></tr></table><br /><table border="0" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" width="735px"><tr><td colspan="4"><b><font color="#ffffff">Test Platform:</font></b></td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Motherboard:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">DFI LanParty UT X58-T3eH8<br>Intel 9.1.0.1007</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Processor:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Processor Cooling:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme-1366<br>2 x Scythe Ultra Kaze 120MM 2000RPM 87.6CFM (DFS123812L-2000)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Thermal Paste:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Arctic Cooling MX-2</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>North Bridge Cooling:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Stock</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>South Bridge Cooling:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Stock</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>PWM Cooling:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Stock</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Memory:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Corsair Dominator-GT 3x2GB PC3-15000 7-8-7 (TR3X6G1866C7GTF)<br>Corsair Dominator 3x2GB PC3-12800 8-8-8 (TR3X6G1600C8D)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Power Supply:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Corsair HX1000W</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Video Card:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">EVGA GTX 295 (NVIDIA GeForce 181.20 WHQL)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Additional Fan:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Scythe Ultra Kaze 120MM 2000RPM 87.6CFM (DFS123812L-2000)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Hard Drives:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Seagate 7200.9 80GB SATAII 8MB cache</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>OS:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Windows Vista SP1 (with all updates)</td></tr></table></center><p style="text-align: justify;">We have listed two Corsair Dominator kits of memory, one being the from the Dominator-GT series and the other being the highly popular Dominator 3x2GB PC3-12800 CL8 kit from Corsair. We will be using for the Dominator-GT kit for all of our overclocking and benchmarking but will also be testing to make sure the PC3-12800 Dominator kit run smoothly at stock on this motherboard. Both kits will in fact be tested for stability at their XMP profiles to ensure 100% compatibility with the DFI X58-T3eH8. This has been an increasingly popular type of testing we have found during the X58/triple-channel memory era and one we will continue with for the foreseeable future. Let's now go over out stability testing methodology.</p>

Stability Overclocking Methodology

<p style="text-align: justify;">Testing for true system stability is an arduous task and one that can be hotly debated in an open forum. We have many years of experience watching these debates and have tried to put together a strong collection of stability tests to accommodate all schools of thought on the subject. Our stability testing methodology has also been a great success in finding a number of 24/7 overclocks on all kinds of systems. A lot of us here at HWC, myself included, use this same type of testing when setting up our own daily use machines and those that we setup for friends and family. This methodology is sound and shouldn't be taken lightly. We are definitely not like other sites that post a CPU-Z screen shot and then say the system passed all of our benchmarks. Our results should be considered a realistic sample of what one can expect from this motherboard for 24/7 operation.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/setup-5.jpg" alt="" border="0"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Obviously we won't be able to test everything for a literal 24/7 overclock because of time restraints with a review, but our virtual recipe equates nicely to a 24/7 stable overclock. The following is a run-down of programs used for our stability testing. All overclocked results in the next section have passed this testing, with screen shots to outline settings used:</p><p style="text-align: justify;">We truly feel this testing methodology produces solid and useful results for end users. Of course you do have to keep in mind that all setups will react differently. Our CPU may need more or less vCORE/VTT in order to run the overclocks we will be looking at shortly. The memory we used may be stronger or weaker than kits in your machines. There are a number of variables when it comes to overclocking and there are no stead fast rules, only guidelines. We have provided all of the voltages used for our overclocks but those should only be used as a guide or starting point for your systems. You may need more - or less - voltage to achieve the same type of clocks.</p>

Benchmark Methodology

<p style="text-align: justify;">We are yet again stuck with our wheels spinning in the mud when it comes to working XMP profiles with the DFI X58-T3eH8. Like the EVGA X58-SLI - which just received a BIOS with working XMP - at the time of this review, the DFI X58 does not support XMP profiles.<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/method-1.png" alt="Just a sample graph outlining where the results will be coming from in the up-coming benchmarks" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0px 4px 7px"> This simply means that our <b>stock</b> results will be without simply enabling XMP on the Dominator-GT memory, but instead, we will have to manually adjust the settings to best comprise the XMP profile. This is of course what we will also be doing for our stability testing of the Dominator-GT memory in the upcoming section.

The other two sets of results that we are going to be looking at will be designated by the grey and <b>red</b> bars in the graphs. These sets of results will consist of our overall maximum overclock from the upcoming overclocking section. These settings are a result of our 24/7 settings with one difference between the two. With the grey set of results, we are going to only be running 2x2GB and with the <b>red</b>, 3x2GB. We have decided to use this motherboard review of the DFI X58-T3eH8 to investigate the performance difference between 3x2Gb and a dual channel 2x2GB kit. This was recently questioned in the forum comment of a previous memory review so we figured now was a great time to do that testing. Here is a breakdown of the method in which the OS will be setup for each configuration:

  1. Windows Vista x64 w/SP1 is installed using a full format
  2. Intel Chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) are installed followed by a defragment and a reboot
  3. At time of benchmarks the latest drivers were downloaded from their official web sites as the latest drivers, most notable, NVIDIA GeForce Release 181.20 WHQL
  4. Programs and games are then installed followed by another defragment
  5. Windows updates are then completed installing all available updates followed by a defragment
  6. Benchmarks are each ran three times after a clean reboot for every iteration of the benchmark unless otherwise stated, the results are then averaged
</p>
 
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3oh6

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Stability & Overclocking Results

Stability & Overclocking Results

<p style="text-align: justify;">This section is not only going to look at the overclocking abilities of the DFI LanParty X58-T3eH8, but also how well it handles our two kits of memory. With Intel Core i7 processors moving the memory controller from the north bridge to the die of the CPU, and the removal of the FSB, the motherboard has begun playing a much smaller role in the overclocking capabilities of the system. Individual components seem to play a larger role than previous chipsets. Of course, there are still motherboard limitations like the QPI bus which is what is limiting Base Clock overclocks on X58 boards to anywhere from 200 to 220 at the upper end of the spectrum.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/setup-6.jpg" alt="" border="0"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Our motherboard stability testing will spend time investigating the compatibility of the two Corsair 3x2GB memory kits we have reviewed as well as testing for a stable 200BCLK as that seems to be the max that either of our 965 Extreme Edition CPUs want to do. We will then discuss our maximum memory overclock that we achieved on this motherboard in the Corsair Dominator-GT 3x2GB PC3-15000 Triple Channel Memory Review. This memory review was done on the DFI motherboard we are looking at today so further results can be found there. We will then combine all of this information and find our maximum stable overclock that keeps voltages in respectable areas for 24/7 use. There is a lot to cover so let's get started. We will begin with stability testing of the two Corsair memory kits at their rated specifications.</p>

Corsair Dominator 3x2GB PC3-12800 8-8-8 (TR3X6G1600C8D) Stability Testing

Click for full size...
<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/ocing-1.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/small/ocing-1.png" alt="Maximum Memory Stability Testing" border="0"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Out of the gate the DDR3-1600 Corsair Dominator 6GB kit ran like a champ on this board. This kit of memory has become the darling of the enthusiast forums. It seems that every motherboard has questions on how well this kit works with it, and we can confidently state that the DFI X58-T3eH8 has no problem with this memory kit at stock settings and specified ratings. To get this memory running at spec, it literally was as easy as increasing the memory ratio, setting the timings, and increasing the vDIMM. With that said, we would still love to see XMP profiles working on this motherboard. At this point, there really is no excuse for lack of XMP profile support.</p>

Corsair Dominator-GT 3x2GB PC3-15000 7-8-7 (TR3X6G1866C7GTF) Stability Testing

Click for full size...
<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/ocing-2.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/small/ocing-2.png" alt="Maximum Memory Stability Testing" border="0"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Again, lack of XMP profile support forced some manual manipulation of settings in order to get the Dominator-GT PC3-15000s to run at spec. Like the Dominator memory above, we were able to get the DDR3-1866 7-8-7 GTs up to speed within a few minutes. In addition to the memory timings, ratio, and vDIMM adjustments, we also had to increase VTT to stabilize this memory. This is part of the XMP profile and was not unexpected. After all, 933MHz at 7-8-7-20 are not exactly your average memory clocks. The amount of VTT needed for running this memory at spec will depend heavily on the CPU being used and how strong its memory controller is, but the XMP profile asks for VTT to be set to 1.40v. We were able to get away with slightly lower and 1.35v set in the BIOS.

In recent reviews we have been complaining an awful lot about lack of XMP support with motherboards. The EVGA X58-SLI was recently updated with a BIOS adding perfectly working XMP support. Testing memory kits on a motherboard should be as easy as setting XMP and rebooting. We not only would like to see XMP support on the X58-T3eH8, we are basically demanding it from DFI. The average user being roped into buying performance memory that has XMP profiles allowing worry free setup should not have to resort to scouring the internet or calling technical support to get their memory running at spec. XMP profiles are supported by the memory, XMP profiles are supported by the chipset, and as EVGA just proved; XMP profile support is only a BIOS update away...there are no excuses DFI, make it happen.</p>

3x2GB Maximum Memory Stability Testing

Click for full size...
<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/ocing-3.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/small/ocing-3.png" alt="Maximum Memory Stability Testing" border="0"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">We actually achieved this overclock and published it during the Corsair Dominator-GT review which was done on this motherboard, but figured we should post it here as well. When this memory decides it wants to run, this motherboard works quite well in getting the clocks up. We do believe we were being limited in our memory overclocks because of the lack of timing adjustments in the BIOS. For instance, Round Trip Latency is not adjustable in the BIOS and with it being set relatively tight at 54-59 all of the time, some of the memory overclocks where being limited by this in our opinion. Overall though, clocking this Dominator-GT kit was quite easy and the overclocks achieved were nothing short of impressive.</p>

Base Clock/QPI Stability Overclocking

Click for full size...<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/ocing-4.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/small/ocing-4.png" alt="Maximum BCLK/QPI Overclocking" border="0"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Obviously this motherboard has no problem with 200 BCLK as demonstrated above with our maximum memory overclock. We also decided to shoot for 200 BCLK with the other Dominator kit using as little voltage as possible. At 3.6GHz and 800MHz memory, we were quite pleased with the results. VTT is at a stealthy 1.35v with vDIMM under 1.60v and vCORE right around 1.275v. The performance at these settings is quite substantial and the heat put out by the system is very acceptable. The PWM in particular stayed at 65C or less throughout the stress testing which is a very nice sign. Overall, it seems our sample of the DFI X58-T3eH8 is quite easy to get clocking at 200 BCLK with various combinations of hardware. We unfortunately continued to have limited success over 200 BCLK with either of our CPUs though, which is what we have experienced on all X58 boards testes thus far.</p>

Overall Stability Overclocking

Click for full size...<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/ocing-5.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/small/ocing-5.png" alt="Maximum Overall Stability Overclocking" border="0"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">For an overall overclock we decided that focusing on the CPU clocks and tight timings we were afforded with this memory was going to be the key. As it turned out, the 965's open multiplier played a key role allowing us to keep the BCLK down and run at the 27X multi. Memory is set to a very tight 6-7-6 @ almost 900MHz which leads to a very snappy system. The one item we failed to really get clocking was the UnCore. At only 3551MHz we were sure there was room for improvement but increasing the multi led to instability regardless of VTT. As it turned out, voltages were more than acceptable for a 24/7 system and we can't wait to see the performance of these clocks in the benchmarks. Speaking of which, let's get started on those right now.</p>
 
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3oh6

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Memory Benchmarks

Memory Benchmarks



Everest Ultimate v4.50<p style="text-align: justify;"><i>Everest Ultimate is the most useful tool for any and all bench markers or overclockers. With the ability to read most voltage, temperature, and fan sensors on almost every motherboard available, Everest provides the ability to customize the outputs in a number of forms for display on your desktop. In addition to this, the memory benchmarking provides a useful tool of measuring the changes to your memory sub-system when tweaking to measure the differences.</i></p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/mem_bench-1.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">What is interesting about these results is that despite the drastic differences in CPU frequency, memory frequency and timings, all of our results are fairly similar. There also doesn't seem to be much of a difference, if any at all, between the 2x2GB and 3x2GB setup. This is perhaps an indication that there won't be much in the way of a difference with the rest of the benchmarks since Everest has traditionally been a could gauge of actual memory bandwidth.</p>

<center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/mem_bench-2.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">And as soon as I praise Everest for its ability to gauge performance, it throws us one of these curveballs. Clearly Everest is having trouble calculating or measuring the memory latency as there is no way that a dual channel setup has a much lower latency than the triple channel configuration. At the same time, if this is true, it should show up in SPi 32M results since the memory bandwidth was so similar. At least one would think this to be the case.</p>
SiSoft Sandra 2009.SP2<p style="text-align: justify;"><i>SiSoft Sandra is a popular and well used benchmark in the industry but not really a friend of serious benchmarkers. The results SiSoft Sandra produces have been suspect at times basing the numbers it comes up with on system specs and not actual testing. The latest version of Sandra seems to be one of the few programs that appear to calculate memory bandwidth consistently so we decided to include it in today’s benchmarks. Like we have always said with SiSoft Sandra though, take these results for what they are and nothing more.</i></p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/mem_bench-3.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">My love for Sandra just continues to grow...can you see the sarcasm in the printing? Just like Everest latency, there seems to be a problem with SiSoft Sandra and the dual channel configuration. Memory bandwidth drops off considerably while in Everest it holds a steady line going from three to tow sticks. I guess we will have to rely on ScienceMark to provide the tie breaker, and ScienceMark is what we would tend to trust anyway as Everest is getting more and more skeptical with its results on i7.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/mem_bench-4.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">In an exact opposite response to the Everest bandwidth and latency results, Sandra has gone on to conclude that latency between the two and three stick setups is the same with the disparity being in bandwidth. Take the results for what they are worth and let’s move on.</p>

ScienceMark v2<p style="text-align: justify;"><i>ScienceMark is an almost ancient benchmark utility at this point in time and hasn't seen an update in a long time. It is, however, still a favorite for accurately calculating bandwidth on even the newest chipsets.</i></p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/dfi/x58-t3eh8/mem_bench-5.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">With ScienceMark looking more and more like the better program for measuring average memory bandwidth over Everest and SiSoft Sandra, we can see how our three setups scale. They are all very similar in bandwidth but the 2x3GB setup does seem to be slightly behind the 3x2GB setup and the stock configuration is just a hair behind both of those. One thing is for certain, the 6-7-6 timing set we have gone with for our setup definitely has some strength in bandwidth results, let's see hot that relates to program performance. SuperPi 32M should be an interesting set of results given these bandwidth and latency numbers.</p>
 
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