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X58-OC Choosing a Mainboard

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Heya, I´d like to add an X58 Board to my collection and I want to choose something that can handle serious OC, preferably with Xeons too.
I currently have three options, all at the same price:

A) ASUS Rampage III Extreme

B) MSI Big Bang XPower

C) Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD9 (but this offer looks a bit funky, not sure If I´ll consider it)

Are there any special things to know about X58-boards in terms of CPU / RAM compatibility? I heard there was some kind of uncore-bug on an MSI board?

I have not been on intel during the days of X58 and I have absolutly no idea which boards did well and which were a pain.
 
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Early EVGA's X58 boards* don't support Xeon's (or require hard modding).

X58A-OC > X58A-UD9

Rampage III Black Edition

* Westmere processors are only supported natively on the X58 SLI3, FTW3, and Classified3 Models. A product modification may be needed for older models.
 
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The Rampage II Extreme is actually more efficient and faster than the III.

As far as choice goes, the X58A-OC is one of the best, if not the best motherboard ever produced.
 
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Thank you for the input, I think I´ll check out the Rampage II Extreme.

As the Black Edition and X58A-OC may be among the best boards they blow the budget. Each of those are far beyond 500€ currently here. I was looking towards the 200-300€ price range :p

But maybe I´ll just wait a month or two and save up. However the Rampage II is highly available at the moment and dirt cheap (just under 100€ or with bend pins but working for 30€), I might just go with it and later aim for a holy grail piece.
 
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Oof! Those are super expensive and not worth that much. I am gutted that I missed the HiCookie signed one on HWBOT a while ago. I’ve got one on the way soon... but I will not reveal my source. :)
 
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Thank you for the input, I think I´ll check out the Rampage II Extreme.

As the Black Edition and X58A-OC may be among the best boards they blow the budget. Each of those are far beyond 500€ currently here. I was looking towards the 200-300€ price range :p

But maybe I´ll just wait a month or two and save up. However the Rampage II is highly available at the moment and dirt cheap (just under 100€ or with bend pins but working for 30€), I might just go with it and later aim for a holy grail piece.
R2E is solid, it'll do just as well as any other board for 99.9% of the time. If you can grab one for cheap then go for it.

I mainly use Evga Classified boards for 1366 now since that's what I have. They're also pretty good provided you get one that can do high-ish BCLK.
Used to use an X58A-OC but the NB died one day and haven't gotten around to buying a pcb pre-heater to put a new one on.
 
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I’ve got a Rampage III Formula, it’s been a solid board. Excellent even. I’ve got one driving an x5690 E.S. and a set of Super Talent Hypers. It’s been a relatively solid setup for about eight or nine years. No problems with high voltage over extended periods. No problems with voltage sags like some of the “other” guys. Old school muscle :cool:
 
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I have EXCELLENT eXperience with P6X58D Premium this is such a good board also it does have USB 3 and sata 3(not true 6gbs it's Marvell not that fast)but the very best thing is incredible 16+2 Phase Power Design that can easily handle any OC with 6 core Xeons......I have 6 core @E5645 Xeon (2,4Ghz stocked)that is OC on 4,2Ghz for every day use with only 1,312V on core....So if you asking me between this 3 boards that you mention above I think that I will go with Asus Rampage III Extreme....Yeah also there are many stories about X58 and some ram issues,I personally didn't have any bad experience also atm I have 30gb of ram and this mobo that can handle up to 48gb without the problems but as far as I know majority of this boards(non-server) accepting only non-ECC and unbuffered-ECC RAM....GL
 
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There’s a R2E on eBay from Spain right now for a great price... and it’s boxed. Check it out. ;)

"Perfectly working EXCEPT 2 of the 6 RAM sockets doesn't recognize inserted modules due to a bent CPU pin (typically in this socket). Can be repared"
 
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Rampage uses marvels sata 3 controller which is worse than onboard sata 2 controller, big time.
asus p6td-v1(achieved 4.2ghz c0 stepping i7 920, 4.4ghz i7 920 d0, and x5675 up to 4.8ghz) and ran tight timing(9-10-9-18) occupying 2/6 ram slots with g skill trident x 2400(2x8gb) @ 2095Mhz left in dual channel. Managed to break 1100 points in cinebench r15 with that.
evga sr-2 would be my personal choice if i were to go with an x58 board to experiment with two 4/6 core xeons.
youre going to want a dedicated sound card, so get a newer one on pci-e or find something that went with that era with pci. So make sure your board supports more than just pci-e unless you dont plan on using pci for sound cards. The only m.2 nvme ssds boot compatible on x58 are the samsung 950 pro and kingston predator hyperx. Also pay attention to pci-e slot placement. Running 3 gpus on my asus p6td-v2, would leave no pci slots since they got covered up.
 
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Rampage uses marvels sata 3 controller which is worse than onboard sata 2 controller, big time.
asus p6td-v2(achieved 4.2ghz c0 stepping i7 920, 4.4ghz i7 920 d0, and x5675 up to 4.8ghz) and ran tight timing(9-10-9-18) occupying 2/6 ram slots with g skill trident x 2400(2x8gb) @ 2095Mhz left in dual channel. Managed to break 1100 points in cinebench r15 with that.
evga sr-2 would be my personal choice if i were to go with an x58 board to experiment with two 4/6 core xeons.
Already got an SR-2 (two in fact, but one is broken with a fried mosfet directly on the input circuit) I want to play around with single socket on my bench and the SR-2 will move into a system.

That P6TD looks decent too, I´ll include that in my search.
 
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asus p6td-v1 - this is the one Version 1 which has 2 additional sata 2 ports using marvels controller SATA 2 not 3 and its got another plus the 16+2 phases. Thats the one i used and would rather get than v2. Also some other bios are compatible with this board. i believe the asus p6tws is and added two more features to the bios which i tested. one gives you a high TDP limit so you can constantly run with the Turbo Multiplier as seen on x58 boards. The multipliers vary between all xeons, but usually do not offer much in terms of max overlock, from 20x-26x. x5650-x5690 typically all reach a 4.8ghz threshold for stabilty no matter the multiplier. My x5675 I had was set at 23x but could be ramped to 25x with the TDP limit off. i couldnt quite get an overclock to sit comfortably on this setting, in hopes of reaching 5ghz, but Its just as likely you want to run a more stable oc with tdp limit off to change blck and thus adjust memory frequency to your liking. All while lowering voltages by 0.1v potentially as reported. Any Instability i experienced was probably to do with crossflashing on top of a rather high OC, but it couldve been i just didnt know how to work with setting AUTO/MANUAL/SPEEEDSTEP/TURBO MODE/HIGH TDP mode to properly get the multiplier i was looking for. I would have probably imagined so if I could get the Asus p6tws to verify further this fact.

Theres tons of threads on crossflashing and removing thermal throttling. If you mess one up you can buy a new ROM chip from ebay. just pull the old one out and install the new one. I can tell you the bios for rampage boards are not compatible with the p6t lineup.:rockout:
 
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I don't think its a big deal it uses that controller.. It doesn't have to be used.. You can always use a pcie solution. I used a Revo Drive before pcie was remotely mainstream.. until it died :D Can still drive x5690 to 4800 no problem. with regular gulftown can still max out MGH-E, BBSE and PSC.. Anyways, lots of boards to choose from.
 
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Stick to the boards built for OC. That’s the best advice I can give you.

I didn’t notice the description. I didn’t check to be fair. But keep an eye out. There can be good deals around. :)
 
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The only m.2 nvme ssds boot compatible on x58 are the samsung 950 pro and kingston predator hyperx.
Just use Clover or DUET to boot any other NVMe.
 
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In general I will say most x58 boards overclock pretty great. I have only used Asus X58 boards so can truly only tell about asus. I can so also say that asus rampage 2 extreme (I7 920 oc to 4.4 ghz) is a dam capable board. I whas limit by cooling and not motherboard at 4.4 ghz on my I7 920 and the ASUS P6X58D Premium I have to my I7 980x is also proper capable for overclock as my I7 980x runs 4.4 ghz 24/7 and for benchmark up to 4.75 ghz. Again I am not limited by motherboard but by cpu cooling.
 
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Let's not forget the assassin.g1

Just an awesome board, flies with any xeon, lots of usb3 and 4 pci-e x16. Just retired mine to replace it with a ryzen 3600. Lots of good memories!
 
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Again thank you all for your inputs and thoughts. I hope you are not too mad at me for going against every single suggestion made here.



I chose the XPower for a couple of reasons. It was kinda love at first sight and even tho the other boards may be better suited for OC because of the poor memory VRM and bad compatibility on the XPower, I had to get it.
Reason one, the looks. I love the colors, the overall layout and I really like the touch-buttons. They are kinda unique and work surprisingly well with the visible feedback, that unique-factor makes a big difference for me. Next thing I like are the proper voltage read-points it features. Not just little pads but real sockets to plug into so you have your hands free while measuring.
The third reason would be the socket layout, as the SMD tantalum caps offer the space needed for my direct-die experiments and I would like to try different ideas before applying them to really expensive hardware (like my SR-2) later on.



I´m very happy with it so far, had some trouble to get it to boot first time because it did not like my memory kit but I already found out it is still on the original v1.2 bios... I hope it will work better after a bios update. With two sticks instead of three its working fine, currently busy installing OS. It came with an i7 960. (yes the memory channels each are working, tested them all)
Already gave it a clean, replaced the old and sticky paste + pads with new Kryonaut and the Thermal Grizzly minus pads.
 
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Again thank you all for your inputs and thoughts. I hope you are not too mad at me for going against every single suggestion made here.
The XPower is a solid board, probably wasn't mentioned because that's the only x58 board that MSI made that wasn't mediocre. :p
 
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Okay I guess I made the wrong decision, that´s what I get for going with the oddball.

The board does work, as long as you don´t OC with it. After the bios update it does accept my RAM in triple channel without a problem but I can not change the baseclock on this board.

If I manually set a bclk in bios it does not seem to apply it. Either I´m very very dumb, or this board has a weird defect.
During POST it even displays the desired clock (e.g. 140 * 24 = 3360 MHz) but as soon as I´m in windows it shows 133 again in all software and benchmarks confirm that its indeed running at stock speed again.

I tried every setting in bios I could find and tried them enabled/disabled, nothing changes this behaviour. First things I tried were disabling Intel Speedstep, Intel Overspeed protection and setting every voltage manually.
Voltages apply fine, speedstep off works fine, but clock still stays 133.

Then I tried to set manual 'ratios' for the Uncore / NB and RAM speeds. My board calls it 'ratio' but does not specifiy what this ratio uses as reference. I assumed it uses the BCLK, as in 5x 140 = 700MHz RAM and 16x on the Uncore would achieve 2240 MHz Uncore.
For the RAM that is correct but the Uncore is already at 3GHz when I use the 11x ratio. So the Uncore is like double the BCLK as base multi. They could have atleast explained that a bit in the manual, but nope.
Again no luck when setting these manual too, still 133 BCLK no matter what I tell it.

Next I set my RAM timings manually, disabled XMP. Worked fine but still can´t change BCLK.
After that I disabled all the onboard buttons, like OC-Genie stuff and BCLK buttons just in case one of those is fishy. Nope, still stuck to 133 BCLK. (And the BCLK button on the board does not work in enabled state either).

Now I looked at the QPI setting, even tho my i7 960 is 4.8QPI it sets 6.4 in auto. I tried the three options manually 4.8, 5.X and 6.4, all three work fine and do apply in Windows as CPU-Z shows the correct adjusted speeds but BCLK is still glued to 133.

So at this point I started to question the state of my Bios and did a reflash, but same results. Every other setting seems to apply just fine, I can change memory timings, frequency, Uncore/NB and it all shows up in CPU-Z but I can not, for the love of christ, change the BCLK. I disabled all CPU features, and no luck, enabled them again, no luck.
At this point I´m questioning my sanity and the state of this board. It seems like such a weird and specific error that I can´t really imagine it being a hardware -level defect. It just looks like I´m really dense and overlook some obvious setting that I need to toggle to enable the BCLK I set in bios but there is none.

Well it´s what you get if you don´t listen to suggestions :/ Really feeling like an idiot right now.
 
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@Dinnercore For 45nm LGA 1366, UnCore = Effective DRAM Frequency x 2 (and that's for MIN. value you must set for it).

Example : If BIOS says it can work with 2GHz effective memory, on lower than 4GHz UnCore for 45nm CPU - it's drunk.
In Your case, try x3 multi for memory at first, and see how far BCLK will go.
Also, UnCore may need more voltage (depending on settings used and RAM capacity).

Check if there isn't any Windows utility from MSI, maybe it has BCLK OC.
 
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@Dinnercore For 45nm LGA 1366, UnCore = Effective DRAM Frequency x 2 (and that's for MIN. value you must set for it).

Example : If BIOS says it can work with 2GHz effective memory, on lower than 4GHz UnCore for 45nm CPU - it's drunk.

Check if there isn't any Windows utility from MSI, maybe it has BCLK OC.
Yeah I know about that double the effective RAM speed Uncore. Which is why my RAM is set to 1033 effective speed and my uncore currently at 2.8 GHz.
Which my bios does not tell me, if I choose a ratio manually it wrongly states that RAM will be 860MHz and Uncore 1680MHz no matter which value I try. I can set 3x or 7x RAM and 8x or 20x Uncore and bios still wants to make me believe it will equal 860 / 1680 no matter the ratio.
In CPU-Z it does read-out correctly tho, I was just confused that MSI did choose to already ad a hidden 2x multi on the Uncore so that you will always be above 2x effective memory. If they would have written that in the manual I would not have tried to boot with 5GHz Uncore on my first try :D

My problem is that if I set a value in 'CPU base Frequency' (aka BCLK) it is unable to apply the value. I set 135 / 140 / 145 / 150 and it calculates in bios the resulting CPU speed, then continues to show me said CPU speed during POST but fails to apply them when I reach OS.
Could that be a chipset driver issue? I used the intel inf tool from the intel website instead of using the inf tool MSI provides because MSI version number was 2 years behind.

I´ll try to find the MSI software for adjusting OC in OS, but that seems like a poor workaround if it will work at all. As I said my onboard BCLK adjustment buttons do nothing when in OS.

Just to be clear I´m on Windows 7 64bit, 6GB RAM in 3x2. Kit is rated 1.6V 1600 7-7-7-24. I set 1.6V DRAM, I use 1.25V Vcore, 1.25V QPI. Other voltages are manually set to default.
 
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Maybe they calculate it for real value, but do not compensate for effective one (which basicly means UnCore gets clock double that of what BIOS says) ?

PS. How high tRFC you can set in BIOS ?
Did you use Command Rate 1T or 2T ?
 
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Maybe they calculate it for real value, but do not compensate for effective one (which basicly means UnCore gets clock double that of what BIOS says) ?

PS. How high tRFC you can set in BIOS ?
Did you use Command Rate 1T or 2T ?
Max. tRFC is 255, currently on 128.
I´m on 2T.
 
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