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Custom BIOSes Harden Intel X58 Motherboards Against Meltdown and Spectre

Legendary soft-modder Regeneration released a vast collection of motherboard BIOS updates for socket LGA1366 motherboards based on Intel X58 Express chipset, because motherboard manufacturers have abandoned the 10-year old platform (yeah, it's been a decade since "Nehalem"!). The BIOSes have been made by transplanting the latest micro-code updates by Intel, which run all the way back to the 1st generation Core micro-architecture.

These are unofficial BIOSes which you use at your own risk, but they've been made by a person with more than two decades of fanfare in the PC enthusiast community, famous for unofficial, performance-enhancing NGO VGA drivers from his now defunct blog Find the links to the BIOS of your X58 motherboard in this thread on TechPowerUp Forums (hosted externally).

First AMD "Zen" Chips to be Quad-Core

Some of the first CPUs and APUs based on AMD's next-generation "Zen" micro-architecture could be quad-core. "Zen" will be AMD's first monolithic core design after a stint with multi-core modules, with its "Bulldozer" architecture. Our older article details what sets Zen apart from its predecessor. As expected, in a multi-core chip, Zen cores share no hardware resources with each other, than a last-level cache (L3 cache), much like Intel's current CPU architecture.

There's just one area where Zen will differ from Haswell. With Haswell, Intel has shown that it can clump any number of cores on a chip, and make them share a proportionately large L3 cache. Haswell-E features 8 cores sharing a 20 MB cache. The Haswell-EX features 18 cores sharing 45 MB of cache. With Zen, however, the scale up stops at 4 cores sharing 8 MB of L3 cache. A set of four cores makes up what AMD calls a "quad-core unit." To be absolutely clear, this is not a module, the cores share no hardware components with each other, besides the L3 cache.

Intel Ivy Bridge-E Slated for Q3-2013

Intel's next high-end desktop (HEDT) platform, codenamed "Ivy Bridge-E," is slated for Q3-2013, according to the latest platform road-map slide sourced by VR-Zone. According to the leaked slide, launch of Ivy Bridge-E Core i7 processors follows that of Core "Haswell" socket LGA1150 processors (Q2-2013). What's more, the upcoming Ivy Bridge-E chips will be compatible with existing socket LGA2011 motherboards, based on Intel X79 Express chipset.

Intel's next-generation Ivy Bridge-E chips are up-scaled versions of today's Core "Ivy Bridge" chips, built on the same 22 nm process, with more processing cores, memory channels, cache, and PCI-Express 3.0 certified system interfaces. It remains to be seen if Intel launches a new chipset to go with the new processor, or retains the X79 chipset with a few minor updates in the form of steppings. The company retained its X58 Express chipset over the first two HEDT processor generations (45 nm Core i7 "Bloomfield" and 32 nm Core i7 "Westmere").

Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3 Z77 Motherboard Pictured

How time flies. It's been just a little over an year since Gigabyte unveiled its G1.Killer series of gamer-overclocker oriented motherboards, including the G1.Sniper, and now it's already at G1.Sniper 3. While the original G1.Sniper was based on the X58 chipset supporting LGA1366 processors, the the Sniper 2 based on Z68 chipset, supporting LGA1155 processors, the Sniper 3 stays put on the LGA1155 platform, but makes use of the brand-new Z77 chipset. The motherboard is designed to drive up to four graphics cards in 4-way CrossFire/SLI configurations. It takes advantage of a PLX PEX8747 bridge chip, which takes in one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 link, giving out two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 links, it even has a native multiplex that splits its second downstream x16 link to two x8 links. This way, the G1.Sniper 3 is ready for 4-way action with the latest PCIe Gen. 3.0 graphics cards.

Intel X58 to Retire in 2012

In 2012, it's curtain's for Intel's iconic Nehalem/Tylersburg platform, with the company issuing the Intel X58 chipset a schedule for discontinuation. The chipset has exactly 12 more months to attain EOL (end of life) status. Intel will continue to take orders for Intel X58 till April 27, 2012, the last of these orders will have shipped by October 12, 2012. Intel X58 + ICH10/R is the de facto chipset for Intel's Core i7 client processors in the LGA1366 package.

To motherboard vendors, the X58 I/O Hub (northbridge) is priced at US $39, and another $14 for the ICH10R southbridge. In November 2011, Intel is releasing the proper successor for the Nehalem/Tylersburg platform, the Sandy Bridge-E/Patsburg, consisting of Core i7 processors in the LGA2011 package, and Intel X79 chipset.

Sandy Bridge-E VT-d Broken In C1 Stepping, Fixed In C2 Stepping, Shortly After Launch

PC enthusiast customers and companies running corporate datacentres looking to buy into the new Sandy Bridge-E platform may want to wait a little while before handing over their hard-earned money to Intel. The initial batch of C1 revision Sandy Bridge-E processors have a bug - "errata" in Intel terminology - in them with VT-d, which means that hardware accelerated virtualization doesn't work properly with them (software only mode is unaffected). The feature when working properly, allows all hardware acceleration to work on the hosted operating system (virtual machine). This would allow things such as hard drive controllers to work, plus applications such as high-powered 3D games, typically First Person Shooters, to run at nearly full speed and the full Windows Aero desktop to be displayed on the hosted OS, as the hardware features of the graphics card can be used. Therefore, working VT-d is a critical feature for these kinds of applications.

G.Skill showcases its latest SATA 3 SSD, Phoenix II Pro, DDR3 Memory Kits

G.Skill International Co. Ltd., manufacturer of extreme performance memory and high performance solid-state storage, has released its latest SATA 3 6gbps SSD, Phoenix II Pro, based on the latest SandForce SF-2200 controller with the whopping random write speed up to 60K IOPS, and numerous ultra high performance memory series designed for the latest released platforms at Computex 2011.

ASUS Launches the P6X58-E WS Workstation Motherboard

Proving the Intel X58 architecture's enduring potential and value, the P6X58-E WS ships with multi-GPU support for both NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX, SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0. It also includes built-in server-class Intel LAN, as well as ASUS-developed highlights such as Xtreme Phase power delivery and EPU energy consumption optimization. The new board ships with the ASUS "24X24" pledge, meaning 24-hour non-stop operation and 24-month guaranteed market availability to reduce costs due to involuntary product replacement.
Flexible multi-GPU configuration

A dedicated expansion slot controller ensures increased bandwidth availability for each connected graphics card, hence the P6X58-E WS supports up to 3-way NVIDIA SLI, with each of the triple PCI-E channels working at full X16 speeds. For AMD CrossFireX, the P6X58-E WS offers up to quad-GPU arrangements, with each PCI-E channel working in X16.

Gigabyte Officially Intros X58A-OC Motherboard

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co., Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards and other computing hardware solutions today announced the launch of the world's first motherboard designed from the ground up for extreme overclockers, the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-OC. Its overclocking specific performance design defines a whole new category of enthusiast focused motherboards that introduces never-seen-before tweaking and insulating features.

"The GIGABYTE X58A-OC introduces some really exciting and unique overclocking technologies like the PWM frequency switcher, a full range of onboard hardware OC buttons, onboard SATA power connectors for stable multiple graphics configurations, and DualBIOS switcher that up until now have just been ideas discussed in private OC forums and messages," commented HiCookie, GIGABYTE In-house Overclocking Expert. "Tweaking features aside, we have also adopted high current components such as POScaps and MPFC (Max Power Ferrite Core) Chokes that allow overclockers to bench more reliably and with more power so they are able to smash more world records. As an avid overclocker myself, having the freedom to help design a board specifically for overclockers has been a dream come true, and I really hope that overclockers enjoy benching on this board as much as we enjoyed making it!"

Kingston Technology Adds New HyperX T1 Black Triple-Channel Memory Kits

Kingston Technology Europe Ltd, an affiliate of Kingston Technology Company Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the release of HyperX T1 Black DDR3 triple-channel memory kits. The new memory kits are designed to meet the performance requirements for the new Intel Core i7-990X chipset and X58-based motherboards and are available in kits of three or six modules and in capacities up to 24GB. Check out the Kingston HyperX 24GB Black T1 demo.

Our new HyperX T1 Black triple-channel kits give enthusiasts the opportunity to combine performance and style into their PC build, said Mark Tekunoff, Senior Technology Manager, Kingston. These high-capacity kits are ideal for the X58 products on the market, especially the new GIGABYTE G1-Killer gaming motherboards.

SPARKLE Announces GeForce GTX 580 Thermal Guru Graphics Card

SPARKLE Computer Co., Ltd., the professional VGA card manufacturer and supplier, today announced the SPARKLE GTX580 Thermal Guru Graphics Card with Effective Own Design Cooler, the ultimate DX11 3D monster from SPARKLE, which delivers intense performance and premium cooling effect for gamers who demand the best.

The SPARKLE GTX580 Thermal Guru Graphics Card is the latest new addition to SPARKLE's GTX 580 Series. Its core and memory clock are 772 and 4008 MHz respectively. Designed specifically for gamers who demand the best, the SPARKLE GTX580 Thermal Guru Graphics Card is built with NVDIA GeForce GTX 580 GPU. Based on 40nm processor and advanced GDDR5 memory technology, it consists of ground-breaking features including Microsoft DirectX 11 and NVIDIA PhysX which lead to incredibly immersive HD gaming experience and unrivaled performance.

Sapphire Adds Muscle to Mainboard Line

SAPPHIRE Technology, best known as a manufacturer and global supplier of graphics solutions has just announced plans to seriously address the motherboard market with the introduction of high end Intel platforms.

SAPPHIRE has just released information that for the first time it will introduce Intel based mainboards in the high-end sector. Designed to appeal to the enthusiast, the first product will be a fully featured X58 board, to be known as the SAPPHIRE Pure Black X58, supporting the Intel core i7 series of processors. In addition to the established and highly regarded X58 chipset, the board incorporates many state of the art features such as on-board USB3.0, SATA 6 Gb/s ports in addition to SATA 3 Gb/s, six DDR3 memory slots, 3 Gen2 (x16/x8/x8) and one Gen1 (x4) PCI-Express expansion slots as well as a host of peripheral connections and on-board 8-channel audio.

Gigabyte G1.Assassin G1-Killer Series LGA1366 Motherboard Towers High in XL-ATX

The second motherboard part of Gigabyte's G1-Killer series apart from the recently detailed G1.Guerrilla is the G1.Assassin. Also an LGA1366 motherboard based on the Intel X58 + ICH10R chipset, the G1.Assassin ropes overclockers into the equation. While the Guerrilla has more in for gamers (and support for up to 3 graphics cards in multi-GPU), the Assassin boasts of a strong CPU VRM, an arsenal of overclocker-friendly features, support for up to four graphics cards in 4-way SLI/CrossFireX, while retaining the gamer-appeal. Unlike Guerrilla, Assassin is an XL-ATX motherboard, retaining the same green+black color scheme.

It features the same 16-phase CPU VRM configuration found on the X58A-UD7 (rev 2.0). The four PCI-Express x16 slots are connected directly to the X58 northbridge, apart from one PCI-E x1 and a PCI. USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s are standard features here, too. Like the Guerrilla, it features Bigfoot Killer 2100 hardware NIC. The audio, however, is different. While Guerrilla merely uses an HD audio CODEC backed by X-Fi MB software, Assassin uses an actual CA20K2 processor that can perform hardware mixing over OpenAL in Windows 7 and Vista. The audio processor has its own 64 MB of memory, and the Killer NIC reportedly having 1 GB of DDR2 dedicated memory. A rich array of electrolytic capacitors gives the audio a more natural tone. The Assassin is also expected to have overclocking capabilities on par with the X58A-UD7/UD9 leviathans.

Gigabyte G1.Guerrilla G1-Killer Series LGA1366 Motherboard Pictured, Detailed

Gigabyte's elusive LGA1366 motherboard part of the company's G1-Killer series of motherboards targeting gamers has finally seen the lens. The socket LGA1366 motherboard by Gigabyte is based on the Intel X58 + ICH10R chipset, and is given the brand name G1.Guerrilla. To quickly run you through its styling, "Guerrilla" strikes a chord with a very "jungle warfare" color-scheme, which is black+green. This seems to be the case with the G1.Guerrilla, which goes close to looking like an NVIDIA desktop board.

The CPU is powered by an 8+2 phase VRM, wired to six DDR3 DIMM slots for triple-channel memory; the northbridge heatsink looks like a modular rifle barrel, and the southbridge heatsink like a 5.56 mm magazine. There are three PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots lending 3-way SLI and CrossFireX support, the usual two-port USB 3.0 + SATA 6 Gb/s duet, but a handful of interesting gamer-specific devices, such as the Killer 2100 hardware NIC, an HD audio CODEC that uses X-Fi MB software but high-grade electrolytic capacitors. The motherboard is out and out a gamers' motherboard. Gigabyte already has motherboards for overclockers which don't look very boutique but do the job, under its existing X58A UD5, UD7, and UD9 models.

Gigabyte G1-Killer X58 to Feature X-Fi Hardware Audio, Killer Network Processor

Gigabyte's elusive G1-Killer X58 motherboard has quite some task ahead of it, to compete in a nearly-saturated socket LGA1366 motherboard market, including its high-end segment. Merely sporting a black PCB (new and rare for Gigabyte), and an ammo-clip shaped heatsink, and a handful of PCI-E slots isn't going to cut it, well...much. So Gigabyte decided to load the G1-Killer X58 with a Creative X-Fi CA20K2 PCI-Express audio processor, and Bigfoot Networks Killer E2100 network processor with 1 GB of dedicated DDR2 memory.

The CA20K2 from Creative sits at the heart of sound-cards such as the Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium series, X-Fi Titanium HD, and Auzentech X-Fi Forte. It features 128 hardware channels, and handles the audio stack on-chip when applications and games use OpenAL in Windows Vista or Windows 7. Apart from X-Fi regulars such as CMSS-3D and Crystalizer, the CA20K2 gives you EAX 5.0 HD support. The audio processor is backed by Nighicon high-end audio capacitors which can be found in premium sound-cards. The Killer E2100 ASIC is Bigfoot's high-end PCI-Express network processor that can completely offload the network stack from the CPU. The G1-Killer X58 is expected to be unveiled at CES.

Intel Readies Pair of New X58 Extreme Series Desktop Boards

Intel's Desktop Board division is readying two new high-end socket LGA1366 motherboards under its Extreme Series line. The company's last high-end LGA1366 motherboard, the DX58SO "SmackOver", was released more than 25 months ago in November 2008, when the first Intel Core i7 processors came to be. The new motherboards are up to date in terms of features. They use the latest Rev. 13 X58 northbridge, all solid-state capacitors, support the latest LGA1366 processors out of the box, and feature USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s support. The two motherboards consist of DX58SO2 "SmackOver II", and its "lite" variant, the DX58OG.

The DX58SO2 uses digital PWM CPU power circuit, a sporty blue heatsink cluster over the northbridge, VRM area, and southbridge, with heat spread between the northbridge and VRM using a heat-pipe. It features six internal SATA 3 Gb/s, two internal SATA 6 Gb/s, and two eSATA 3 Gb/s ports, two USB 3.0 ports, 8-channel HD audio, and expansion slots that include three PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (x16/x16/NC or x16/x8/x8), two PCI-E x1, and one PCI.

Gigabyte Teases with Another G1-Killer X58 Motherboard Poster

As reported last month, Gigabyte has been working on a premium motherboard brand targeted at high-end gaming PCs, rivaling the Republic of Gamers (ROG) series from ASUS and Big Bang/XPower from MSI. One of the first products in this lineup is called "G1-Killer", and as it turns out is a socket LGA1366 motherboard based on the Intel X58 chipset. Gigabyte continues to tease us with new "cutout" pictures of the upcoming product. The latest poster shows a portion of the motherboard revealing the heatsink over the southbridge area, which is shaped like a 5.56 magazine, with even a round sticking out. One can also faintly see the six memory slots, four PCI-Express x16 slots, eight SATA ports (probably six 3 Gb/s and two 6 Gb/s). Said to be unveiled at CES 2011, the G1-Killer range is expected to start at US $299.

Patriot Memory Extends Viper Xtreme Series of High-Performance DDR3 Modules

Patriot Memory, a global pioneer in high-performance memory, NAND flash, storage and enthusiast computer products, today expanded the product lineup of their recently announced Viper Xtreme Series of DDR3 memory solutions. New Sector 7 (tri-channel) kits are available in 12GB and 6GB capacities with speeds of 2000MHz and 1600MHz. New Sector 5 (dual-channel) kits are available in 8GB and 4GB capacities with 1600MHz speed. The Viper Xtreme Series of products utilize a custom developed aluminum and copper heat shield to achieve improved cooling and stability.

Patriot Viper Xtreme Series modules have a custom designed heatshield with a hefty copper insert (6 grams) across the DRAM chips and a slim profile extruded anodized aluminum outer piece. This unique design offers enhanced thermal performance in heat dissipation over aluminum based heatshields. Viper Xtreme modules pass a thorough qualification and screening process on multiple high-performance motherboards to ensure performance and reliability for overclocking. These modules are targeted and designed specifically for performance enthusiasts and overclockers looking for an edge in benchmark efforts and to push the boundaries of computing performance.

Patriot Launches Viper Xtreme Family of High-Performance DDR3 Modules

Patriot Memory, a global pioneer in high-performance memory, NAND flash, storage and enthusiast computer products, today expanded their lineup of DDR3 memory solutions with the launch of its new Viper Xtreme Series Extreme Performance DDR3 memory. The Viper Xtreme series of products utilize a custom developed aluminum and copper heat shield to achieve improved cooling and stability. Patriot Viper Xtreme series modules have a custom designed heatshield with a copper insert across the DRAM chips and a slim profile extruded anodized aluminum outer piece. This unique design offers enhanced thermal performance resulting in a 5% improvement in heat dissipation over aluminum based heatshields. Viper Xtreme modules pass a thorough qualification and screening process on multiple high-performance motherboards to ensure performance and reliability for overclocking. These modules are targeted and designed specifically for performance enthusiasts and overclockers looking for an edge in benchmark efforts and to push the boundaries of computing performance.

"Patriot has been offering some of the fastest performance memory solutions in the world, and our Viper Xtreme series delivers a high-end solution with a custom heatshield built around a copper core to offer better cooling", says Les Henry, Patriot's VP of Engineering. "Our in-house engineering expertise and knowledge of the enthusiast market has helped us push the boundaries and set the standard for DDR3 memory solutions. With Viper Xtreme series modules showcase our expertise in developing and delivering performance solutions for the enthusiast market."

EVGA Intros X58 Classified3 Motherboard

EVGA introduced the third motherboard in its socket LGA1366 lineup refresh, the X58 Classified3 (model number 141-GT-E770-A1). EVGA's motherboard lineup refresh, usually denoted by a "3" suffix to the model name, is centered on feature additions that include USB 3.0, SATA 6 Gb/s, and out of the box support for the latest processors. The X58 Classified3 sports a high-end 10-phase digital PWM voltage regulation for the CPU that makes use of a Prodalizer for better power conditioning. Unlike the original X58 Classified design and like the X58 Classified E760, this board does not make use of any additional nForce 200 bridge chips, the four PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots are wired directly to the X58 northbridge (configured as x16, NC, x16, NC; or x16, NC, x8, x8; or x8, x8, x8, x8; depending on how they're populated). The PWM area is cooled by its own heatsink, while that over the X58 northbridge is elaborate, complete with a fan. The ICH10R southbridge has a large heatsink to chill with. Other expansion slots include one each of PCI-E x1 and PCI.

Connectivity features include two SATA 6 Gb/s internal ports (color coded red), six internal SATA 3 Gb/s ports, and one legacy IDE connector, two USB 3.0 ports (rear), a number of USB 2.0 ports, 8-channel HD audio, dual gigabit Ethernet, and FireWire. Known more for its "record-shattering" overclocking prowess, the X58 Classified series of motherboards make use of a strong VRM overall (to support high voltage settings), a CPU socket with 300% more gold on the pins, vDroop control, consolidated voltage measure points, support for the EVGA EVBot accessory, Dummy OC (one touch overclocking), and a diagnostic LED display. The Classified3 from EVGA sells for US $369.99.

EVGA Intros Affordable X58 SLI3 Motherboard

EVGA released its newest socket LGA1366 motherboard, the EVGA X58 SLI3 (model: 131-GT-E767-TR). This model completes EVGA's lineup of new LGA1366 motherboards that pack USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s support, other models include the EVGA X58 FTW3 and EVGA X58 Classified3. Among the three, the X58 SLI3 is the most affordable, and targets a sub-$200 price point. The model and its overall design are derived from the X58 SLI, but with 2-port USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s controllers.

The LGA1366 socket is powered by a 6-phase VRM, it's wired to six DDR3 DIMM slots for triple-channel memory support. The motherboard supports all released Intel Core i7 LGA1366 processors, including the six-core models, out of the box. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16, two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x8), two PCI-E x1, and one PCI. 2-way and 3-way SLI are supported. Apart from the six SATA 3 Gb/s ports from the ICH10R southbridge, there are two SATA 6 Gb/s ports (color coded red). Connectivity includes 8-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0 and a number of USB 2.0 ports. The EVGA X58 SLI3 is listed on the company's store, at US $199.99.

ASUS Releases ROG Rampage III Formula Motherboard to Market

The ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) Rampage III Formula brings together numerous features and advantages demanded by contemporary PC gamers. It uses the Intel X58 chipset, enabling support for some of the fastest processors available, including the i7-980X six-core CPU. Rampage III Formula also ships with ROG Connect hardware overclocking, high definition audio, GameFirst bandwidth optimization for online gaming, and a versatile power management scheme that's perfect for performance applications.

ASRock Readies X58 Extreme6, Motherboard with Six SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0 Ports

Innovative motherboard maker ASRock seems to be liking designing high-end motherboards - a lot. The latest model in the works is a socket LGA1366 motherboard based on the Intel X58+ICH10R chipset, called the ASRock X58 Extreme6. This motherboard provides no less than six SATA 6 Gb/s and six USB 3.0 ports, a large step beyond the chipset's original specifications. ASRock is achieving this using three NEC µPD720200 2-port USB 3.0 and three Marvell 88SE9123-NAA2 2-port SATA 6 Gb/s controllers, some of which are connected to the system over a PLX PEX8613 PCI-Express 2.0 switch chip. All six SATA 6 Gb/s ports are internal, and color-coded white, next to the six SATA 3 Gb/s ports from the southbridge, while four out of six USB 3.0 ports are on the rear-panel (color-coded blue), and two ports are via an internal header, that connects to USB 3.0 case front-panels or expansion brackets.

Apart from this 'unique' feature set, the ASRock X58 Extreme6 is fairly standard, with six-core processor support out of the box, an 8-phase VRM that powers the CPU, six DDR3 DIMM slots for triple-channel memory, expansion slots that include three PCI-Express 2.0 x16 with 3-way SLI and CrossFire support, two each of PCI-E x1 and PCI, 8-channel HD audio with optical and coaxial SPDIF connectors, a gigabit Ethernet, FireWire, eSATA, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. Exclusive features include THX TruStudio Pro support, debug LEDs, OC DNA, ASRock Instant Boot, Instant Flash, and OC Tuner. One can expect the board to be out soon.

ASUS SABERTOOTH X58 Heavy Duty Motherboard Joins Durable TUF Series

The new SABERTOOTH X58 motherboard delivers the latest Intel chipset and support for the fastest processors on the market, including the Intel Core i7-980X, as part of the TUF Series of heavy duty motherboards. It is the latest entry in this ruggedized lineup, providing uncompromised durability and the utmost reliability to users who demand 24/7, high-intensity usage.

As the name implies, TUF Series motherboards put reliability and endurance above all else. They are built with more rigorous stress testing than normal motherboards, and ship with added longevity measures. TUF Series motherboards are the most reliable and stable models on the market, making them ideal for tough, heavy duty tasks where compatibility is critical.

MSI Readies X58A-GD65 Motherboard

MSI is ready with a new feature-rich "value" LGA1366 motherboard, the X58A-GD65. Among LGA1366 motherboards, this model is priced at a relatively-affordable 210€, building on X58's feature-set, coupled with USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s using additional controllers on board. The X58A-GD65 uses an 8-phase VRM with high-C capacitors. It uses simple heatsinks over the VRM, X58 IOMMU, and ICH10R southbridge. Expansion slots include three PCI-Express x16 slots, of which the first two are wired to the X58 with full-bandwidth, while the third one is wired to the ICH10R, and is electrical x4; other slots include two each of PCI-E x1, and PCI. ATI CrossFireX is the only multi-GPU standard supported.

Connectivity includes six SATA 3 Gb/s ports from the southbridge, two SATA 6 Gb/s from an additional controller, two eSATA ports, two USB 3.0 ports, 4+6 USB 2.0 ports, 8-channel audio with optical and coaxial SPDIF connectors, FireWire, and one gigabit Ethernet connection. To lure enthusiasts, MSI advertises military-grade components used in critical power-delivery circuits, active-phase switching, support for six-core processors out of the box, and DDR3-2133 MHz memory support.
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