MSI X58 Pro Motherboard
The MSI X58 Pro has given us a roller coaster ride today. Starting on a low point, the aesthetics of the board are simply put, dire. The MSI board would never be accused of being a trend setter, that is unless you find the contents a doggie-bag the pinnacle of style! The nostalgic brown PCB nods to motherboards of yesteryear however, a closer look at the board ensures that any preconceptions are wiped away when you see how many features are incorporated. The frills of more expensive motherboards are not present, but what you do have is a motherboard that has all the necessities to set you down the i7 upgrade path in earnest.
Overclocking the motherboard perhaps threw up the biggest surprise of the day, exceeded my expectations by a fair margin. Previous MSI boards have been very hit and miss in this area but, voltage fluctuation issues aside, the X58 pro is a top performer in this department. A 4Ghz overclock is a damn fine achievement by anyones standards but the MSI did not stop there. Infact the MSI kept going until it reached a eye popping 4.315GHz, beating all of our previously reviewed motherboards, some of which cost nearly twice as much, by a considerable margin. I cannot comment on how long this overclock could be maintained by it is performance and possibilities are certainly underlined by it's ability in this area.
Crossfire support is there in all it's glory and should you be desperate for SLI support then this can be achieved relatively easy by means of a BIOS flash so if budget multi GPU gaming is your bag then this board should definitely be on your list.
The packaging is basic and the accessories are adequate, nothing more, nothing less. It is clear that this is one area in which costs have been cut and a cost cutting area I do not mind so much, especially when you consider the MSI X58 Pro can be bought for as little as £178. This is a price point that will appeal to those who want to upgrade but are put off by the massive price hike X58 motherboards demand. Herein lies the appeal of the X58 Pro. They have managed to trim excess fat from a product to enable them to price it cheap without cutting any major flexibility or dominant (read useful) features from the motherboard. If you can see past the brown PCB and mismatched plastic slots then MSI have a capable board here at a very aggressive price point.
Well done MSI.
- Exceptional overclocking
- Multi GPU support (SLI optional!)
- The price in comparison to other motherboards
- Voltage regulation
- Basic packaging
- Aesthetics (what on earth were MSI thinking of?)
Thanks to MSI for providing the X58 Pro for todays review. Please discuss in our forums.