DFI X58 T3eH8 Ultra Motherboard

Introduction

Introduction

DFI have long been known as the board of choice for overclockers. The DFI
Nf4 boards were massively superior to anything the competition could muster, so much so that everyone believed, myself included, that the Intel derivative of the Lanparty boards would be a resounding success. Sadly, this was not the case. Production problems meant more often than not, DFI were late to the table with their offerings and as such, the boards were not taken up in the numbers they had enjoyed previously. This isn't to say the boards were bad, it's just they offered little over the competition and as most enthusiasts had already bought P45 and X48 boards, most weren't about to trade up 6 months down the line when DFI released their variant. I half expected X58 to be a similar story but I am pleased to announce DFI are on time with the X58 T3eH8 Ultra motherboard.

Being an Ultra, the T3eH8 is being touted as a flagship model with all the premium additions you would expect from a top end motherboard. On-board switches, a plethora of jumpers, Bernstein HD Audio, Volterra Digital PWM as well as support for CrossfireX and Tri SLI are just some of the massive array of features this board has to offer. Being an overclockers board it goes without saying that it should be well cooled. True to form, DFI have once again outdone themselves with some jaw dropping heatsinks ensuring the board is cooled sufficiently even under heavy overclocking conditions.

DFI are focused purely on performance. You won't find unneeded power saving features on this motherboard as it was not designed to save the planet, it was designed to blow it apart. I sometimes wonder why some manufacturers make a big deal out of the green features of it's boards but then add useless extras that negate the power saving cost in the first place. DFI simply do not play that game. Raw speed is all they are about, DFI leave the tree hugging and saving the whale to someone else. Let's hope this consensus has been transferred to the ethos of the X58 T3eH8.

Specification
CPU
* LGA 1366 socket for Intel® Core™ i7 processors
* 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
* Integrated Memory Controller (IMC) supports 3 channels of DDR3
* Intel Hyper-Threading Technology delivers 8-threaded performance
* 8-phase digital PWM provides stable voltage to the CPU

Chipset

* Intel chipset
- Northbridge: Intel X58 Express chipset
- Southbridge: Intel ICH10R

QPI
* System bus - 4.8GT/s to 6.4GT/s

System Memory
* Six 240-pin DDR3 DIMM sockets
* DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600(O.C.) MHz DIMMs
* Triple-channel memory architecture
* Supports up to 24GB system memory
* Delivers up to 43.2GB/s bandwidth
* Unbuffered x8/x16, non-ECC and ECC, up to 4Gb DDR3 devices
Windows® 32-bit operating system is unable to accurately detect more than 4GB system memory. Therefore, if you are using this operating system, we strongly recommend that you install a less than 3GB system memory.

Expansion Slots
* 3 PCI Express (Gen 2) x16 slots
a. 2-way CrossFire at x16/x16 transfer rate lanes; or
b. 3-way SLI at x16/x8/x8 transfer rate lanes
* 1 PCI Express x4 slot
* 2 PCI slots

BIOS
* Award BIOS
* 8Mbit SPI flash memory
* CMOS Reloaded

Graphics
* Multiple GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit)
- 3 graphics cards in 3-way SLI or Quad CrossFireX configuration

Audio
* Bernstein audio module
- Realtek ALC889 8-channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Center/subwoofer, rear R/L and side R/L jacks
- Line-in, line-out (front R/L) and mic-in jacks
- 2 coaxial RCA S/PDIF-in/out jacks
- 1 optical S/PDIF connector
- 1 CD-in connector
- 1 front audio connector
* 108dB Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) playback (DAC) quality and 104dB SNR recording (ADC) quality

LAN
* Marvell 88E8052 and Marvell 88E8053 PCIE Gigabit LAN controllers with Teaming technology
* Fully compliant to IEEE 802.3 (10BASE-T), 802.3u (100BASE-TX) and 802.3ab (1000BASE-T) standards

Storage
* Intel ICH10R chip
- Intel Matrix Storage technology
- Supports up to 6 SATA devices
- SATA speed up to 3Gb/s
- RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1 and RAID 5
* JMicron JMB363 PCI Express to SATA and PATA host controller
- Supports up to 2 UltraDMA 100Mbps IDE devices
- Supports 2 SATA devices
- SATA speed up to 3Gb/s
- RAID 0 and RAID 1

IEEE 1394
* VIA VT6308P
* Supports two 100/200/400 Mb/sec IEEE 1394a ports

Rear Panel I/O
* 1 Mini-DIN-6 PS/2 mouse port
* 1 Mini-DIN-6 PS/2 keyboard port
* 1 IEEE 1394 port
* 6 USB 2.0 ports
* 2 RJ45 LAN ports

Internal I/O
* 3 connectors for 6 additional external USB 2.0 ports
* 1 connector for an external COM port
* 1 connector for an IEEE 1394 port
* 1 connector for the Bernstein audio module
* 1 IrDA connector and 1 CIR connector
* 8 Serial ATA connectors
* 1 40-pin IDE connector and 1 floppy connector
* 1 24-pin ATX power connector
* 1 8-pin 12V power connector
* 2 4-pin 5V/12V power connectors (FDD type)
* 1 front panel connector
* 8 fan connectors
* 1 diagnostic LED
* EZ touch switches (power switch and reset switch)

Power Management
* ACPI and OS Directed Power Management
* ACPI STR (Suspend to RAM) function
* Wake-On-PS/2 / Wake-On-USB Keyboard/Mouse
* Wake-On-LAN and Wake-On-Ring
* RTC timer to power-on the system
* AC power failure recovery

Hardware Monitor
* Monitors CPU/system/Northbridge temperature and overheat alarm
* Monitors Vcore/Vdimm/Vnb/VCC5/12V/V5sb/Vbat voltages
* Monitors the speed of the cooling fans
* CPU Overheat Protection function monitors CPU temperature and fan during system boot-up - automatic shutdown upon system overheat

PCB
* 6 layers, ATX form factor;
* 24.5cm (9.64") x 30.5cm (12")


As per norm, the DFI fails to disappoint.  There are however a few points that should be mentioned. The 6+2 USB configuration is less than other boards on the market at the moment. This however can be expanded using the internal USB headers (no bracket included). Although the board supports TRI SLI it will be restricted to eight lanes on the 2nd and third card. This is due to the fact that the board does not have the nf200 chip allowing 16 lanes on all PCIe slots. As all the slots are PCIe 2.0 standard this is much less of an issue as the bandwidth is much less restricted as it was on PCIe 1.0 standard.

Lets see how DFI have presented the X58 T3eH8...
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Most Recent Comments

29-01-2009, 09:45:57

VonBlade
It's nice to know some things never change.

Amazing layout? Check.

Bulletproof? Check.

Incomprehensible BIOS options? Must be a DFI

Some great clocks coming out of that. Agree that the current high-end X58s are way too steep. Although the high-end 775 stuff was eye-watering too.

Thanks for the review.Quote

29-01-2009, 09:46:49

Kerotan
Just spotted a typo:

while at first appearance appears very thick is that that daunting once you realise it is a multi language manual.



Probably wanna replace one of the "thats" with "not". Made for an awesome read though- day I can afford kit like this is the day I win the lottery lol.Quote

29-01-2009, 10:03:02

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Kerotan'
Just spotted a typo:

Probably wanna replace one of the "thats" with "not". Made for an awesome read though- day I can afford kit like this is the day I win the lottery lol.
Sounds like he was overcome by the 'Chinglish' manual.Quote

29-01-2009, 10:48:48

soapsupah
its an amazing mobo, it looks pretty good, it has a lot of good points but i still dont know its price, also the asus / msi board results were as good as the DFI mobo, and sometimes even better and i expected more from it afterall DFI is pretty famous, but still its a great mobo Quote

29-01-2009, 14:42:09

w3bbo
Although the results showed the boards to be fairly even (they are afterall all based on the same chipset and run at the same settings), when scoring the boards there are many more points to consider.

The DFI board is not a board to run at stock settings, it isn't designed to do that, anyone who buys this board for that is only after e-peen glory and not using the board for what it was intended for - overclocking. In this area it excels. Therefore DFI have completed what they set out to do. The price they charge reflects the niche market they are aiming for. After all Lamborghinis arn't exactly in the same marketplace or have the same customer in mind as Diatsu.

If you want a board that covers all bases then the Gigabyte board, for me at least, is the better board.

For hassle free 'it just works', reliability then look no further than the Asus P6T.

The MSI, while not a bad board by any stretch of the imagination, offers nothing over the others for the price they are asking.Quote
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