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MSI X58M review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £124
inc VAT

With a relatively low price and blistering performance, the X58M is the ideal motherboard if you want to build a performance PC.


LGA1366, microATX, Intel X58 chipset, supports: Core i7, Core i7 Extreme Edition

Building a Core i7 PC is expensive, but motherboards such as MSI’s X58M – the cheapest Core i7 motherboard we’ve ever reviewed – make it a little easier on the wallet.

As you’d expect from a performance motherboard, it has two PCI-E x16 slots with CrossFireX support, which will satisfy gamers who want to squeeze every ounce of performance from an already powerful system by using a pair of matching Radeon graphics cards.

It’s a microATX board, so there’s less room for expansion slots than you’d find on a larger motherboard, but it has a PCI-E x4 slot and a PCI slot. If you fit only one graphics card, you can use the second PCI-E x16 slot for other expansion cards. Six triple-channel memory slots occupy a large part of the motherboard, and can handle up to 24GB of RAM. MSI still manages to find room for seven SATA ports and an IDE connector.

The rear I/O panel is generously equipped with ports. It has six USB connections, a pair of PS/2 ports, eSATA and FireWire connections. If six USB ports aren’t enough, the motherboard comes with a USB bracket that can be connected to one of the three free internal USB headers.

If you’re planning to build a Core i7 PC, you’ll be concerned about speed, and the X58M has that in spades. It gave us one of the fastest benchmark scores we’ve ever seen. At £124, this board could never be described as a bargain but it’s incredibly cheap compared with every other Core i7 motherboard out there.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor socket LGA1366
Form factor microATX
Size 245x245mm
Processor support Core i7, Core i7 Extreme Edition
Processor external bus 400MHz (1,600MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridge Intel X58
Chipset south bridge Intel ICH10R
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics No
Supported memory type DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600 (overclocked)
Maximum memory speed PC3-10600
Memory slots 6
Maximum memory 24GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £124

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 2
Dual graphics architecture CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots 1
PCI-E x1 slots 0
PCI slots 1
Fan headers 4
Floppy ports 0
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 7
RAID chipset (max disks) Intel ICH9R (6x SATAII, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10), Jmicron JMB363 (2x eSATA, RAID 0, 1, JBOD)


Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC888 (6x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers 6/3
Firewire ports / headers 1/1
Legacy ports 2x PS/2
Other ports eSATA
Cables included 1x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included 1x USB

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 400MHz

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