Intel Core i7-990X Extreme Edition Processor and DX58SO2 Motherboard Reviewed

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Intel Core i7 990XE Gulftown Processor and DX58SO2 Motherboard Review 08 500x312 Intel Core i7 990X Extreme Edition Processor and DX58SO2 Motherboard Reviewed

Earlier this year, we had a look at INTEL’s Core i7 980XE CPU which was quite the spectacle being that it was the company’s first six core processor. On the other hand, the launch for Intel’s Core i7-990XE was seemed like one of the quietest launches ever. But we have it here now and we also have their revision to the original X58 Extreme Series motherboard, the DX58SO “Smack Over”.  They call it the “Smack Over 2″ and this latest revision carryes USB 3.0 and SATA3. Let’s see how the new revisions fair in today’s hot X58 motherboard and CPU market!

Core i7-980XE Features and Specifications

Intel Core i7 990XE Gulftown Processor and DX58SO2 Motherboard Review 07 500x333 Intel Core i7 990X Extreme Edition Processor and DX58SO2 Motherboard Reviewed

The Core i7-980X and Core i7-990X are the same core with slight revisions made to the latter. This gives the slightly higher quality Core i7 990X a bump in frequency without bumping up the price. Rather than beat your heads by writing out all the specific details, just have a look at the table.

Intel Core i7 Gulftown Processor Chart Intel Core i7 990X Extreme Edition Processor and DX58SO2 Motherboard Reviewed

As you can see, there’s a slight bump in the base core frequencies. Intel Turbo Technology 2.0 now offers 3.73GHz versus the 980XE’s 3.6 GHz. It’s a little bump to the multiplier without sacrificing stability and can offer a slight bit of performance improvement especially over extended periods of full processor load. Otherwise, it offers every possible feature you’d need in the processor if you are in desperate need of 12 powerful Hyper-Threads.

Intel DX58SO2 “Smack Over 2″ Motherboard Features and Specifications

Again, there are some updates added to the Smackover 2 versus the original Smackover. It gets a few expansion updates and some new overclocking DDR3 memory support. It also gets a new facelift which was sorely needed from the start. The board leaves the simpler, duller heat sinks behind favor of a new heat pipe VRM heat sink as well as the cool Intel skull emblem which we’ll show you in a bit.

Intel DX58SO2 Motherboard Comparison Table Intel Core i7 990X Extreme Edition Processor and DX58SO2 Motherboard Reviewed

It’s really nice to see Intel step up to 2000MHz memory, but given that many of the basic entry level platforms from other vendors all support 2133MHz already, this seems a little late to the party. With USB 3.0 and SATA3 on the plate, the platform is just about nearly up to date. It provides better audio with 2 channels set up for front panel stereo and also utilizes two updated Gbit LAN (LAN Pro) ports. Moving right along…

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As our Senior PC Hardware Editor, Eric has been working with tech since before serving in the military where he really got to play with some very cool hardware. As for his prowess on the virtual battlefield, don't let the teddy bear exterior fool you. He can frag and pwn with the best in just about any first person shooter. You may run in to him at LANs, tech shows, and gaming shows, so do say hello.

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