Power Consumption and Conclusions

Power consumption

Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme LGA 1366 i7 Motherboard Review - Motherboards 75

Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme LGA 1366 i7 Motherboard Review - Motherboards 76

The EX58-Extreme’s power results are pretty consistent with the other LGA 1366 boards in our lineup today. It was interesting to note the minor power fluctuations we noticed with the Gigabyte UD5 and UD3R motherboards during testing. It could be because the other boards they went up against have more efficient power designs, but there could be other factors involved too. We’ll have to dig a bit deeper to determine what other issues could have caused these increases in power. But, as for the EX58-Extreme, it falls in line with the other high-end board in our group, the MSI Eclipse Plus, and even beat it by a few watts during load testing.


Wow. After a grueling two weeks of putting the EX58-Extreme through the gauntlet of benchmarks and overclocking, the board stood tall and showed us why it is the true flagship board in Gigabyte’s stable. The overclocking results we received during testing were pretty close to other high-end offerings we’ve evaluated, and I’m sure with a little more time and a better cooling solution we would have been able to get a stable 4GHz or higher overclock from this board.


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The suite of benchmarks we threw at the EX58-Extreme also gave us a good look at the scope of Gigabyte’s vision for this board. They definitely spent a lot of time optimizing how the CPU functions during single and mult-threaded processing as well as being able to overclock the CPU past normal operating speeds. While the board didn’t really stand out during our benchmarks that focused on typical computer usage, it did extremely well in performing more advanced tasks that are used on professional workstations and high-end gaming systems.


The EX58-Extreme doesn’t support quad CrossfireX and SLI configurations like the MSI Eclipse Plus, but it doesn’t have lots of other features to make it worth the over $300 price tag. Support for triple CrossfireX and SLI is definitely nothing to sneeze at, with two PCI-E slots running at x16 speeds and the third slot with x8 speeds. 


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The options for using different devices with the EX58-Extreme and expanding the capabilities of the system is absolutely outstanding. The X58 chipset with ICH10R Southbridge gives uses up to 12 USB 2.0 ports if they connect extra USB ports through two headers on the motherboard. This chipset also gives users support for two firewire devices and six SATA 3Gb/s ports that can be used in RAID 0, 1, 5, or 10.


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The EX58-Extreme also sports a nifty Hybrid Silent-Pipe 2 cooling system that combines a proprietary screen cooling technology, external heat sink and liquid cooling with chipset water block to really give enthusiasts several options for minimizing heat on the motherboard. Let’s also not forget about Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable 3 technology that uses two ounces of copper in the PCB, which also helps with the thermal performance of the motherboard.


Pricing and Availability

As of Sept. 18, 2009, the GA-EX58-Extreme was not available at Newegg.com. We didn’t find some being sold at Amazon.com for a whopping $395, which is much higher than what Newegg was selling them even a month ago.

Final Thoughts


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We’d like to thank our friends at Gigabyte for providing the GA-EX58-Extreme motherboard for our review today. This high-end motherboard is intricately designed for extreme overclockers as its name states, but I think other intermediate PC enthusiasts can also take advantage of a lot of its overclocking and power features. It might have a harder time competing with the newer LGA 1156 platform because of its price point, but the LGA 1366 still has a lot of life left in it for graphic design professionals, video production studio workstations, and other users who depend on their CPU to run multi-threaded applications and programs at the most optimum performance it can.

For its custom cooling solution, intricate BIOS, and outstanding overclocking capabilities, we award the Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme our PC Perspective Gold Award.

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