We are rapidly approaching the i7 Core and X58 launch date.  With that in mind, we are starting to receive final production motherboards from a variety of manufacturers.  The latest board in the labs is the MSI Eclipse featuring the X58 and ICH10R chipsets.  Let's take a quick look at it.

MSI has dropped the circu-pipe (roller coaster theme) heatsink design and Crayola colors for a more traditional cooling system complimented by a very sharp looking blue/black color palette. In fact, the layout of the X58 Eclipse is one of the best we have seen in a long time with all ports and slots easily accessed.

We are not crazy about the X58 heatsink design as it resembles a small coffin when viewed up close. MSI is not going to change the design this late in the game but we should see a nice black plate attached to the top of it to match the ICH10R and MOSFET heatsinks before retail shipment. At least we hope...

The board features MSI's DrMOS MOSFET + Driver IC 6-phase power source design. In addition to DrMOS, there is a healthy smattering of solid aluminum capped capacitors, Hi-C capacitors around the CPU area, sealed ferrite chokes, and the PMWs are powered by the Intersil ISL6336.

Audio is provided by a PCIe x1 based Creative X-FI audio controller on a breakout card. While not the latest X-FI chipset from Creative, this one still supports EAX 5.0, provides 8-channel output, is spec'd at 100dB SNR with 24-bit / 96KHz capability. A welcome change from the Realtek ALC-888/885 product family.

Also included is power, reset, and DLED2 on/off switches. MSI is providing a dip-switch for changing the base clock speeds to 133, 166, or 200 MHz at POST time. The board also features several LED status indicators for everything from standby mode to QPI phase status.

MSI has provided a very good PCI/PCI Express slot layout. The Eclipse features three PCIe 2.0 x16 slots (two x16 and one x4 electrical), two PCIe x1 slots and two PCI slots.

This board features extensive storage options. We get a total of ten SATA and two eSATA ports. The SATA ports are provided by the Intel ICH10R (six - black - RAID 0,1,5,10) and a pair of JMicron JMB322 chipsets (four - blue - RAID 0,1, JBOD). A JMicron JMB363 provides IDE support and the two eSATA (RAID 0,1) ports. IEEE 1394a support is provided by the VIA VT6308P.

The I/O panel features eight of the available twelve USB 2.0 ports, an IEEE 1394a port, two eSATA ports, two RJ-45 (Realtek 8111C) PCIe Gigabit ports, PS/2 keyboard/mouse ports, and a long overdue clear CMOS button.

That is our quick look for today, we will be back shortly with additional component details, a BIOS guide, and performance results.

Gallery: MSI X58



View All Comments

  • faxon - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    so when are we going to see a review on the Foxcon board? VR Zone did a review on it but it didnt really have much info on the board, probably because it isnt slated to be out at launch (hydra 100 board). i would really like more info on this board, since it had 2 SAS ports, and with the price of 74gb SAS drives being on par with a 150GB Velociraptor, the price vs performance is probably worth it Reply
  • aos007 - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    I haven't heard that there was a new release of X-Fi cards. I am aware of only two major versions with several variations, and it's the latter one that was chaper and had many features provided in software, not hardware. Would it be possible to provide more details - such as which Creative card would be the equivalent of the one provided by MSI? Reply
  • 3DoubleD - Monday, October 27, 2008 - link

    I seemed to have missed the Anandtech article telling us about the updated X-Fi chipsets as well Reply
  • marsbound2024 - Tuesday, October 28, 2008 - link

    Maybe it is one of the XtremeAudio cards? Or perhaps Anand is complaining about the included X-Fi using the EMU20K1 instead of the EMU20K2 chip? Though I think the 20K2 chips are reserved for the high end X-Fi cards. More likely this chip may be the XtremeAudio since it uses the same chipset that the old Audigy 2 cards use. Reply
  • CEO Ballmer - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    Macs do not take advantage of great tech like this stuff people!

  • Griswold - Monday, October 27, 2008 - link

    Ah, so that is how dirtbags like you piggy-back on popular sites like this to get your search ranking up to where it doesnt belong. Reply
  • FI7Camaro - Monday, October 27, 2008 - link

    i dunno i found it quite funny, steve ballmer seems like a really well informed, genuine bloke Reply
  • robkott - Sunday, October 26, 2008 - link

    Does it really matter what your heatsink looks like? Its not like your going to spend hours looking at it. As long as it does the job i couldn't really care how it looks. Sometimes just too much emphasis is put on form ... Reply
  • JonnyDough - Tuesday, October 28, 2008 - link

    Dear Anand. I would really appreciate it if you did not pull an "Apple" and delete my original post because it knocked on you for disliking the coffin heatsink. You can tell that there was a post above the one above this one.


    ~Someone who prefers not to be unrightfully censored
  • FI7Camaro - Monday, October 27, 2008 - link



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