We've all been so obsessed by the new kid in town with the personalised 'Lynnfie1d' number plate that we've hardly heard a thing about it's big brother, the original Nehalem platform. Well, Asus is keen to change that and is making noises once more about its X58 boards – and the new P6TD Deluxe is a prime case in point.
With great performance offered by the simpler and cheaper P55 platform, it's tough to see a place for the still frighteningly expensive Nehalem setup.
Yes, we've got the six-core monolith tipping up soon which should make the X58 chipset popular again, but the previous darling, the Core i7 920, is being put out to pasture.
With that in mind this £200+ motherboard is a bit of an anathema if you're trying to put together a machine on a budget. Indeed, you can pick up decent X58 boards for £130 as the MSI X58 Pro shows us.
But this isn't a cheap platform and if you want to get top performance out of your eight-threaded chips, or the twelve threaded monstrosities that are to follow, you need to spend the cash on a pricier motherboard. So what do you get for your extra cash?
Well, you get the top-of-the line components, double amounts of copper for extra cooling, and more overclocking headroom than you can wave a canister of LN2 at.
That's the real difference here as, if you leave the board, chip and memory at stock speeds, MSI's cheaper board is slightly speedier.
But, if you're going to be doing any tweaking it's all about this new Asus board. We could only push the MSI board to 3.66GHz with the i7 920, which is still a 1GHz overclock, but the Asus board allowed us to push it stably over 3.8GHz. We could boot Windows running at 4GHz too, but needed voltage tweakery to remain stable.
So our conclusion reads much like that of the cut-down MSI P55 board we looked at earlier. If you're going to leave your chip running at stock speeds an expensive motherboard isn't for you.
But if you want to clock the transistors off it then it's worth the extra cash.
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