Price Search: for
MSI X58 Eclipse Motherboard Print
Written by Hubert Wong   
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Article Index
MSI X58 Eclipse Motherboard
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7

mobo.jpgMSI X58 Eclipse Motherboard

MSI's no excuses high-end X58 boards lands in our cave. How does it fare against Intel's release board and is the high-price justified?

Intel dropped the proverbial bombshell with their Nehalem (i7) and Tylersburg (X58) late last year. The joint release ushered in yet another level of performance unseen since the original Core 2 Duo launch. We’re going to focus on the motherboard side of things today, namely MSI’s X58 Eclipse, a board set to be MSI’s big opus on the X58 side of things. Not really sure what I mean by all that, so let’s see if I can explain it better as we move on.

First Impressions


The MSI Eclipse is the second of the “Gaming Series” of MSI motherboards we’ve come to look at. If there is a word to describe this box, it would be “big”. The packaging is at least half a size larger than MSI’s typical boxes, specifically their Platinum brand. As the name implies, the Eclipse features an eclipse for the artwork. Sure, it is a bit tacky, but at least there are nosurprises.


The internal packaging is something of a mixed bag. The cellophane for the motherboard and select accessories is well done. Everything is secure and neatly displayed. The White box holding everything else looked pretty much as pictured when I opened it up. Thankfully there is nothing fragile in there, but it would have been nicer if it were to be compartmentalized. Along with the manuals and CDs, you get several storage cables, three video connection cables and custom external facing brackets.


The MSI X58 Eclipse features a black PCB and is of course based on Intel’s Tylersburg platform and among its many enhancements; it supports their new Nehalem microarchitecture. It is not compatible with Intel’s previous processors, so don’t start having any ideas of dropping your old Intel LGA775 CPU in there.

MSI does change things up a bit from Intel’s reference design. The socket area is free of obstructions and follows Intel’s specifications of clearance. We had no problems fitting a large Thermalright cooler, but as usual, your mileage may vary depending on the manufacturer. While many LGA775 coolers themselves may work, you will require the newer LGA1366 brackets.

There are six memory slots on the MSI X58 Eclipse. The maximum capacity is 24GB, with 4GB sticks being the largest single DIMM supported. All slots are DDR3, and a maximum DRAM speed of 1333MHz is what the Eclipse supports officially. The Core i7 features the QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) and therefore has an integrated memory controller. This connection is a point-to-point processor interconnect that works much the same way as HyperTransport. As of this writing, only the X58 supports Intel’s latest CPU, and for most consumer boards, there will only be a single Intel QuickPath Interconnect to connect the processor to the IO Hub. On multiple CPU boards, this will become more complex, and the QPI will scale accordingly. 

Just below the memory slots is the 24-pin ATX powerconnection. MSI’s documentation does state a 20-pin PSU will work as well, but if you have a PSU that old, you may want to think about upgrading that first as you need a modern, quality power supply for everything else in the system.

On the opposite side of the socket are the capacitors and MOSFETS. Everything is high quality and made in Japan. By that token, it has been some time since we’ve heard reports of leaking capacitors.

Intel CPU'S
ATI Video Cards
feed image
© 2001-2009 Viperlair. All Rights Reserved