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The DX58SO2 is Intel’s first “normal” mainboard. This sounds provocative, suggesting that the rest of the company’s mainboards were not normal. Indeed, this statement can possibly be untrue, especially as we can't consider ourselves Intel mainboard pros. Until a few years ago we would rather pass them by because they provided only basic functionality and were downright unfriendly towards overclockers. As for the last few years, we’ve tested several Intel products and found them to be odd, nonstandard or unusual, and none of these words could be considered a compliment. We’ve mentioned above the weird Intel DX58SO which seemed to have its top part turned by 90 degrees. There are also the Intel DP55KG and Intel DP55WG models that seem to be microATX mainboards stretched out to the ATX dimensions. They retain all the downsides of the smaller form-factor whereas the three additional expansion slots can hardly be viewed as a serious advantage today. And the Intel DH55TC is a dinosaur that provides almost no configuration or overclocking options. After such a negative experience we’ve had with Intel mainboards lately, you can understand why we are so enthusiastic about the DX58SO2.

Of course, we wouldn’t be that enthusiastic if this mainboard came from ASUS or Gigabyte. Of course, we would note the rich accessories and energy efficiency but wouldn't pay much attention to the convenient PCB design because it is normal, just like in most other mainboards from these makers. We would also criticize the unfriendly BIOS and most likely draw a negative verdict if it were an ASUS or a Gigabyte.

But this is an Intel mainboard and, despite our unfavorable preconceptions about such a product, we can recommend this particular model for building an LGA1366 platform. This mainboard not only looks normal but also has modern functionality, rich accessories, overclocking potential, good performance and impressive energy efficiency. The only serious problem we can find with it is that the BIOS interface remains as unfriendly as before, but you can put up with this. After all, you can set up your mainboard once and use it for many years without changing anything in its BIOS options. Hopefully, Intel mainboards will continue to improve, and so will their BIOS.

Therefore, despite the above expressed criticism we are proud to award Intel DX58SO2 mainboard with our Editor’s Choice title. It truly deserves your attention as it is a well-made, high-performance, reliable, functional and energy-efficient product from the processor manufacturer.


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