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Wednesday, 12 August 2009 00:49

Twelve X58 Boards roundup - 07 eVGA X58 3X SLI

Written by Eliot Kucharik

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Review: Money doesn't buy performance



Features:
Intel X58/iCH10R
8-phase VRM
uPI Semiconductors uP6208AM

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Realtek RTL8111DL PCIe Gb LAN controller
JMicro JMB363 SATA II/PATA controller
Texas Instruments TSB43AB23 PCI Firewire controller
Winbond W83667HG-A super I/O controller
ICS 9LPRS918JKLF clock generator
passive cooling of chipsets/VRM
8Mb BIOS, version: E758SZ2F
Mainboard Revision: 1.00

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Slots:
3x PCIe 2.0 x16, 2x x16  or 1x x16 & 2x x8
1x PCIe x1
21x PCI

Memory:
6x Triple-Channel DDR3-slots for PC3-12800U memory up to 24GB

Storage:
6-Port SATA II featuring RAID 0, 1, 5, 0+1, JBOD
2x 2-Port SATA II
1-Port IDE
1-Port Floppy

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Backpanel ports:
1x PS/2 keyboard
1x PS/2 mouse
1x Gb LAN
8x USB 2.0
1x Firewire 400
1x Firewire mini 400
7.1 analog audio
1x optical audio out
1x coxial audio out
1x CMOS clear button

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Accessories:
1x IDE cable
1x Floppy cable
1x 2-port eSATA slot-bracket
2x eSATA cable with clips
2x eSATA cable angled with clips


If you want to go for Triple-SLI, this board fits nicely in any case, but of course you will loose any other ports. Due to the triple PCIe x16 ports, all other ports lay waste. For some reason EVGA decided to put only one eSATA port on the back-panel and left one beside the PCIe x16 master slot. Because there is no eSATA-bracket it's quite useless.

Also, the connectors for CPU-power and CPU-fan are placed at a rather messy spot. The big VRM-cooler is blocking the cables and it's never a good idea to have cables hanging over a cooler. Also a high-end board which is expensive should also not carry a PCI FireWire chip.

This is the only board fitted with an active cooling solution. While the cooling is not really silent, it's not a bad idea either, because the Intel hub-chip which only provides the PCIe lanes and a link to the CPU gets incredible hot. The finish of this cooling-solution could have been better.

We are not fans of the low-cost Realtek Gb-LAN controllers. At least you get an debug LED with CPU-temperature after boot-up. All in all, this board is a very mixed bag.

For some reason the board always underclocks. How hard can it be to program a clock generator correctly?

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Overclocking:


The CPUz enhancend version which eVGA calls "Eleetune" is capable of overclocking the board while running in Windows, there is no such tool for Linux. But as mentioned before, we are not fans of software solutions, especially the software can't cover all aspects of overclocking and doing that when the system is running does strain the components on your mainboard.

Doing it in the BIOS is also a piece of cake. But also when overclocking the clock you want is not the clock you want get.  Also don't use auto-settings, because setting VCore to 1.4000V is much too high. We managend to overclock with the 173MHz BCLK with 1.2650VCore and reduced VTT/QPI of 1.1750V. The i7 975 didn't need any change.

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(Page 7 of 13)
Last modified on Thursday, 13 August 2009 13:02
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