EVGA 790i SLI FTW Reviewccokeman - September 28, 2008
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It's time to upgrade your PC when the old faithful has been just that but frankly can't keep up with the latest games. You have given it more system memory, a better graphics card but with the aging technology you can go no further to increase the performance of your once top o' the line rig. Now it's time. You've done some research into the graphics possibilities, memory and processors but the task of choosing a motherboard to fit your needs is a little daunting. You have multiple Intel and Nvidia chipsets used by who knows how many manufacturers. With the Intel chipsets supporting ATI's CrossfireX multi GPU standard and Nvidia's chipsets supporting their own multi-GPU strategy SLI (Scalable Link Interface), the choice really comes down to what you want to do with this new rig of yours. If it's gaming you want, then gaming it is. All it takes is for you to pick your poison.
The EVGA NF790i SLI FTW is the latest motherboard from EVGA sporting the 790i SLI SPP and MCP. This board is targeted squarely toward the enthusiast and gamer. Since that's the target audience, EVGA has loaded this one with all the bells and whistles. Support for the latest 45nm Intel CPUs, DDR3 1600 to 2000MHz support, 8GB memory can be used to fill the four DIMM slots, three PCI-E x16 slots (two x16 PCI-E 2.0, and one x16 PCI-E1.0) that let you install and use three Tri SLI capable video cards in a three GPU setup to get the most from your gaming experience. Having eliminated the data corruption issues with the earlier boards, this latest offering should do well to feed your gaming "jones." Hey, I know it's an older term but it fits! Having seen what the Asus Striker II Extreme can do, it's time to dig a little deeper into the EVGA 790i SLI FTW edtion.
The packaging has the typical lime green and black Nvidia coloring so there can be no mistaking what brand this board represents. The front panel includes a view of an atom with the nucleus and surrounding electrons, while highlighting the product name. Prominently shown are a couple of the specifications enthusiasts and gamers care about, DDR3 2000MHz, PCI-E 2.0 and 1.0 and the three x16 graphics capability. If you know anything about EVGA then you know about the 90 day step up program that allows you to trade up to a higher or lower performing product and pay the difference toward the cost of the new product. The rear of the package expands on the feature set. The highlighted features are the Tri SLI, ESA (Enthusiast System Architecture) and SLI memory with EPP capabilities. As an ESA certified motherboard, this board can be teamed up with other ESA based components such as power supplies and video cards for monitoring and tweaking of the performance they deliver.
Slipping the contents out of the box shows the bundled accessories on top of the plastic clamshell that holds the 790i SLI FTW. There is enough room on top to hold the large number of included supplies. Once the bundled accesories have been removed the motherboard can be seen. The clamshell package adequately protects the 790i SLI FTW, preventing any damage during shipping.
Now you have seen what the packaging looks like so you know just what to look for when it comes time to spend your hard earned dollars. Let's see what you get for those dollars.