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EVGA 790i SLI FTW Review

ccokeman    -   September 28, 2008
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Conclusion:

The EVGA 790i SLI FTW really only had one weakness that reared its ugly head and that was in the hard drive testing. The burst speed was not what it has been across multiple platforms and was noticeably slower. The access times in HDtune were almost double that of the other platforms. While the voltage adjustments were coarser than those of the Striker II Extreme, they did the job just fine. It is always nice to have that finer adjustability though so you can find that optimal voltage without any over-voltage. Now on to the positive things! To get the highest performance out of this board, you should find the best compromise of memory speed and CPU speed and run the memory and CPU Linked and Synced (basically 1:1). For my set of components this was at 1800MHz, 450MHz on the CPU and 900MHz on the memory. Corruption of the operating system has been one of the biggests gripes about the 790i and 790i Ultra chipsets. There have been several BIOS updates over the past few months that have addressed these issues and thankfully it was not an issue with this board from EVGA. Nvidia builds some notoriously hot running chipsets and motherboard manufacturers have had to come up with cooling solutions to keep the chipsets alive and performing. The 790i SLI FTW has an interconnected heatsink solution that uses heatpipes to draw the heat out of the components and disapate it via the actively cooled northbridge heatsink. Even with the maximum 1.57 volts pushed through the SPP it was barely warm to the touch. Quite an improvement.

When the Striker II Extreme was released with a massive $460 dollar price tag people were pretty shocked at the price. The price on the EVGA FTW edition board is still on the expensive side but comes in a full $170 dollars cheaper in the wallet impact department when compared to the S2E initial price. The difference in price today is more along the lines of $110 dollars, still a significant price differential. With similar performance the EVGA offers a better value for your money than the S2E. Currently the EVGA model is sitting atop the Futuremark Orb for 3DMark Vantage on the performance preset. A pretty impressive achievement. Less money for equal performance and a comparable bundle means you can't go wrong. And if you do need more performance, this board qualifies for the 90 day step up program and carries a limited lifetime warranty.

If gaming is your thing, the EVGA FTW has you covered with the ability to run dual, three way or four way (GX2 graphics cards only) SLI setup that has incredible scaling. Of course, you need video cards capable of running in an SLI or Tri SLI configuration. Three GTX 280 or two 9800GX2 video cards should be able to handle just about anything you can throw at it and ask for more. There you have it, a lower price, equal or better performance and a lifetime warranty, what more do you need?

 

*We will be including the EVGA in an SLI motherboard performance comparison, so stay tuned*

 

Pros:

  • Overclocking
  • Stability
  • ESA certified
  • Tri Sli capable
  • Heatpipe cooling
  • 2000MHz ready
  • Price

 

Cons:

  • Hard drive performance
  • Coarse voltage adjustments
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