eVGA X58 3X SLI ReviewZertz - March 8, 2009
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With Intel moving to a brand new platform comes a whole bunch of new motherboards, but this time they are all built around the same chipset. Due to licensing and most likely other undisclosed reasons, nVidia has not yet produced a chipset to pair with the new i7 processors. Therefore, it might sound like choice should be rather limited when it comes to chipsets, although manufacturers have managed to come up with a wide array of more or less different products. However, companies like eVGA, XFX and BFG are close nVidia partners and they're now left with nothing but video cards. That has led XFX and eVGA to go ahead and jump ship so we have new players in the ATI and Intel arenas, respectively. Obviously the engineers over at eVGA already have experience in designing boards as they have done so for a long time anywhere between entry level and top end enthusiast markets. Since performance between various X58 boards is pretty close, it can be hard for a brand to distinguish itself and even harder for a first timer.
So on the test bench sits eVGA's first motherboard equipped with an Intel chipset, while still keeping relatively tight links with nVidia. The board is marketed around its ability to handle Tri-SLI configuration and the whole color theme is interestingly similar to what we saw on 790i boards. It comes with the usual features found on its fellow X58 competitors - support for triple channel DDR3, 10 SATA ports, FireWire, dual Gigabit LAN and more. Of course, it can also run CrossFireX since it is royalty-free and doesn't require an extra chip or anything. Without any further ado, let's see what eVGA has to offer.
First impressions are all that matters and eVGA did pretty good in this department. The box comes shrink wrapped in a black and silver theme which is definitely attractive. With the X58 name taking the whole width of the box, it's pretty easy to figure out at first sight what the board consists of. Right under that is the other main feature - 3X SLI. At the bottom are the usual Intel logos stating the board supports both vanilla and extreme i7 processors. Finally, it is really nice to finally see those last two logos lined up together - Intel X58 chipset and nVidia SLI technology. The back of the box highlights most of the important features, accessories and warranty information.
Inside the box are all the accessories lying loosely in no particular order. The motherboard itself is safely and tightly held into a plastic shell, common with higher end motherboards. A good thing considering the price tag, you wouldn't want it to arrive damaged due to shipping. The shell folds wide open to reveal eVGA's X58 true colors, which actually look pretty good and you just can't deny the similarities with eVGA's nVidia boards.
Let's take a closer look at eVGA's X58 motherboard bundle.