EVGA X58 3X SLI Motherboard - Close Look at the EVGA X58

Article Index
EVGA X58 3X SLI Motherboard
Close Look at the EVGA X58
X58 Features and Specifications
BIOS and Overclocking
Test Setup, HDD Testing and More
Synthetic System, CPU and Memory
Real World Application Benchmarks
Game Performance and Final Thoughts

Closer Look:

As mentioned on the previous page, the cooling solution is pretty well done and while some X58 motherboards use entirely passive cooling, EVGA has opted for active cooling on this board.  The main reason for this is that it will likely be used for overclocking and cooler chipsets obviously equal more stable systems.  Not only are the chipsets cooled; the voltage regulators are cooled with a heatpipe and a stack of fins as well.  The only issue I have with this "tower of cool" is the close proximity to the 8-pin power connector.  If you have a stiff cable that is router over this heatsink, it is quite likely that it will put enough pressure on this to cause it to lose contact with the VRMs.

Cooling Profile
Cooling Profile

 

The rear I/O of the EVGA X58 is pretty interesting.  It is almost legacy-free as EVGA has dropped the PS/2 mouse connector.  They have however, included a PS/2 keyboard connector.  Immediately below the first set of USB connectors is the CMOS reset button.  Moving on down we find the Digital Audio Out options: optical and Coaxial SPIDF.  Next up we've got another set of USB ports followed by a firewire and eSATA connector.  Continuing our journey down the rear I/O we've got two matching USB/Ethernet blocks that bring our rear USB up to a total of eight.  Below these are the standard 7.1 Audio connectors that we see on many motherboards.

 

Rear IO
Rear IO

 

As we move on to the socket area, there really isn't too much to say.  The socket area is clear of major obstructions and we had no issues mounting a large heatsink on the board.  The cut-away design of the northbridge cooler allows for large heatinks to be installed without issues.  You'll also notice the 8-phase power regulation on this board - down 2-phases from the EVGA Classified X58 board, but still adequate for most situations.

CPU Socket
CPU Socket

 

The EVGA X58 3x SLI motherboard has three PCIe 16x slots spaced apart far enough that you'll be able to install three of your favorite GTX 260 or GTX 285 cards without any issues.  Of course if you do this, you'll block the other PCIe slot and both standard PCI slots, but I guess you'll be happy with 400+ FPS in Mirror's Edge with PhysX enabled.  Thankfully the SATA connectors remain out of the way of the tail-end of the graphics cards due to the main block being mounted at a 90° angle and pointing toward the back of the board/front of the case.  This is a great idea on any motherboard and I'm pretty happy about that for sure.

 PCIe Slots
PCIe Slots
SATA Ports
SATA Ports

 

The last couple of things worth mentioning before we jump into the specs and features of this board are the 6 DDR3 slots.  For triple-channel memory action, the modules are spaced with an empty slot separating the three sticks of memory, but if you do decide to drop in another kit and populate all six slots, you'll be happy to know that there is a wee bit of breathing room between the modules.  I've seen other boards that have the RAM sandwiched together, but EVGA allows a little room for airflow. 

 RAM Slots
RAM Slots
Power & Reset
Power & Reset

 

Possibly one of the handiest features about the board on a test-bench is the power and reset buttons on-board as well as the diagnostic LED display.  Both of these features make the board much handier to setup and use without being installed in a case.  The LED allows you to quickly determine the reason for your failed overclock.  Most of the time mine was DDR3 dividers as the BIOS I used all through testing didn't have XMP memory support.

On the next page we'll take a look at the chipset features as well as the motherboard specifications before we jump into testing.