EVGA X58 3X SLI Motherboard - Game Performance and Final Thoughts

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
 

Gaming Performance - Crysis:

As we fire up our actual gaming benchmarks, we thought of several ways to do this.  Ultimately we wanted to use real resolutions and real settings to compare these processors.  Granted if we ran everything at 640x480, we'd see a dramatic improvement on multi-core capable games when running the Core i7 920 with Hyper Threading at high speeds.  The reality is that most gamers that have money for a new CPU don't run at 640x480 and we wanted to see what kind of performance increase you can expect to see with real settings in a game.  We kept all of the settings exactly the same throughout the tests and only the essential platform hardware changed between the Phenom II and Core i7 systems - CPU, Mobo, RAM.  All other system settings remained identical.

We played some Crysis with the latest patches installed.   We used the HOC Crysis Benchmark for our tests and ran the game at 1280x768, 1680x1050, and 1920x1200.  We used the CPU portion of the benchmarking program and tested on both Medium and High graphics quality.

Crysis

 

 

Gaming Performance - Far Cry 2:

The original Far Cry games blew us away with its high detailed graphics, incredible field of view as well as amazing water effects.  Far Cry 2 has left me feeling a little disappointed with its overall look as the game has a much grittier look and feel.  That being said, it is still a popular game and it includes a very handy benchmarking tool.  We ran a couple of resolutions with two detail settings to get a feel at how the CPU affects performance in the game.  Please keep in mind that this is again taken from the Core i7 review and is the groundwork for more X58 motherboard reviews in the future.

Far Cry 2

 

Gaming Performance - HL2:EP2, UT3 & More:

As we wrap up game testing, we quickly look at Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Unreal Tournament 3 and the Valve Multi-CPU Particle Benchmark.  The results remain similar with the Core i7 taking the 1st place prize by a sizable margin.

 HL2EP2
HL2EP2
 Particle Bench
Particle Bench
UT3
UT3

 

Final Thoughts:

The EVGA X58 motherboard is a high-end solution for those of you looking to build a nice Core i7 system.  It offers a lot in the way of the bundle - including pretty much everything you need, and probably a few things you don't.  It offers the standard 6 slots for DDR3 but failed to provide XMP support for the first months of its life cycle.  Thankfully EVGA has now offered this with a BIOS update so you can turn up your RAM more easily.  EVGA markets this board as a 3x SLI motherboard and includes standard SLI and triple SLI connectors, but leaves out any reference to CrossfireX.  The chipset supports both so why doesn't EVGA say so?  My guess is that EVGA only sells NVIDIA based graphics cards and doesn't want you to quickly jump to the other ship on your GPU purchasing decisions.

 

In the end, the layout is nicely done, but if you do install three large graphics cards for either SLI or Crossfire, you're going to use up all of the other PCI and PCIe slots.  Normally this isn't that big of a deal, but the audio quality on this board isn't really all that impressive, and it's a shame that you can't plug in a PCIe Audigy X-Fi once you've got your graphics cards installed.

Please keep in mind that this review is laying the groundwork for more X58 motherboard reviews and our extensive references to AMD systems won't carry forward in other Core i7 based reviews.  Readers need something to compare results to, and while we spent a lot of the time comparing apples to watermelon, we had to lay the groundwork.

Pros:

  • Full featured board
  • Good layout
  • 8-phase power regulation for the CPU
  • Excellent overclocking capability
  • Supports Tri-SLI, CrossfireX
  • Active cooling on chipset and good VRM cooling
  • Lots of USB/SATA

 

Cons:

  • Poor audio quality
  • BIOS is very enthusiast oriented - a guide will be needed to get the most from your board.
  • No Crossfire bridges
  • Pretty expensive - $300+

 

BCCRating

 

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