EVGA formally introduced their first motherboard based on an Intel chipset today, the EVGA X58 SLI. For a long time launch partner of NVIDIA based chipsets, this event was somewhat of a surprise when the rumors started spreading a few months ago about the possibility of EVGA utilizing other chipsets. Considering EVGA’s continuing in-house development of boards based on their FTW moniker and a quickened pace away from the cookie cutter reference designs, this development really did not surprise us.

What did surprise us is their ability to take a completely new chipset, proceed with a crash development program, and offer a motherboard on the official launch date that is rock solid and very polished for a first time effort. Of course it helps that several engineers from the former EPoX group are on staff and two of the top overclockers around are hand-tuning the product. However, it’s not perfect as we mentioned in our early preview blog today, but several of the problems we discussed with EVGA this weekend have already been addressed today with a new BIOS.

The Intel X58/ICH10R combination has been a known commodity for several months and Intel has been providing significant engineering resources to the motherboard suppliers in terms of information and technical support. Of course this helps to speed along a development program from a hardware viewpoint but with everyone utilizing the same chipset and basic hardware components the ability to differentiate a board in a crowded market comes down to hardware/software features, support, compatibility, and BIOS design. Does EVGA meet this differentiation criterion? We think so.

Our experiences to date with the EVGA X58 SLI board indicate to us that EVGA has developed a very solid hardware platform with a nice mix of features, a nifty tuning utility, and a board that after the latest BIOS has offered excellent compatibility with a wide range of peripherals and software. EVGA is recognized for its excellent customer support and the BIOS design/tuning is being headed up by Peter Tan, better known as Shamino in the overclocking circles. Add in a limited lifetime warranty for most locations and a step-up program for the next LGA1366 product and you can see why this board might grab some market share away from other players in the X58 market.

Of course, none of this really matters unless the board performs well for users looking to cough up $329.99 for this product. We are still running a variety of benchmarks for the upcoming X58 roundup, but at this point the EVGA X58 SLI is at or near the top of the class. However, while we tend to get carried away at times with a frame per second improvement or a half second difference in a benchmark, the real test for these über enthusiast boards generally center on overclocking and stability. Neither of which the EVGA board has failed in up to this point and to be honest, has excelled at for the most part.

Although you would never know it from the advertising, the board does support both CrossFire X and SLI operation. That said, let’s take a look around the board and review its features today.

Features Features Features
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  • androticus - Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - link

    I think MSI is the only one I've seen so far that supports 24G -- and they are supporting it on the "budget" Platinum board too -- so you can get into the game for ~ $220 -- I frankly see little difference in the specs of the Platinum compared to all the other high-end boards. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - link

    For $329, I'd be expecting an Intel/Broadcom/Marvell ethernet chip, not Realtek junk. Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    "For $329, I'd be expecting an Intel/Broadcom/Marvell ethernet chip, not Realtek junk." LOL... I wish the manufacturers would utilize the Intel solution for networking. Also, I get just as many anti-Marvell emails as I do Realtek. ;) I am not that happy with either one right now although the last Marvell driver updates actually made a difference in Vista. Reply
  • LaughinAtYa - Friday, November 21, 2008 - link

    > I wish the manufacturers would utilize the
    > Intel solution for networking.

    Lordy, me too...but hardly any of them do. Why, oh why?!

    On low-end boards, if it's for penny-saving reasons, I'd
    understand it but on i975, x38, X48 & now X58 ??? - It's
    practically Intel mobos only...oh, and Supermicro, which
    are superb but about as overclockable as my cat.
    Reply
  • FITCamaro - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    Isn't it sad that your CPU and GPU combined can cost less than your motherboard? Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    Well, not on this motherboard at the moment, unless you can find a GPU for about $10.

    On LGA775 boards over $300, very possible.
    Reply
  • ksherman - Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - link

    Hey, seems like you guys haven't made a Buy Guide update in a looooooooooong time. Would be nice for those of us that aren't able to follow all the news and reviews to get a good sense of the parts to buy. Though sometimes sorting on newegg by review count helps too :) Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    I have created a motherboard/memory/storage recommendation for i7, IGP, and midrange Intel/AMD platforms for one of several guides coming. Email me if you need a recommendation now. Wes, Eddie, and Jarred are working on finalizing two or three guides right now. Reply
  • ashegam - Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - link

    ty for the review.

    did you mean to say X48 in your last paragraph when comparing it to the x58?
    Reply
  • chowmanga - Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - link

    No, he's saying that you're going to get similar results with an X58 board regardless of manufacturer. Reply

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