The EVGA E657 board is a little lighter in terms of onboard peripheral count when compared to the Gigabyte UD6 (additional SATA ports and software) and ASUS ROG, although the E657 FTW touts additional dedicated hardware features for overclocking (cold boot workarounds and 10 dedicated ICs allow for fine control of signal line compensation to the CPU, PCI/e and memory). CPU Power is supplied by a 12-phase, 600W capable PWM circuit, more than overkill on this platform.

A total of 7 fan headers are placed in accessible locations across the motherboard, with full fan speed control offered via BIOS. PWM cooling is catered for by two separate aluminium heat sinks that are attached to the board with screw fittings.

Starting at the top, expansion slot layout is comprised of PCI/eX1, PCI/e x16 (x8 if PEG slot 3 is occupied), PCI/e x4, PCI slot 1, PCI/e x8 and finally PCI slot 2.

Slot layout ensures that a PCI slot and the PCI/e x1 slots are always available/. The PCI/e x4 slot is also accessible when the primary PEG slot is occupied, although a double slot GPU will mean spacing will be tight. Underneath the last PCI slot, we find power, reset and CMOS clear buttons.

A three way slider switch is also provided allowing user selection of 3 separate BIOS IC’s. This allows flashing 3 different BIOS files, and also adds a good level of security in the instance of a corrupt BIOS flash. Along the bottom edge of the E657 we find a fan header, single IEEE-1394a connector, and three USB headers.

A hex post code display is placed in the lower right corner of the board and over to the left we find 3 BIOS IC’s, one of which is placed within a socket allowing removal if a swap out is required. The CFP1 connector is the EVGA OCP PCB panel connector which allows for on the fly changes 0.1V boost functions to CPU Core and VTT as well as a post code reader and power, reset and CMOS clear buttons.

PCI/e disable and X-Cool jumpers are located underneath the DIMM slots. Memory power is supplied by a three phase controller supporting switching speeds up to 640KHz. Voltage measurement pads for all primary rails are located above the DIMM slots ensuring unhindered access in open test bed setups.

On the rear I/O panel we find, 1 x PS2, 7 X USB (1 SATA combo), 1x S/PDIF, 1x Optical, 1 x 1394, 2x RJ45 LAN and 6 x audio connectors. A CMOS reset button is located between the PS2 and S/SPDIF connectors for easy CMOS clear events with the board in a case.

Worthy of mention here is the addition of boot up voltage settings for VTT and processor Core allowing users to cold boot processors at high frequencies by applying a lower voltage during initial post.

EVGA’s spin of a OS level overclocking tool know as E-LEET is also available for the P55 platform and is still the de-facto standard for all other OS overclocking tools to be judged against. ASUS’ new Connect software is close but simplicity rules here. The E-LEET GUI is remarkably compact and well laid out, offering voltage control, temperature/voltage readings, bus speed control, CPU-Z validation, quick load profiles and the ability to stop polling the SMbus. The latter feature is useful if you’d like to change processor speeds on-the-fly while minimizing the impact of having an application running in the background during a benchmark.

Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 EVGA P55 Classified 200
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  • yyrkoon - Saturday, November 7, 2009 - link

    Ok, sorry for the rude comments. But the main reason why this perturbed me, is that something similar happened to a company that I did like a few years back. They lost a lot of revenue because of the situation( and then left the market altogether; yeah . . . guess who ). With that said, I am glad that you guys reported this issue, because at that time, I was seriously considering the board afflicted. Then, I could even go as far back as the terrible capacitors used by many builders, which also caused bad reviews(and feeling from loyal customers)from many reviewers. You would think these companies would learn eventually. Of course, at the time, the builders had no idea these capacitors were going to ruin long term stability ( or maybe they did ? ). Then even in some cases long term was not an issue, because short term stability suffered as well.

    So, for now on, I suppose I will just have to remember that highly OCable motherboards,are not really dependable for 24/7 operation, and then keep my "mouth" shut :)

    I am glad to see one of you does have something from MSI. Now if only the other players would get something out as well.
  • petergab - Saturday, November 7, 2009 - link

    Can you, please, give the socket type of the tested boards? I don't want to start the foxconn/lotes dabate here.

    And one more clarification: The MSI board (I supoose p55-gd80) was not testes because it had a foxconn socket that burned out OR because the two i7 870 were burned out (on asus)?
  • Rajinder Gill - Saturday, November 7, 2009 - link

    MSI GD80 was not tested because of damage to 2 870 CPU's, one of which was the best sample I had on hand (the one that ran Wprime over 5.2GHz). I've already presented the socket info of the tested boards in the article, but just to recap for you; EVGA boards were on TYCO AMP (E657) and LOTES (E659), ASUS and Gbyte both on Foxconn.

    MSI's board was ready for review once the CPU damage had already taken place. It was a choice of starting afresh on all 5 boards once again (and risking coming away with even less same CPU comparative info) or running with the almost complete information on 4 boards I had at the time. The latter made more sense to me. Nothing against MSI, their boards were still in beta and undergoing a revision for PCI/e when this all started so they were not in the initial lineup anyway.


  • petergab - Monday, November 9, 2009 - link

    >> Nothing against MSI, their boards were still in beta and undergoing >> a revision for PCI/e when this all started so they were not in the >> initial lineup anyway.

    Can you explain this in deteils? I think I found something about it 1-2 months ago and haven't saved the address.

    Your review was published in Nov. This means you've tested them in Oct, so the planning should have been some time in Sept. As far as I can remember the current MSI board range was on the market before Sept. Does this mean than the MSI has some problems with PCI- PCIE speeds with the current boards? What about the other verndors?

    Any links are also appreciated.
  • Rajinder Gill - Monday, November 9, 2009 - link


    The delay between the article posting and now was simply becasue I tore some fo the content out for the socket burnout stuff a couple of weeks ago. No idea if the MSI PCI/e overclocking patch was post retail or not because I've never had a GD80 in my hands so don't know what to look for per se.

  • petergab - Monday, November 9, 2009 - link

    >> No idea if the MSI PCI/e overclocking patch was post retail or not because...

    This is exactly what I'm asking about. What was the original problem with this (if any existed)? The fact that you've not considered thier boards talks about some not that trivial issue. What was it? What made you not consider the board?
  • Rajinder Gill - Monday, November 9, 2009 - link

    It's simple;

    1) At planning stage of who is going to be in the article one, MSI not added to inital lineup because board not ready.

    2) By the time revision board is ready, 2 CPU's have been damaged while completing tests of 4 other boards (was in week 4 of testing at this point). Leaving me in a position where all tests must be re-run on every board with a new CPU just to add the MSI board into the report. Given the apparent weakness being experienced and not knowing if I'd be lucky enough even to make it through all 5 boards without another failure I decided to post what I had.

    There's nothing more to it. You're reading into this too deeply. If I had anything whatsoever to hide, I would not have posted anything in the first place.

  • Makaveli - Saturday, November 7, 2009 - link

    Very happy I just build a P6T Deluxe V2 + 920 D0 combo. Those overclocking numbers look good for the lynnfield setups, but I needed a true and tested platform and with these boards all just coming out I don't trust them.
  • dingetje - Friday, November 6, 2009 - link

    wow the p55 platform is totally screwd if this problem persists...any overclocker still oc'ing the hell out of their p55 must be either brave, rich or (michael jackson voice on:) ignoraaaant
  • Raptor88 - Friday, November 6, 2009 - link

    Thank you for you insights..
    Can you provide more detail regarding the Max BCLK testing. Were all the boards running AUTO settings? If not, what were their respective settings?

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