Ultimate DIY Performance PC: EVGA & Intel Infused - HotHardware

Ultimate DIY Performance PC: EVGA & Intel Infused

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Every once in a while a product comes along that really gets us worked into a frenzy. Typically, the latest and greatest processors and graphics cards generate a lot of buzz around here, but some other components aren’t always as enticing for one reason or another, like motherboards for example. Don’t get us wrong, we love a great enthusiast-class motherboard with a ton of features as much as the next guy, but the majority of them just don’t have the appeal of new CPU or GPU.

There are exceptions, of course. Most recently, a number of Asus’ RoG, Gigabyte’s Ultra Durable, and MSI’s Big Bang boards come to mind. And looking back boards like the legendary Abit BP6 and even the VP6 were great. The dual-socket configurations of the BP6 and VP6 were of particular interest to many enthusiasts, because when paired with the right processors and workloads they could offer performance that no single-socket board could match. The big two processors manufacturers have even used dual-socket or 2P platforms to showcase cutting-edge “desktop” products from time to time, like AMD’s Quad Father or Intel’s Skulltrail.

Dual socket motherboards have been a mainstay in the workstation market for ages, but they’re not as common in the enthusiast space. So, when we see one, we’re usually excited to check it out.

Such was the case with the EVGA Classified SR-2. We first laid our hands on the Classified SR-2 at CES 2010 and were recently given the opportunity to take one for a spin around the lab. While preparing to test the board, however, a couple of important points led us in a somewhat different direction than a straight-up motherboard review. The EVGA Classified SR-2’s requirements are unlike any other desktop motherboard you’ve seen to date. And to meet those requirements meant reeling in some other exciting hardware in its own right.

On the pages ahead, not only will we be checking out the EVGA Classified SR-2, but we’ll be showcasing a pair of the most powerful processors currently on the market, along with the only 6-Channel CAS 6 memory kit available and an as-yet-to-be released case capable of housing it all. The end result is arguably the most powerful foundation for desktop PC platform an enthusiast could wish for to date...


EVGA's Classified SR-2, two Intel Xeon 5680 Processors, and G.SKILL's CAS 6 RAM


Dual Intel Xeon 5680 Processors - 24 Threads of Processing Beefcake

EVGA Classified SR-2 Motherboard
Specifications & Features

 


The EVGA Classified SR-2's specifications hint at the board's extreme nature, but don't tell the whole story by any means. We'll dig deeper on the pages ahead, but first we should talk about the chipset at the heart of the SR-2, Intel's 5520. It, after all, is the foundations that brings all of the board's integrated features together. 


Intel 5520 Chipset Block Diagram

The Intel 5520 chipset is somewhat similar to the X58 Express in terms of its features, but it obviously targeted at the high-end workstation market as is evidenced by its multiple QPI links and support for Xeon series processors. Like its desktop-bound counterpart, The 5520 IOH is paired to the ICH10R Southbridge, which adds PCI Express Gen 1, Serial ATA, USB 2.0, and Ethernet connectivity. Due to the fact that Xeon 5500 / 5600 series processors feature integrated on-die memory controllers, the 5520 IOH isn't a traditional Northbridge. It does, however, sport multiple QPI links and 36 lanes of PCI Express 2.0 connectivity.

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WOW, looks like you had a lot to play with on your hands there :). Would be REAL nice for a sweepstakes ;) lol. Host a server or two and play on them with out a problem :D. First i got to get some better internet... :D

If HyperThreading were to be enabled for the Futuremark PCMark Vantage test how much would it of beat the i7-980x by? The 980x beats the sr2 by a bit with gaming :P, at a lower power consumption as well :). I don't like the NOT "Ultra Expensive" part :(

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Just as impressive as it is expensive...lol none the less I would love to have it just not buy it...lol 

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I would bet that HT, with this platform as it's configured, doesn't help much.  The benchmark just wasn't designed to exploit 24 cores (virtual or otherwise). The fact that it crashes before even running proves Futuremark didn't even test it.

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Wow is all I can say! That board is a thing of beauty top to bottom. The layout is absolutely prime, the cooling looks to be very well thought out, the components are top end all the way, the color scheme is gorgeous, it is a 1366 chipset, it has PCI-Express x16 ports all over the place, the memory top end is huge as well as the available memory speed. I am in love!

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That setup is pretty sick!

What's the price come to? something like $6,000??

Too bad it's not the best at gaming... boy would it make a good server tho lol

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I would love to see the games of the person who needs this to play them

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Well the big thing is it is a 1366 anyway, you could also throw a couple of the 980's in it as well as you could the chips they used here. Both of the chips fit a 1366 from what I understood. Then throw in a couple of the top end ATI or Nvidia cards and a ton of memory with some SSD raid 5 love and a big enough PSU you got a gamers love fest you could not beat. Heck give me 6 G's I could build you an absolute beauty on this motherboard. I imagine I could do it with 5000 as far as it goes lol.

(Hmm 2 980 X's 1900, 1200 watt PSU 300, Two Nvidia 480's liquid cooled 1200, 200 HAF tower, 400 MB, 4 x SSD & 100 each, 200 dual liquid CPU coolers, 200 liquid cool for 480, still got a lil left over for goodies)

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The specs for this board claim 4x SLI... which assuming is different from quad SLI.

4x GTX480s anyone?? Would love to see that!

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@Rapid1 - You can't put standard Core i7's in the board. It requires Xeons. But the Xeon 5680s I tested with are essentially identical to the 980x anyway--they just cost a whole bunch more. :)

@acarzt - That would be some serious power. :)

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oh I thought the Zeon's and 980 were the same chip socket, is it because the 980's won't work together where the 5680's will?

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