Ultimate DIY Performance PC: EVGA & Intel Infused
The EVGA Classified SR-2 is one behemoth of a motherboard. At first glance, other than the attractive black-and-red color scheme, the sheer size of the motherboard in comparison to standard ATX offerings is immediately apparent.
The EVGA Classified SR-2 is an HPTX form factor motherboard, measuring 13.6” long by 15” wide. It is absolutely huge. As such, it will not fit in any run of the mill full tower. More on that later though.
As we’ve mentioned, the SR-2 is built around Intel’s 5520 chipset, which supports socket 1366 Intel Xeon 5600 and 5500 series processors. If you’re unfamiliar with Xeon 5600 and 5500 series, they’re essentially the workstation class equivalents of the desktop oriented 32nm and 45nm Core i7 processors. The CPU sockets on the SR-2 are anodized in black and feature 3x the amount of gold content than standard sockets, which EVGA claims will enhance conductivity.
Although the sockets have 1366 pins like their desktop counterparts, the SR-2 requires coolers designed for Xeon processors, which have four retentions screws, rather than the push pins we’re used to on the desktop. While we’re talking cooling, the SR-2 also sports a large active cooler on the ICH10R Southbridge and NF200 switch incorporated into the board, a couple of additional heatsinks on the dual 8-phase digital PWMs accompanying each CPU socket.
As you can see, the board is outfitted with nothing but PCI Express x16 slots, which have flexibly PCI Express lane configurations and can accommodate 2-way, 3-way, and even 4-way SLI and CrossFire configurations. The SR-2 even has jumpers built in that give users the ability to disable PCI Express lanes for troubleshooting or extreme overclocking purposes.
Each socket is accompanied by a bank of six DDR3 DIMM slots, and scattered about the board are a number of additional power connectors. In addition to the 24-pin ATX and dual 8-pin CPU power connectors; there are a trio of supplementary PCI Express 6-pin power connectors like those that would normally be used for graphics cards. These additional connectors are only required when using multi-GPU graphics configurations or for extreme overclocking.
To further support the extreme overclocking crowd, the EVGA Classified SR-2 also features a row of contact points for voltage monitoring via a multi-meter, and integrated power, reset, and clear CMOS switches. And the board is built using nothing but high-quality solid capacitors.
We should also point out that in addition to exploiting all of the features available in the 5520 chipset; the EVGA Classified SR-2 is outfitted with NEC USB 3.0 and Marvell SATA 6G controllers, as well. In total, the board has 6 SATA II ports, 2 SATA III ports, and 2 SATA II eSATA ports, and 2 USB 3.0 and 10 USB 2.0 ports.