Nearly every motherboard manufacturer on the market today makes at least one line of products for the "enthusiast" market. Typically, these motherboards are a bit flashier, offer better cooling, enhanced overclocking, more features and are priced significantly higher than their mainstream variants. In the majority of cases, these boards are half-hearted attempts to cash in on unknowing buyers who think that these boards will overclock better than their mainstream siblings. One of the brands that has been producing motherboards, which are actually in tune with what high-end users are demanding, has gained quite a loyal fan following over recent years. That brand is EVGA.
While they are relatively new in the motherboard space, EVGA has quickly developed a very positive relationship with the high-end overclocking community by offering unique features for their boards, both on the hardware and software fronts, to really push systems further than they are intended to go. Throw in the fact that they have very active forums, are eager to engage with users of their product, and are quick to release BIOS updates to resolve issues and introduce new features, and it's not hard to see why many have flocked to their product lineup.
EVGA commonly produces their mainstream motherboard products first, while in tandem, begins work on their high-end enthusiast product. It's taken roughly four months since the time EVGA launched their first Intel X58 motherboard (the more than worthy X58 3X SLI) to follow it up with their enthusiast-class product, which we'll be looking at today. That board is EVGA's new X58 Classified motherboard. With a whopping $425 price-tag, $125 higher than their baseline X58 motherboard, EVGA is confident that they have a board which can out-class all others in order to demand such a price premium. What do you get for that extra $125?
EVGA X58 3X SLI Classified Motherboard - Retail Shipping Box
As far as we can tell, the bulk of these extra features are aimed at the ultra-high-end market. The X58 Classified has a true 3X SLI PCI Express x16 configuration, utilizing NVIDIA's NF200 PCI Express bridge chip, along with an additional PCI Express slot that they claim is for dedicated PhysX. Overclocking features abound here as well, including support for dual +12V connectors to pump more power to the CPU, on-the-fly vCore alterations through a hardware control panel, higher-grade capacitors, 10-phase digital PWM, and a monstrous custom designed (passive) cooling system. These features are certainly designed for an extremely small niche market of buyers, but those who need these features are willing to pay for them. Let's see if EVGA's efforts have paid off with the X58 3X SLI Classified.