EVGA X58 3X SLI Classified Motherboard

Article Index

Overclocking and Power Consumption

As this board is born and bred for overclockers, it's not surprising to see that there are some toys for overclockers to play with on the hardware level, not just through the BIOS and software. Beyond the Clear CMOS button on the I/O panel, EVGA includes large, easy to press buttons for hardware power and reset control at the bottom of the motherboard, in addition to another Clear CMOS button.

If you want more hardware level control, EVGA has a unique little daughterboard capped the ECP. The ECP module connects to your motherboard's case connectors and a special block of nearby pins to allow for some flexible options which can be used for on the fly overclocking control. The module gives you remote power/reset/cmos reset controls, but also gives you a BIOS diagnostic code display, along with a set of toggles to let you push up your CPU's core voltage up by 0.1V increments on the fly. Toggle all three upwards and you have an extra 0.3V which you can push to the CPU at any time, which can be handy if you're cranking up your processor as far as it can go.

EVGA ECP Overclocking Daughterboard and Cabling

There are other nice bits, too. EVGA claims to use more gold content (3x) in their CPU socket pins to improve signal quality between the board and the CPU. There are spots on the motherboard where you can directly monitor voltage levels. Solid state capacitors, digital PWM, vDroop controls, support for "extreme" cooling throughout the BIOS. Yep, it's got all the toys.   Here's a few shots of the BIOS in action during our overclocking efforts.

Temperature and Voltage Monitoring

Clock Controls

Voltage Controls

Memory Timings

Do all these bits actually help deliver higher and more stable overclocks? Our answer would be yes, although don't expect this board to perform miracles. It can't break the laws of physics or suddenly make your processor quality better, although the board does tend to allow you to plow through many of the typical hurdles on lower-end motherboards. Most Intel X58 motherboards which we've used here in the labs tend to tap out at about 185 MHz+ base clocks, whereas the EVGA X58 Classified board was able to push up to 200 MHz+ and retain stability. At its peak, we were able to push our system up to 212 MHz base clock using pretty standard air cooling methods and a little voltage upping, which we feel is quite impressive.

Peak 210 MHz Base Clock

Peak 4.1 GHz Overclock

In our testing of the EVGA X58 Classified, we were able to push our little 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 920 processor up to 4.1 GHz, which is the highest overclock we've been able to obtain from this particular chip. We're certainly just scratching the surface of what this board is capable of as well. With liquid cooling and LN2 cooling, we're going to see some amazing things from this board. EVGA also recently announced a liquid cooled version of this motherboard for those who want to cool the X58/ICH10R/NF200 chips with their existing water cooling setups. This board, dubbed the X58 SLI Classified Hydro Copper, is $120 more than the already pricey X58 classified, retailing for $569. Ouch but again, if you've got to have it, you've got to have it.

As you might expect, throwing all these components on board does indeed push up the power consumption levels of this motherboard. Here are the numbers we saw with our testbed configurations of a Core i7 920 processor, 3 GB of DDR3-1600 memory, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTS 260 graphics card.

Yep, drains more power as expected. There you go. On to performance numbers!

Related content