EVGA X58 3X SLI Core i7 Motherboard

A Closer Look

EVGA X58 3X SLI Motherboard
A Closer Look

The X58 3X SLI itself is a nicely assembled board that has a reasonably well thought out layout, with perhaps one rather glaring exception.  The board's 8-pin ATX power connector is mounted behind the MOSFET power array heatsink, between it and the back I/O port connectors.  This makes for a tight fit and rather awkward cable routing.  Though not unsurmountable by any stretch, we much prefer to have this connector located on the board edge next to the CPU socket.  In its current location, it's very hard to work in this tight area and cable positioning can be pretty frustrating.  Beyond that, the board is nicely appointed in a number of areas.


The EVGA X58 3X SLI comes equipped with a relatively robust cooling system that is comprised of a large heatsink and fan unit on the chipset IOH (IO Hub) connected with a thin heatpipe to the Southbridge (ICH).  These are aluminum assemblies and while we've seem some pretty elaborate all copper solutions, this system employed by EVGA seems to do the job well enough.  There is also a large stacked, passive heatpipe assembly on the CPU socket power array that we alluded to earlier.  This sink also proved to be more than adequate for the job and only got slightly warm to the touch.





The slot configuration of the board offers a pair of standard PCI slots and three full length PCI Express slots.  If you're intent on running a two card SLI or CrossFire configuration, it's advisable to plug the second card into the third PCIe slot, leaving the middle PCI slot for expansion if need be and a bit more room for your graphics cards to breathe.  There is also a x1 PCIe slot, which we prefer for things like audio cards, if your favorite brand is available in that interface type.


There are six DDR3 DIMM sockets on the board which are color coded for easy installation in a triple channel setup.  EVGA also provides a detailed instruction sticker over the sockets, that informs the installer where to plug modules in, depending on your configuration.  Triple channel setups in slots 1,3, and 5 will likely be the most common and are also what's best for performance.

The X58 3X SLI has a full decked-out IO panel on the backside of the board, complete with dual Gig-E NICs, 8 of the total available 12 USB 2.0 ports (an additional 4 are available on an included backplate), Firewire, eSATA and S/PDIF audio ports. Finally, probably our most favorite feature is the tiny, red on-board clear CMOS button--just the thing to get you out of an overclocking jam, should the need arise.

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