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Review: EVGA X58 Classified ... on Water

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hokiealumnus

Water Cooled Moderator
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
This is one lovely board, wish it was mine! You know the drill; long story short:
Seldom does a motherboard release accompanied with this much fanfare live up to the hype. While the board is not perfect, it's about as close to it as you will find in the X58 platform. So, does it live up to the advance billing? The answer to that is a resounding YES!

The eVGA X58 Classified is jam packed with features, overclocking options, and a box full of accessories. While the price tag is pretty hefty, one is left with the feeling that it is money well spent. The only dark cloud was the defective unit received initially, but eVGA's customer support made the RMA process painless and quick, just what people that experience a problem expect.

Most enthusiasts that purchase this motherboard do so with the intent of overclocking it heavily, and the eVGA X58 Classified will not disappoint. Our overclocking adventures yielded great results with minimul effort. For those hard core overclockers out there, you will find plenty to keep you occupied for quite a while as you take this Motherboard to the extreme limits. In fact you will find both BIOS settings and motherboard jumpers that can be set for extreme cooling as well. Further evidence that the extreme overclocker was the target audience.

Pros
  • Bundled Accessories
  • BIOS/Overclocking Options
  • eVGA Customer Support
  • Availability of Custom Water Cooling Blocks
  • NF200 Chipset Allowing True 3 way X16 SLI
  • On-Board Power/Reset Buttons
Cons
  • First Board was DOA
  • Lack of Saved Profile Naming
  • EPC Unit needs a 3.5 or 5.25 Bay Mount Option

Read the full review here! :beer:

While you're there, we also recently had a look at a new MM case & Thermochill radiator. Here's the thread in the Cases & Case Modding section, if you fancy having a look. :)
 
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Brolloks

Benching Senior on Siesta, Premium Member #8
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Location
Land of Long Horns
The review itself is top notch BUT as far as the board is concerned....it is not worth nearly $500 for a board that has "Pros" that is not differentiating at all.

I would have been impressed if they hit 4.8-4.9 on water:eek:

Pros
  • Bundled Accessories ... OK, so do all retail boards
  • BIOS/Overclocking Options OK, so do all retail boards
  • eVGA Customer Support ...Goes without saying, even if you buy a $100 board
  • Availability of Custom Water Cooling Blocks ... No biggie
  • NF200 Chipset Allowing True 3 way X16 SLI ....All X58 boards with tri-x16 lanes have that ability
  • On-Board Power/Reset Buttons ... Most X58 boards come with that, even the ~ $200 Biostar one ;)
Cons
  • First Board was DOA .... Now Shame on you EVGA for send a dead board for an official online review, WTF !!!
  • Lack of Saved Profile Naming ... No biggie here
  • EPC Unit needs a 3.5 or 5.25 Bay Mount Option ... Only a "con" for us open top benchers, no biggie
I must say the strenght in the Classified does sit with the PWM which allow higher/stable voltages, that only really applies under extreme cooling, other than that IMO it offers no better OC potential than any medium to high range board.
 
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Lvcoyote

Overclocked Moderator, Overclockers.com Lead Edito
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Location
Omak, WA
Hi Brollooks,
Thank you for the comments, always enjoy hearing other points of view :)

As far as the pros go, bundled accessories equal to what was packed in this board are few and far between, there are some yes, but not ALL. In fact I recently reviewed a DFI X58 board that came with nothing more than a few SATA cables, and I/O sheld, and a manual, not even a crossfire or sli bridge was there.....LOL

Overclocking options are not available on "ALL" retail boards. Most, yes..... but in varying degrees no doubt. It is however true that other manufacturers enthusiast boards will have these options equal to the eVGA Classified......

Some of your "No Biggie" mentions are in fact a determining factor to others, just depends on who you are and what you want I guess.

Anyway, thanks for the comments and good points.... appreciated!
 

ghost_recon88

Senior Jedi Master
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Location
Michigan
Brolloks, mind you that in order to have true 16/16/16 PCI-E configuration you need the NF200 chip, otherwise you're going to be stuck in a 16/16/8 configuration at best. As far as I know, the Classified is currently the only motherboard with the NF200 chip on it. Also you can get the board for under $400 after rebates these days, and around $410 without rebate.
 

Alchemy1

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
From my understanding that is the only way you can have "true" 16/16/16 also. Now you can get into the fact that the NF200 doesn't allow a "true" total of 48 lanes of traffic, but that's another story. You could also get into the argument that we can't even max out the 16x slots and in most cases not even the 8x slots, but once again, that's another story.

This board not only has one NF200 chip it has two.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131390

At the end of the day all of these super high end board are for a very small niche market and for the rest to drool over...as with any high end product. And yes, you are reading my sig correctly. I am a Classified owner as well as a UD3R owner. Talk about covering both ends of the spectrum...lol
 

ghost_recon88

Senior Jedi Master
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Location
Michigan
The argument I would make is that if you're into really competitive benching, you're gonna use high end video cards like the HD 4870x2, HD 4890, GTX280, 285, 295. All of those models will be bottlenecked on a 8x 2.0 lane. And also if you're into super competitive benching, you're gonna want to use the best board available, which at this time is the Classified. So the fact that it's the best overclocking board, in addition to the fact it's the only board that won't bottleneck video cards kind of completes the circle.
 

Alchemy1

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2004
Like I said, niche market. I can't comment on how well the Asus board OC's, but the classified is not the "only" board that won't bottleneck cards...at least on paper. The board I linked has two NF200 chips.
 

Brolloks

Benching Senior on Siesta, Premium Member #8
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Location
Land of Long Horns
I want to see back to back benching numbers to see just how the Classified is the 'best' board out there, making that statement due to the fact that a few guys on the bot have the gold cups still means nothing, take the same CPU and cards and compare the board against the REII or Giga Xtreme and we can talk again.
 

Gautam

Senior Benchmark Addict
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Location
SF Bay Area
The argument I would make is that if you're into really competitive benching, you're gonna use high end video cards like the HD 4870x2, HD 4890, GTX280, 285, 295. All of those models will be bottlenecked on a 8x 2.0 lane. And also if you're into super competitive benching, you're gonna want to use the best board available, which at this time is the Classified. So the fact that it's the best overclocking board, in addition to the fact it's the only board that won't bottleneck video cards kind of completes the circle.

Actually ironically the non-nf200 version is a better performer.
 

chawks2

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Location
OG, CT
As far as I know, the Classified is currently the only motherboard with the NF200 chip on it. Also you can get the board for under $400 after rebates these days, and around $410 without rebate.

This is a good article talking about the MSI Eclipse mobo w/NF200. I know you have to take the reviews @ THG with a grain of salt, but found this interesting as well:

THG MSI article said:
Yet MSI provided an opportunity we couldn’t pass up: to access the gaming performance advantage of two shared x16 slots compared to two dedicated x8 slots. Unfortunately, we found no substantial advantage, though the Eclipse Plus remains a great motherboard in many ways that would only be completely revealed in a full review.

The real revelation of today’s article is the level of handicap an x4 slot places on the third graphics card in a 3-way SLI configuration, even with PCIe 2.0 doubling its bandwidth. We knew it would be bad, but not this bad, and the results force us to cross the Asus P6T, the DFI X58-T3eH6, MSI’s previous Eclipse SLI, and several as-yet-untested products off our 3-way SLI list. If MSI’s intent was to show how much better the Eclipse Plus is for 3-way SLI than its x16-x16-x4 predecessor, we can give the company credit for that.

Looking forward to them testing the above hardware to see if it follows the same trend.