EVGA X58 x3 Classified Motherboard

Test Setup & Overclocking

Test Setup
To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configuration used in this review can be seen below: 
Processor: Intel Core i7 920 (2.66Ghz)
Motherboard: EVGA X58 3x Classified
Memory: 6GB Corsair DDR3 @ 8-8-8-24 1600Mhz
Graphics Card: NVidia GTX280
Power Supply: Gigabyte Odin 1200W
CPU Cooling: OCZ Gladiator
Hard Disk: Hitachi Deskstar 7K160 7200rpm 80GB
Graphics Drivers: Geforce 180.60 CUDA
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1
During the testing of the setup above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used before the benchmarking began, with a full defrag of the hard drive once all the drivers and software were installed, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard installations. For the 3DMark and gaming tests a single card configuration was used.
The initial setup of the Classified presented no problems with sufficient clearance of the memory modules. However, using a wide heatsink such as the Thermalright Ultra in a horizontal position will block at least the first memory slot, if not the second. In a vertical position there should be no such issues. The only issue I could envisage is a conflict with the massive QPI heatsink. This heatsink may also become restrictive should anyone use a sandwich type cooler on a GPU. That said though, thanks to the ingenious PCIe jumpers, the PCIe slots can be changed top suit your setup. Our test GTX280 had no such clearance issues during testing.
One point worthy of special mention is the glowing, pulsating 'e' emblem on the heatsink. This insignia looks very attractive when illuminated and is sure to attract attention in any case with a window or indeed as it glows through the mist given off dry ice!
E clearance
To guarantee a broad range of results to best evaluate the motherboards performance, the following benchmark utilities were used:
Synthetic CPU Test
• Sisoft Sandra 2009
• PassMark CPU test
• SuperPI 1m, 8m, 32m

Memory Test
• Sisoft Sandra 2009
• Everest 4.60

File Compression & Encoding
• Sisoft Sandra 2009
• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

Disk I/O Performance
• HDTach
• Sisoft Sandra 2009

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark 05
• 3DMark 06
• 3DMark Vantage

3D Games

• Crysis
• Far Cry 2
• Call of Duty 4
Overall System Performance
• PCMark Vantage
Power Consumption

Power consumption is an aspect often forgotten when it comes to enthusiast motherboards but in today's climate, with rising utility bills special consideration needs to be taken when choosing you components as over a period of time, one components can prove to be much more expensive than another over its lifetime. Power consumption was measured at the socket using a plug-in mains power and energy monitor. Idle readings were taken after 5 minutes in Windows. Load readings were taken during a run of 3DMark Vantage.
As the two graphs above show, the EVGA Classified is by far the most power hungry motherboard on test. This I'm sure, will not deter any potential buyers of the motherboard as the target market are more likely to be interested in it's performance rather than power efficiency. That said, every manufacturer has a responsibility to ensure they are doing everything they can to reduce our carbon footprints.
OK, thats enough of the environmental stuff, let's take a look at what the board is designed for, overclocking and performance...

At this point in the review I would normally show you the obligatory CPU-Z screenshots at stock, however EVGA have a neat little utility which for the most part is an expansion on CPU-Z in that it allows basic overclocking within the windows environment. However before we get to overclocking here's the setup in it's stock format:
stock memory
I was initially very happy with the temperature and voltage monitoring section of  the small E-Leet program however, when compared to utilities such as Coretemp and RealTemp it was obvious that the E-Leet utility was under reporting temperatures by a fair margin, this was also mirrored by the on-board LED, which is a real shame but most likely because socket temperatures were taken and not core temps which we all know is the most important temperature to consider when overclocking. The voltage adjustment section was precise and all adjustments were instantaneous thus not requiring a reboot which was great and added to the ease of finding the maximum overclock.
voltages voltages
As with the voltage adjustments, the QPI and PCIe overclocking department was also instantaneous in its application. The benefits of this are that on the one hand you can achieve a higher overclock in windows due to the setup not having to go through the strenuous POST process where most motherboards will fall down when pushed too far. Maximum overclocks can also be achieved for those looking to show off those all important suicide benchmark runs. On the other hand, a quick and dirty overclock can be achieved before deciding a a permanent overclock via BIOS tweaking That said, as long as the settings you dial in are accepted without a BSOD, the BIOS setting will be automatically set to reflect your changes in windows, even better!
overclocking overclock final
Using the utility I managed a blistering 4.252 GHz Overclock on our sample Core i7 C0 stepping which is just below the best overclock we have achieved with this CPU. I did try setting the overclock higher and managed a base clock of 205 which resulted in an amazing 4.3GHz! However this was totally unstable and crashed while running SuperPI so couldn't be relied upon. However, with better cooling and higher voltage which this motherboard was designed for, I am certain this could be stabilised and even pushed higher, such is the prowess of the EVGA Classified.
After returning the motherboard to it's stock settings I then ran OC3D's suite of motherboard benchmarks. Let's see how it got on.... 
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Most Recent Comments

15-08-2009, 06:25:16

Being honest, I read the spec page and quickly turned to the benchmark section.

For me, the X58 mobos from all manufacturers u can just about slip a piece of paper in between all the benchmarkers if taken as an overall picture. Some peak in somethings, whilst dropping in other areas - but even these highs and lows aren't worth batting an eyelid at imo.

So yeah, good mobo. Very pricey. Layout would be a preference to what u want to do.

Thing for me here is that fundamental tech for peripherals is around the corner, in more than one fashion, and even with some mobos seeming faking the access speeds with bolted on controllers, £300 for what could be "older tech" (in the peripheral pov) is not a sound idea.Quote

15-08-2009, 07:43:22

I agree Rasta, there isn't alot to compare between the performance of the X58 motherboards. Unless of course you read the whole review to get a balanced opinion as the major differences between them are aesthetics, design, BIOS and overclocking which you say you skipped.

I do agree however that because of the new SATA III standard just around the corner it's going to be hard to sell this 'older' tech.Quote

17-08-2009, 12:05:28

Loving mine 759 runs great.Quote

17-08-2009, 12:19:33

Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
Unless of course you read the whole review to get a balanced opinion as the major differences between them are aesthetics, design, BIOS and overclocking which you say you skipped.
Sorry m8, it's not a reflection of the review(s), it's just like similar to SSD reviews for me - there are key things I quickly look at first (probably to see if anything stands out). With SSD it's £/G/Speed inherently, with mobos, especially now, it's £/stats/Newtech implementation.

With mobos now, we could be on the verge of a double set of standards that will be with us for a long time. Pretty much a b1tch back in the day if u got a mobo with USB1.1 when USB2.0 was just coming out. Similarly with SATA3. If u spend zillions on SSDs with a SATA2 controller, u could be upset.Quote

18-08-2009, 02:19:15

I like this board.Elegant.However i heard that EVGA will have to do better with their BIOS in the future. It`s not old tech like someone said, i think after a price drop this board could be a best buy from OCC`ers. Maybe not all of them are asking for new tech like SATA III which i doubt it will be really something much better in speed than SATAIIQuote

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