Available throughout Europe at approximately €355 - 100 Euros more than the Gigabyte EX58 Extreme and Asus Rampage II Extreme, and nearly thrice the price of the AsRock X58 Extreme - the EVGA X58 SLI Classified E760 has a very spicy price tag.
So, is the E760 worth that price level? Not for most people, no.
Ultimately, the answer varies depending on who you ask. For normal users we feel it would almost definitely be overkill. But for ultra high-end gamers having at least two cards running SLI and - more importantly - with the craving for the best hardware, also considering other hardcore enthusiasts and overclockers with the need to go beyond the 5 GHz "border" on their Intel Core i7 processor - the Classified E760 is, simply put, the very best choice out there.
Of course you could get the AsRock equivalent for much less, but it won’t spit out similar results or keep your Core i7 just as stable on everyday operation. Or you could get the Gigabyte or ASUS Extreme models, which are both good boards that I’ve also owned myself, yet none of the two boast similar overclocking values, efficient phases, and an equally great PCI Express layout.
Having experienced the Classified E760 under heavy load in various situations, taking a spoiled Intel Core i7 975 engineering sample past 5 GHz, and boosting a retail Intel Core i7 920 up to almost 250 QPI, I would personally be happy to throw my money at an E760.
I have known EVGA products for a few years already. I have owned both their 680i motherboard as well as the 790i-based unit. Where the 680i was truly horrible, the 790i rectified most of that situation - and processor class and performance aside, the Classified E760 still manages to play in an entirely different league altogether.
Having had the pleasure of putting the board through its paces using air and liquid nitrogen with both Radeon and GeForce cards, and having experienced performance and stability first-hand, I’m left with overall satisfaction.
As such the Classified E760 has no flaws, and I can think of only a few minor issues that need be addressed. I would like to see the possibility of BIOS flashing via a solution similar to EzFlash
from ASUS, instead of the current method of burning an ISO-file to a CD and flashing from there. And although not really called for on a daily basis an optional fan included in a $500 board package might also be a good idea.
Our end verdict is that EVGA has built the ultimate in Nehalem boards. Keeping in mind that the E760 will not fit everyone - nor was it developed to do so - it nevertheless is the true kingpin
of overclocking [Sorry Vince, ed.].
So, if you happen to find yourself hunting for an X58 mainboard equipped with the muscle to handle the most extreme overclocking experiments, you should take a closer look at the EVGA X58 SLI Classified E760. Disappointment is not an option, really.
- Overclocking craziness, reaching up to ~250 base clock/QPI
- 3-Way SLI + PhysX + Audio, excellent PCI Express layout
- Features and the E-Leet Tuning Utility with its real-time options
- Heavy-duty Digital PWM capable of 600 watts of power
- An outrageously good-looking color combination
- Somewhat limited availability [at least throughout the EU]
- At about €355 it’s not exactly a cheap investment
- Unable to add titles to profiles, no warning when overwriting
- LED tends to flash erratically when doing +240 base clock
- Windows Hibernate does not always power off the board
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