Spring Deals Automotive Best Books of the Month Casual Friday Style nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Stream your favorites. Amazon music Unlimited. Learn more. All-New Fire 7, starting at $49.99 Only: $44.99 Grocery Handmade Personalized Jewelry Home and Garden Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon MMM MMM MMM  Echo Fire 7, starting at $49.99 Kindle Paperwhite AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop Now TG18PP_gno

on May 15, 2008
This review will be divided in three parts dealing with the chipset choice, the 780 itself and specifically with the EVGA mobo.

When choosing a chipset for your new mobo, you are confronted with basically two choices: Intel and nVidia.
Intel chipsets are very stable and highly overclockable. If you buy an Intel mobo, you will be pleased to find out that on top of their stability they have no chipset fans, what contributes to the overall low level of noise of your system.
The downside of the choice is that they do not support SLI, but Cross Fire instead. If you are a gamer, this is an issue because nVidia video cards are far ahead ATI's in terms of performance and power consumption.
nVidia mobos obviously support SLI, but have a serious thermal issue. Their chipsets get extremely hot and, perhaps because of that, are generally more limited when it comes to overclocking. My own personal claim about it: nVidia, PLEASE, INVEST IN NEWER DIES TO SOLVE IT!
This thermal issue, in turn, contributes to overall noise level, for you are forced to place a 60mm fan over your chipset. Summing up: if you run CPU intensive applications, like simulations, go for an Intel chipset/mobo. If you are a gamer, you probably have to choose NVIDIA.
Of course, all this discussion assumes you have chosen an Intel processor.

If you have chosen an nVidia chipset, the choices today are 780 and 790. Ruling out the 790 for its price and DDR3 issues, you're locked with 780.
As you probably read elsewhere, the 780 is just a 680 with 3 PCIE slots (2 of them are 2.0), ESA support and, most important of all, support to new 45nm Intel processors. Nothing else changed dramatically.
Sometimes, 1333Mhz FSB support is advertised as something new, but it's not. Remember that xx50 processors were already supported by 680 mobos. The real issue is the 45nm Penryn technology.
nVidia could release 680 mobos with Penryn support if minor fixes were made. Quite understandably, however, they have opted to fix it and add some gimmicks to throw in a new product and basket the marketing gains.

So far, then, two conclusions: the first one is that 680 mobos no longer make sense. The second is that you should buy a 780 mobo if, and only if, you are buying a new system today. If you are satisfied with your non-Penryn system, just up grading your mobo makes no sense.

But suppose you're buying a new rig today and decided for the 780. What are the choices?

As most people know, nVidia authorized partners do not produce their mobos. Instead, nVidia centralizes the process and allows them just to print their names (EVGA, XFX etc.) on the board. Therefore, the choice between these manufacturers is very subjective and done by details like warranty, RMA policies etc. Because my previous experience with EVGA was very good in terms of bios up-dates, I stick to them.
What most people don't know, however, is that nVidia itself does not produce mobos as well. They buy them from Foxconn, medium-medium quality producer from Taiwan.
In other words, be advised that you are not buying an nVidia/EVGA/BFG/XFX mobo; you're buying a Foxconn mobo.
That said, what follows applies almost 100% to all these other manufacturers.

It's a great product with two serious issues.
The first one is its original incompatibility with SATA optical drives. The problem was fixed via bios update and there is a chance that if you buy a brand new mobo today you won't experience it. I had to go through it and it was a hard time: blue screen when trying to install anything, than finding an old IDE optical drive, updates...

The second one is the position of the chipset fan (remember what I said before about heating?). The way it's placed, it blows hot air directly on your video card. Not the smartest thing to do considering that my 8800 Ultra already runs at 72C.
Some have fixed it using a regular 60mm fan placed over the chipset radiator and inverting the airflow.
I find this solution cumbersome for you won't be able to use the fittings to securely place the fan on the mobo.
My suggestion is to cut the red and black wires of the fan about half their length and invert them, connecting the first half of the black wire to the second half of the red wire and vice-versa. You get the inverted airflow in a more elegant way.

Others complain about minor issues such as non-solid capacitors outside the voltage regulation circuit, could-be-better codec etc, but these are minor.

Over all, a good product.
22 comments| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on July 23, 2009
Great Base Item for the following system:

- Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Processor, 2.83 GHz,
12M L2 Cache, 1333MHz FSB, LGA775
- Vista Business 64-bit Operating System
- Zalman CNPS9700NT Copper Heat Pipe CPU Cooler
4 GB Dual Channel Memory Kit
- EVGA 512-P3-N976-AR e-GeForce 9800 GT
Superclocked 512MB DDR3 PCI-E 2.0 Graphics Card
- WD VelociRaptor 300 GB Hard Drive 2.5 Inch,
16 MB Cache, 10,000 RPM SATA II WD3000GLFS
- CORSAIR 650w TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 4, 2008
Pos) Great Board Works very well with the SLI feature of Ram and Cards alike! Alot better than the lower 750i board. The SLI-EPP features are a great benifet over the 750i board. When buying Ram make sure you get SLI approved Ram for the extra speed. Or EPP approved Ram. EPP and SLI are the same.

Neg) None so far really. Ive only had the board for a week or 2. MCP runs alittle hot. Keep an eye out on it. Called EVGA support and they told me the normal operating temps of the MPC is 50oC - 85oC mine runs 65oC idol w/Fan. I recommend u put on extra fan on it. I made a Homemade one.

P.S)Make sure you have an 8 Pin power supply plug and not the 4 Pin. Do not use only the 4 pin you will overheat the board. U need a 500watt power supply min with this board (trust me)
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 28, 2008
nVidia in their current marketing scheme can't name anything correctly, but that's another story. Their really is alot of good with this board, more than bad. NOTE: This is a Foxconn board. It is made for XFX/Evga, and Foxconn is a middle to cheap mobo manufacturer. Not exactly ASUS here, but a good board and not as bad as some other Mfg's or even other Foxconn products.

If you are new to overclocking or never had the proper tools to do so, this board is for you. Simply put, it is the most user friendly board I have seen in awhile. Very easy to assemble, good manual. The front case header wires are in the middle of the board (?) as opposed to bottom right as is custumary. Everything you need is in the BIOS. Simply press the "Delete" or "Del" key on powerup to go into the BIOS and explore. Yes you can get into some trouble, but usually the settings are green colored meaning "safe" or red colored when you exceed them. I owned the 680i too, and this is similiar with less bugs in it.

They added a chip for the PCI-E 2.0, and 3 Way SLI. Only the 1rst and 3rd slots are PCI-E 2.0, the middle is x16. But really the bandwidth of 2.0 is barely touched even with the newer 2.0 video cards. Only GTX and Ultra cards can run 3 Way SLI too. The 9800GTX was just released, you can use these too.

The memory standard is DDR2-1200. I will caution everyone going out and getting memory beyond 800 that the BIOS defaults to 800 for ALL MEMORY. You need to change that in the BIOS. Its fairly simple to change the timings and voltage, and as usual, follow the specs of your memory. There is some confusion about what qualifies as SLI memory. Anything that says SLI or EPP (Extended Performance Profile) qualifies. I am currently using Transcend DDR2-1200, you can get on the Egg when in stock. It's cheap, has huge heatsinks, is rated as 1200 MHz with 5-5-5-15 2T timing @2.2Volts. Think 2 gigs is like $100. It's not even rated as SLI Memory but BIOS sees it as such with 2 sticks. For some reason with 4 sticks the "SLI enabled" memory option in the BIOS disappears . Nice micron chips to boot! But this is just my opinion, use your own discretion. Running 4 banks of memory will also slow you down some too, if OC'ing is your main goal. My suggestion if you want to play with your memory, download Memtest 86 to a floppy and boot to that and see if your settings are stable. The test will take about 45 min to run full 9 cycles. I was able to get stable 1330 MHz on a relaxed 6-7-7-20 @2.30 Volts. Some people have screenshots of 1400 MHz too! So overall DDR3 has little to offer especially at some of the timings it has. Plus you save some money, although the cost of DDR3 keeps coming down every day, still doesn't justify the current pricing.

CPU support for 45nm chips is nice when they materialize. The voltage increments in the BIOS allow for very fine adjustments. Think it's 0.005 Volts. I bought a factory sealed Q6700 on E-auction for $300 around Christmas and got it to 3.8 GHz on this board, not much higher for reasons I will state later. In the BIOS you have the option of "Linked" CPU to memory or "Unlinked" to set your own CPU FSB to memory MHz. I don't recommend going over 1.5:1 CPU FSB:Memory. But that depends on the chip you are using. I know the Q6600 can OC to 4.0GHz with a 9x multiplies and pushing the bus up alot.

The problem with OC'ing this board, simply put, is overheating. This is something nVidia has been doing awhile, and is a trend they must stop. There are other boards that will OC better, just not with nVidia chipsets. nVidia make chips using older dies instead of newer shrinks to save money. The Northbridge or "SPP" has this huge razor sharp finned heatsink with a cheap little clip on fan that blows hot air onto your video card. You can adjust the Fan speed in the BIOS, I run at 100% but it is very noisy. Then again, I don't really care about the noise so much. The smaller Southbridge or "MCP" gets way too hot. I can't get stable 4 GHz OC because the BIOS temps on this thing get close to 80 C and shuts down. The chip will reside underneath you video card if you are using long cards (8800GT, GTS, GTX, etc) For these reasons, if you want maximum OCability, don't buy this board without liquid cooling. I'm using a Koolance Exos 2 system for the CPU and GPU. I don't want to buy the water blocks for the chipsets because I am upgrading to the 790i. Thanks eVGA ;). The 90 day step up works for this board, and if you purchase from Amazon, it is on the eVGA list of recommended e-tailers.

I haven't tried 3 Way yet, can't afford 3. But I have a 9800GX2 coming. The scaling improvement of 3 cards over 2 is less than going 2 from 1. Although some of the benchmarks have some good scaling performance. So if you demand the best Video with mediocre OCing, this board is for you.

One last thing about Amazon customer service. I read that rant that guy went on, and was not my experience at all. The price is cheaper than the Egg or alot of other places. Free shipping, no tax. Love it. I actually have 2 boards. This first was reported by UPS as damaged in transit. Called amazon (you really need to dig the help section for the phone call back option) and next day they sent me another. The other I threw in the garbage ;. The phone reps are foreigners contracted out, but are very knowlegeable and have been empowered to do more that alot of other companies would have. For these reasons, I really will check Amazon first when looking for my next and future builds. And like I said, eVGA will allow you to step up to new board like the 790i simply pay the price diffrence from what you paid for this ($239) minus the cost of the new part ($329) = $80. Great Mfg, great retailer.
44 comments| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on May 6, 2013
Newer boards have come out since I got this, but I still play anything I want on it with two 8800GTs in SLI. Definitely underated for its power management and cool running. Love it!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on April 2, 2013
The product was defective on arrival and client chose to blame the computer company I hired to install it. He sent it in its factory box with no additional box or padding. All I know is it didn't work, im out $220 dollars and the seller just stonewalled on his responsibility. Buyer beware.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on August 31, 2008
Works great. If you get a rebate, be prepared to contest it because they may say you didn't sent all the required docs.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 4, 2008
I really like this board. I will not go into specifics, but one thing that I would like to make certain:
Evga has SUPERB customer service!!!

I am totally tired of calling MS just to talk to someone in India that couldn't care less. Evga will help you out... trust me!! A better choice between XFX and PNY.

A good buy!!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on February 7, 2014
i used it for 5 year since 2008 and its work with heavy duty 24/7 i use it for gaming and for my major
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on June 30, 2008
This is the best product out there far way better than asus card for a lower price, tech support is great, strongly rec. to everyone.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you are posting in the form of a question.
Please enter a question.
See all 2 answered questions

Need customer service? Click here