Top critical review
First Was DOA, Two RMAs Were DOA, Final "Died" About 1.5 Years Later, But Resurrected After RAM Cleaned
on April 18, 2011
UPDATE - May 25, 2014:
The fourth board is back in service. i tried to sell off the whole machine on eBay for parts and no one bought it. Dragged it to Philly to try to sell it easier with no shipping for Philly buyers... no good. Dragged it back to my house again. This monster is heavy, BTW. A few days of it sitting around, i decided "WTH, check it out one more time before throwing it to the recyclers". i plugged it in, powered it on, and nothing happened, as before. Opened it up, pulled out the memory, set them down in a row so i could tell which came out from which slot, put the first one in... Startup. Wait. What? Really? i put each stick of RAM in, on its own, till i found the one that was keeping the board from booting. Turned out the third stick (they're all the same, 8GB worth, in 4 sticks) had some scum on about five pins. Uh... how? HOW did five pins get scum on them, spontaneously? i cleaned it off and the board had no complaints with the stick. Put all four in, have been using the machine since. i don't understand this. i have added two stars back to this review to be fair to EVGA (see the last paragraph of the original review below). Whatever the cause of the memory scum, the board (the FORTH RMA) DOES indeed WORK. Still, i'm migrating to Macs. i'll never build or buy another PC again. Most of my computing is done on a MacBook Pro 5,5. Planning on a Mac Pro some time soon-ish.
UPDATE - September 23, 2012:
The fourth board in my experience with the EVGA nForce 780i SLI FTW died about three months ago. It had been turned off for a few months while i was moving my studio around. Once put back into service, it ran fine for about a week and then it stopped recognizing the Sound Blaster X-Fi past reboot in any PCI slot. After removing of the X-Fi, i used the motherboard's internal audio for a few weeks to a month and then the motherboard stopped booting. No video, no error codes, no beeping, nothing. i didn't even want to deal with EVGA again. i've given up. This is the worst motherboard experience i've ever had. Many hundreds of dollars of wasted money and months of wasted time. The amount of frustration is without measure. Self-building computers is just self-abuse and voodoo. Don't do it. Buy a pre-built machine with a single unified warranty. The money you save by building yourself might seem great, but it's not worth it if you have component problems.
Original Review - April 18, 2011:
i have had a lot of misery with the last two computer builds i've done. i'm experienced in computer building and operation. It's kind of a lifetime hobby and profession. After the experiences i had with the Asus Striker Extreme and this EVGA board, i will never ever build a computer again. It's just not worth it. i'm not a geek or a nerd. i want a computer that works as a tool, not something i'm going to hack at for fun. It's not fun. Not any more.
i bought this board to replace my miserable Asus Striker Extreme. i wont even bother talking about that board here. The EVGA board was purchased new but was DOA. Reading up on the problem (POST messages on the LCD) taught me that a number of these boards were DOA from the manufacturer. It was just the way things were. The real problem i had was in the RMA process. The second board they sent me was similarly DOA (and at this point, i was never going to get a brand new, unused board ever again because the product was at the end of its life and no more were being manufactured). The second RMA replacement wasn't even worth installing as the board itself was physically warped. i contacted customer service once more and sent photos. They were very prompt with the RMA process and the third board worked in a bare-bones power-up, so i installed it. It worked fine but i have no idea how long that will last.
The experience was horrible and part of that blame lies on me for thinking that computer parts were sensible. Fact is, there's no good reason to self-build a PC these days. Whatever money you save doing that is sure to be compensated for in frustration on researching compatibility of parts and the actual assembly and testing (and RMA of defective or incompatible parts). Example: the Asus Striker Extreme had serious memory compatibility problems (the brand or cost of the memory didn't matter and the list of verified compatible memory was out of date on the date of shipping of the product). The EVGA board had a better track record with memory compatibility, but the same general insanity is present there too: you have a "list" of "compatible" memory which does not tend to be up-to-date by the time the product has been on the market (types and brands change, become unavailable, etc). It was clear that, using the recommended listed memory brands/types, you couldn't actually install the maximum amount of memory the board is advertised to utilize.
There's a lot more to my complaints about system building but that's not what the review is about.
EVGA was actually relatively responsive to me once i sent them photographic proof that they sent me a board that was junk due to physical deformity. i gave three stars in my rating based on the fact that they did resolve the overall situation and that i did end up with a functioning board. They lost two stars because of the DOA original purchase, the two DOA RMA units and the fact that one of those RMAs was so bad as to be shameful that someone actually shipped it to me.