What's new
  • Please do not post any links until you have 3 posts as they will automatically be rejected to prevent SPAM. Many words are also blocked due to being used in SPAM Messages. Thanks!

EVGA X58 SLI Micro LGA1366 Motherboard Review

Status
Not open for further replies.

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
<center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/evga_logo-1.png" alt="EVGA Logo">


<b>EVGA X58 SLI Micro LGA1366 Motherboard Review</b></center>



<b>Price:</b> $248+ CND <a href="http://hardwarecanucks.pricecanada.com/p.php/EVGA-121-BL-E756-TR-Micro-ATX-SLI-Micro-121BLE756TR-618131/?matched_search=121-BL-E756-TR">Price Comparison</a>
<b>Manufacturer Product Page:</b> <a href="http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=121-BL-E756-TR&family=Motherboard%20Family"></a>EVGA Corporation
<b>TechWIKI Info:</b> <a href="http://techwiki.hardwarecanucks.com/product/1MzEyNTQ1NDU/EVGA-X58-SLI-Micro/">EVGA X58 SLI Micro - TechWIKI</a>
<b>Manufacturer's Part Number:</b> 121-BL-E756-TR
<b>Warranty:</b> 1 + 1 Year upon registration


<p style="text-align: justify;">You remember the little kid in your class? You know, the one that every year seemed to be just that much smaller than anyone else. The kid that everyone picked on when they needed to feel better about themselves. He just took it...gave up his lunch money, let the girls laugh at him, always sat on the sidelines while the rest of the class played. Well believe it or not, that kid went to university putting 60 pounds of lean muscle to his 140lb 5' 7" frame after high-school and became the starting running back winning a couple Vanier cups and dating the entire cheerleading squad...twice. The saying "good things come in small packages" is the point of this story and the point of this motherboard.

The mATX form factor has really made a name for itself over the last few years and that has carried forward to the X58 chipset with fully featured monster boards packed into a small mATX form factor. The EVGA X58 SLI Micro continues that tradition offering pretty much everything its full ATX X58 counterparts provide. The one big difference is the mATX form factor. Measuring in at 2.5 inches shorter than the standard ATX form factor, the mATX X58 SLI Micro offers a multitude of options for smaller cases and creative HTPC systems.

We have a lot to look at with this board including a plethora of hardware to test fit. This list includes multiple video cards as well as the usual Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme test fitting session. We have a few kits of memory to test for XMP profile compatibility and a handful of CPU's to test in order to maximize every aspect of this little power house in the overclocking arena. Our expectations of the X58 SLI Micro are quite high having used the rest of the EVGA X58 lineup with great success. We will definitely find out if good things can indeed come in small packages.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/index-1.jpg" alt="EVGA X58 SLI Micro"></center>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Chipset Specifications & Features

Specifications & Features

<p style="text-align: justify;">We presented the X58 chipset diagram in the ASUS Rampage II Gene mATX motherboard review just a short while ago so we won't be looking at it again here. Despite the small size of the EVGA X58 SLI Micro - being a mATX motherboard at only 9.6" tall - it packs almost all of the firepower the X58 chipset offers. Naturally there are going to be a couple short comings of the mATX board simply due to size.

The predominant items missing are expansion slots. Both PCI and PCI-E slots are limited, but this is the nature of the beast. If you want a smaller footprint, you will have to accept there just won't be the space for expansion cards. There is also only a single 10/100/1000 network connection at the rear I/O panel, and no legacy IDE controller onboard. Aside from the expansion cards, and single network connection, and the lack of an IDE channel, the X58 SLI Micro is pretty much everything a full size ATX motherboard is. Here is a complete list of specifications pulled from the EVGA web site, keep in mind that the EVGA web site isn't exactly bang on with the specs for this motherboard.</p><center><table border="0" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" width="697"><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Performance</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Based on Intel X58/ICH10R chipset<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Supports Intel Core i7 Processors<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 133 MHz QPI</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Memory</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 6 x 240-pin DIMM sockets<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Triple Channel DDR3<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Maximum of 12GB of DDR3 1600MHz+ (SZ1A BIOS)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Expansion Slots</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 2 x PCIe x16, 1 x PCIe x1<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 x PCI (32-bit PCI, support for PCI 2.1)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Storage I/O</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 0 x UltraDMA133<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 6 x Serial ATA 300MB/sec<br>supports RAID 0, RAID1, RAID 0+1, RAID5, JBOD</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Integrated Peripherals</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 8 Channel High Definition<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 x 10/100/1000</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Multi I/O</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 1 x PS2 Keyboard<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> 12 x USB2.0 ports (8 external + 4 internal headers)<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Audio connector (Line-in, Line-out, MIC)<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> FireWire 1394A (1 external, 2 header)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="99px"><b>Form Factor</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="99px"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> mATX Form Factor<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Length: 9.6in - 243.6mm<br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58sliclassified/sp-1.png" align="absmiddle"> Width: 9.6in - 243.6mm</td></tr></table></center>


Features

<p style="text-align: justify;">Now that we are aware of what the board contains for specifications, here are some short blurbs about a few of the nicer features offered on the EVGA X58 SLI Micro.</p><table align="center" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" width="662px"><tr><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>Intel® Core i7 Support</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/feat-1.png" style="float: left; margin: 4px 5px 0 0;" />The Intel X58 chipset supporting Intel Core i7 and Xeon processors is designed for performance. With four physical cores in addition to four more virtual cores thanks to the return of Hyper-Threading, the Intel Core i7 is a multi-threading marvel and clock-per-clock; the fastest desktop processor available right now.</td><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>2-Way SLI and CrossFireX Support</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/feat-2.png" style="float: left; margin: 4px 5px 0 0;" />For the first time ever, the enthusiast is in the driver seat with the Intel X58 chipset. Having the choice of running either ATI CrossFireX, or NVIDIA SLI provides a freedom enthusiasts have never experienced. The EVGA X58 SLI Micro provides two 16X PCI-E slots allowing users to run two of their favorite video cards in a multi-GPU platform.</td></tr><tr><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>6 - Phase Power Design</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/feat-3.jpg" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0 0 5px;" />The EVGA X58 SLI Micro is ready for demanding CPU loads featuring a true 6-phase CPU PWM design. Each phase offers quality ferrite core inductors paired with lowRDS(on) MOSFETs. A single 8-pin EPS CPU power connector supplies power to the CPU and with the components chosen for the CPU PWM, temperatures should remain in check.</td><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>Individual Passive Heat Sinks</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/feat-4.jpg" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0 0 5px;" />Passive heat sinks are used exclusively across the EVGA X58 SLI Micro landscape. The CPU PWM, X58 chipset, and ICH10/R south bridge all use passively cooled aluminum heat sinks that do not connect to each other. This allows the ease of swapping individual heat sinks for water cooled components.</td></tr><tr><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>On-Board Power/Reset Buttons</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/feat-5.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 4px 5px 0 0;" />With increasing tech station and open air bench station use, onboard power and reset buttons are a feature users demand in today's high-end motherboards. Despite the limited real estate with the mATX design, the EVGA X58 SLI Micro is laid out to still allow both on-board power and reset buttons that function as onboard hard drive activity and power lights.</td><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>On-Board Diagnostics LED Readout</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/feat-6.jpg" style="float: left; margin: 4px 5px 0 0;" />EVGA offered this feature on their first ever in-house motherboard design and the tradition continues. On-board diagnostic LED readout offers the end-user an aid in troubleshooting POST issues. Again, despite the smaller footprint offered by the X58 SLI Micro, this important troubleshooting feature was not left out.</td></tr><tr><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>Right-Angled SATA Ports</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/feat-7.jpg" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0 0 5px;" />Right-angled SATA connectors may seem like a small feature but on a mATX motherboard they are crucial. Right-angled SATA ports offer improved cable management and aid in allowing large video cards to mount without interference. So not only do they allow for unabated GPU installation, they improve the end users ability to cleanly install the motherboard in the system without a wiring nightmare.</td><td align="justify" valign="top" bgcolor="#ececec" width="50%"><center><b>Modder Friendly Color Scheme</b></center><br><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/feat-8.jpg" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0 0 5px;" />Obviously color scheme of a motherboard is going to come down to personal taste, but when the EVGA X58 Classified was first introduced, the consensus was that the color scheme used was one of the best available at the time. It is nice to see the Classified trademark black and red color scheme carried over to the X58 SLI Micro. Featuring a dark PCB and a combination of black and red connectors, the X58 SLI Micro is primed for some impressive color matched installations.</td></tr></table><p style="text-align: justify;">We will now move on to have a look at the package, the accessories, followed by the X58 SLI Micro motherboard itself.</p>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Package & Accessories

Package & Accessories

<p style="text-align: justify;">EVGA wastes no cardboard turning this small motherboard into an oversized package. Quite often in this industry a bigger package seems to be better, that is definitely not the case with the EVGA X58 SLI Micro as EVGA presents a package that cannot be any larger than the motherboard itself. This may or may not be a beneficial aspect of the package, we will explain shortly.</p><center>
package-1.jpg
package-2.jpg
package-3.jpg
package-4.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Like the EVGA X58 SLI, X58 SLI Classified, and X58 SLI LE before it, the X58 SLI Micro maintains the same theme that all EVGA X58 motherboards have touted on the outside of the package. The machined steel lettering backed by an almost carbon fiber like cloth material provide a very rugged and industrial look to the package. Our sample arrived wrapped in cellophane providing the end user with the security that their motherboard is new and untouched. The front of the package contains very little more than the name of the motherboard and EVGA branding. The rear of the package hosts slightly more information with a features list, contents list, and a brief explanation of the warranty with directions for more warranty information on their web site.</p><center>
package-5.jpg
package-6.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">What we really like about the EVGA X58 SLI Micro package is that the cardboard used is the same as that of the X58 Classified. This beefy heavyweight cardboard provides an extremely strong and secure exterior packaging for the contents inside. The corners are not going to crumple if dropped on the edges, a puncture is going to take some force to get through, and the overall feel of the package is very tough. We liked this about the Classified box, and we really like seeing it here with the X58 SLI Micro as well.

Another nice touch is the sticker that is immediately present upon first opening the package. EVGA is so confident in their customer service that they don't want you taking the motherboard back to your retailer should you encounter a problem. Instead, they would prefer you contact them directly. An ulterior motive for this may be that EVGA can then better track issues in production or simply keep track of RMA'd motherboards better than they could should the retailer handle issues.</p><center>
package-7.jpg
package-8.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Further into the package we find two layers. The top layer houses the manual, installation CD, quick start poster, and accessories. Underneath the cardboard separator is the X58 SLI Micro motherboard. The board is simply sitting on the box with no protection surrounding the motherboard. As we mentioned earlier, the package couldn't have been any bigger than the motherboard and we were right. Given the thick cardboard used for the outer package, and the fact that the motherboard really can't slide around at all inside this package, we feel the safety of the motherboard during transport is more than adequate. Sure we would love to see a foam insert protecting the motherboard further like in the X58 SLI Classifieds package, but understand that not every motherboard can get the premium package of the Classified.</p><center>
package-9.jpg
package-10.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">We mentioned that the accessories accompanying the X58 SLI Micro are located in the top layer of the package, here is a list of the very minimalistic accessory package:</p>
  • 1 x 4-Pin Molex Connector > Dual 5-Pin SATA Connector
  • 2 x Black SATA Cables
  • 1 x Double Spaced Flexible SLI Bridge
  • 1 x USB 2.0 & 1 x 6-pin Firewire PCI Expansion Bracket
  • Clip less Rear I/O panel
  • User Manual
  • Visual Quick start Poster
  • Driver Installation CD
<p style="text-align: justify;">The obvious missing component is the double spaced CrossFireX bridge. EVGA has failed to supply Crossfire bridges in all of its X58 motherboard offerings. With bridges that are suppose to accompany the video cards, this wouldn't be an issue, but the problem is that many video cards are only supplied with single spaced Crossfire Bridges which are useless on a double spaced motherboard. We understand EVGA pushing SLI capabilities of their X58 lineup due to the fact that EVGA only sells NVIDIA based video cards, but to not supply double spaced Crossfire bridges - which cripples the use of the motherboard - is unacceptable in our opinions. It would cost EVGA literally pennies to supply the appropriate bridge where the end user will have to pay up to or over $10 to acquire one...if they can be found. Again, we understand the lack of promoting Crossfire on your motherboard EVGA, but not supplying an appropriate Crossfire bridge is just stupid in the mind of this reviewer.

On top of the continued lack of a Crossfire bridge, the rest of the accessory package is painfully small. Only two SATA cables are provided and nothing else is offered to allow the X58 SLI Micro to stand out from the competition. We just have to keep in mind that this clearly isn't a premier package and the accessories that accompany it are also not that of a premier package.</p><center>
package-11.jpg
package-12.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Normally we would look at a couple of the interesting accessory items but since none of those exist in this package, we will leave this section at that.</p>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
A Closer Look at the EVGA X58 SLI Micro

A Closer Look at the EVGA X58 SLI Micro

<center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/layout-1.jpg" alt="" border="0"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Its small, is cramped, it is everything the big boards are but without all the excess baggage. Seriously though, despite the smaller footprint, the EVGA X58 SLI Micro really does offer pretty much everything full ATX X58 motherboards do aside from a couple minor items outlined in the Specifications & Features section. Let's now go in for a closer look at the scenery of this small landmass.</p><center>
layout-2.jpg
layout-3.jpg
layout-4.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The chipset and PWM heat sinks really are the defining features of the X58 SLI Micro. They are more intricate than traditional heat sinks and some would even go as far as saying they are artistic and decorative. Make no mistake though, they serve a purpose. In addition to their function, the form seems to play an important role as well, one of accommodation for large CPU heat sinks. Despite the elaborate design, they actually appear to be well suited to allow large CPU coolers of various sizes to fit in the clearing that is occupied by the LGA1366 socket.

We do have one beef, and it is a pretty big one in our opinions. The placement of the 8-pin CPU power connector is just...well, odd. Every other X58 motherboard from EVGA has had the 8-pin power connector at the edge of the board for easy cable management. On the X58 SLI Micro, however, the 8-pin connector is down near the north bridge, tucked in-between the PWM and NB heat sinks. Getting a cable in here is not ideal and somewhat silly to be honest. We are definitely scratching our head over this placement, regardless of the cramped layout design, this connector is a nightmare to deal with for clean cable management.</p><center>
layout-5.jpg
layout-6.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">As we move across the top edge of the motherboard we come to the DIMM slots and another familiar EVGA feature. A row of voltage read points lines the upper edge of the motherboard allowing for easy voltage reading of all voltages adjustable from the BIOS. Having looked at previous EVGA X58 motherboards with this feature, we are getting quite use to the handy availability of these read points. The rest of the DIMM area is quite normal with the six DIMM slots and 24-pin ATX power connector. The vDIMM power circuit appears to be run by a two phase setup with LowRDS(on) MOSFETs matched to a pair of caps and a choke, fairly standard stuff. We also have an upright BIOS battery located up here which helps save a tiny bit of real estate compared to one that lays flat.</p><center>
layout-7.jpg
layout-8.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">As mentioned in the Specifications & Features section, the SATAII ports on the X58 SLI Micro are all at a 90 degree angle providing ideal cable management connectivity. This further contradicts the 8-pin CPU connector since EVGA is cognoscente of cable management, although these connectors are more about compatibility with large video cards we guess. The rest of the south bridge neighborhood is pretty much standard practice with front panel and USB/1394 firewire headers lining the bottom of the board. We also have the passive - un-attached - south bridge heat sink and LED diagnostic POST readout. We mention the segregated south bridge heat sink because it is something we really like to see. No heat pipe assembly snaking its way across the entire motherboard from SB to NB to PWM forcing users to change all three heat sinks should they want to water cool just one.</p><center>
layout-9.jpg
layout-10.jpg
layout-11.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The typical ATX layout continues along the bottom edge with the standard location of the power/reset/CMOS clear buttons and fan headers. These buttons are the foundation of the major mATX layout handicap, the small expansion card area. This is the one big draw back to the mATX form factor. At the same time, this is the one major feature to the mATX form factor. Basically, if you want lots of expansion slots, buy full ATX and leave the mATX world to enjoy the small footprint.

Spacing of the expansion slots is about as good as you could ask for although some people would like to see the PCI and PCI-E 1X slot exchanged. With a dual slot cooler in the top slot, the PCI-E 1X slot is un-useable and PCI-E 1X slots are finally getting cards that can put them to use. Of course, we should be able to run a single GPU solution in the lower slot alleviating that issue. The double spacing of the PCI-E 16X lanes ensures that dual GTX 295 won't even be a problem for this little guy.</p><center>
layout-12.jpg
layout-13.jpg
layout-14.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">As was just mentioned, all three heat sinks are free standing independent structures. They are in no way linked to each other aside from a cohesive design stand point...and what a design they have. The north bridge heat sink is the primary eye catcher but the PWM and south bridge heat sinks definitely have their own unique design. The idea behind all three is surface area through layers. Overlapping, space saving layers of fins protrude the PWM and NB heat sinks while the SB is an intricate assembly of layers seemingly folded over on themselves. Overall we quite like the design element this heat sink trio brings to the table. With a flat black finish, the heat sinks had this reviewer impressed at the door. We'll see how they perform in our Heat & Acoustical Testing section a little later on...if there are sensors to truly let us test.</p><center>
layout-15.jpg
layout-16.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The last of the layout photos include the rear I/O panel as well as the back side of the motherboard. The rear I/O panel features a total of 8 USB ports, a single gigabit network connection, a single PS/2 connector and the standard audio package including analog and digital outputs. There is a large gap right square in the middle of the I/O panel that has us wondering why, hopefully EVGA doesn't think it will be useful for routing that awfully placed 8-pin CPU cable.

The backside of the motherboard is perfect, not a single push pin in sight. EVGA has mounted all three heat sinks with screws and we couldn't have asked for anything more. Let us now turn our attention to getting things installed in this micro of a giant motherboard.</p>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Hardware Installation

Hardware Installation

<p style="text-align: justify;">Right off the bat, I will admit that our cooling solution we are going to be doing the installation section with may not be the perfect choice for a mATX motherboard. A large, stand up cooler like the Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme (TRUE) is not synonymous with small mATX specific cases or LAN boxes. But, we figure if the TRUE fits, then anything else should. Plus, we don't have any low profile coolers laying around to test with...if there even is such a thing anymore.</p><center>
install-1.jpg
install-2.jpg
install-3.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">First up is the trio of memory test fits. In this review we will be utilizing three kits of memory, all with varying heat sink profiles. With the TRUE in a North/South orientation, the wingspan reaches out over top of the first memory slot. This is bad news for OCZ Blade and Corsair Dominator/Dominator-GT owners wishing to run 6 DIMMS. Mushkin Ascent owners have no problem fitting under the TRUE in the first slot, but the width of those modules simply won't allow for 6 DIMM operation either...in any motherboard. Needless to say, 3 DIMM operation in the primary slots (outer red DIMM slots) works with all three kits of memory with the TRUE facing North/South.</p><center>
install-4.jpg
install-5.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Focusing our installation attention on fans now, we can see that even a fat 38mm thick fan will work just fine pushing air through the TRUE. It won't be able to sit down low but with a standard 25mm fan, that isn't a problem. At the top side of the motherboard, we have mounted a 25mm fan to show that there is the slightest of overhang from the fan over the top edge of the board. Even in a tight fitting case, this shouldn't be an issue and would allow a push/pull setup with at least the top fan being of the 25mm thick variety.</p><center>
install-6.jpg
install-7.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">We now swivel the TRUE 90 degrees and leave it facing East/West on the motherboard, or front to back. In this orientation memory can be in any of the 6 DIMM slots and with only three modules in the primary red slots, a 38mm fan fits nicely. Even the tall heat sinks on the Dominator-GT memory aren't going to cause an issue with a fat fan. Of course, with standard size modules or even just a 25mm fan, all 6 DIMM slots can easily be filled with a fan pushing toward the rear of the case.</p><center>
install-8.jpg
install-9.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">In the first photo above, we can see that two 38mm fans running in a push pull setup fits nicely on the TRUE amongst the EVGA X58 SLI Micro heat sinks and a kit of OCZ Blade memory in the primary red slots. At the rear of the case the PWM heat sink sits plenty low enough to accommodate any size fan on the TRUE so that isn't an issue at all. As we complete our standard test setup by adding in the GTX 295, we can see that there is a nice gap from the back of the video card to the north bridge heat sink, but there is very little room in-between the DIMM slots and the video card.

In fact, there is so little room that removing the memory is problematic. It is possible, but certainly not as simple a task as it would be without the GPU there. We would really like to see the single locking tab DIMM slots like ASUS is now using on virtually all of their motherboards. These new DIMM slots only have locking tabs on the top end of the motherboard. This would completely alleviate the tight space seen here on the X58 SLI Micro. We won't hold it against EVGA since this is a mATX motherboard and most people aren't constantly removing memory, but an inventive solution would have been nice to see.</p><center>
install-10.jpg
install-11.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Having just received a pair of MSI R4890 Cyclone OC video cards, we figured we would add a bonus set of images with these cards for the installation section of the X58 SLI Micro. Now these cards have aftermarket cooling on them and they are bigger than reference coolers and this actually was a problem in this motherboard. Despite a single slot in-between the PCI-E 16X slots, two of these cards sit too tight together and the top cards fan is actually unable to spin do to pressure from the back side of the bottom card. We alleviated the pressure with a small end cap from a GPU connector wedged between the two cards at the top near the back of the heat sinks. In the second photo, however, we can see another small issue with the bottom fan headers. These cards make it impossible to use them. Both of these issues are a product of the video card cooling solutions and not the motherboard, but one of those things you need to be on the lookout for.</p>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
BIOS Rundown

BIOSRundown


<center>
bios-1.jpg
bios-2.jpg
bios-3.jpg
bios-4.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">Like all EVGA motherboards before it, the X58 SLI Micro is powered by a Phoenix AwardBIOS. The X58 SLI Micro uses an identical layout in the BIOS to the rest of the X58 lineup. So for those familiar with the EVGA X58 lineup, you will be right at home with the X58 SLI Micro.</p><center>
bios-5.jpg
bios-6.jpg
bios-7.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">From the main headings like Integrated Peripherals to the Onboard Device sub-headings, the BIOS layout is identical to previous X58 EVGA offerings. This is definitely a good thing as from the first time we booted with the EVGA X58 3X SLI, we were comfortable with the BIOS. The location of all items and settings are very intuitive and should come quite naturally for most users. We really don't anticipate anyone not being able to find their way through this BIOS.</p><center>
bios-8.jpg
bios-9.jpg
bios-10.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">All of our Power Management options are available including the ability to wake the system at a set time or enabling hot key power on features. The PC Health Status section is also virtually identical to other EVGA X58 motherboards including the ability to monitor vCORE, vTT, vDIMM, and IOH vCORE. We can also see CPU, NB, and VREG temperature monitoring. Other X58 motherboards offered this identical monitoring page but failed to provide us the ability to monitor NB temperatures in Windows.

After many public and private requests to EVGA to allow us the option of monitoring NB temperatures in Windows, we will have to wait and see if they complied. With any motherboard, the ability to monitor temperatures of key components is essential for trouble shooting or simply preventing issues from even coming up. The platform that this ability is most vital too would be the mATX platform in our minds. With the cramped cases these motherboards will find themselves in, temperature monitoring in Windows is an absolute for as many components possible...including the NB.</p><center>
bios-11.jpg
bios-12.jpg
bios-13.jpg
bios-14.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">We now find ourselves in the familiar confines of overclock central. Like the rest of the BIOS, EVGA has done great with the overclocking section breaking the options up nicely when needing too, while leaving as few sub-menu's as possible. Once you are familiar with this section, you can easy flip through the screens adjusting settings as you go. There are a couple additions we would like to thank EVGA for tucking into the X58 BIOS which we complained about previously, the ability to see our Target CPU and Target Memory Frequency. These options were added right around the time the Classified review was posted and we are glad to see that the X58 SLI Micro has seen every single BIOS enhancement the rest of the lineup has been privy to. The screen shots above outline all of the options at our finger tips including memory timings available, voltage adjustment options, and the available CPU settings we can enable or disable. These for the most part are pretty self explanatory so we will simply move on to the available voltages chart.

This chart outlines all of the available voltage minimums and maximums that the EVGA X58 SLI Micro has to offer.</p><center><table border="0" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" width="735px"><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="100"> </td><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="100"><b>Minimum</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="100"><b>Maximum</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="100"><b>Increment</b></td><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="335"><b>Notes</b></td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">CPU VCore</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.00000v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.60000v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.00625v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Very small increments throughout the normal usage range</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">CPU VTT Voltage</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">+0.0vV</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">+1.00V</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.025V</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.200v.</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">CPU PLL VCore</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.600v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">2.700v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.075v (0.015v @ 1.800v)</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.800v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">QPI PLL VCore</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.100v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.875v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.025v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.100v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">DIMM Voltage</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.700v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">3.390v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.010v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.500v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">DIMM DQ Vref</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">-640mV</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">+630mV</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">010mV</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is +0mV</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">IOH VCore</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.100v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.875v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.025v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.100v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">IOH/ICH I/O</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.500v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">2.275v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.025v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.500v</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">ICH VCore</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.050v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">1.825v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="100">0.025v</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" width="335">Standard is 1.050v</td></tr></table></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Aside from the missing options for the PWM frequencies along with QPI and impedance signal options, this little board has about the same voltage options as the EVGA X58 Classified. Obviously the flagship Classified has a couple extra perks that aid in extreme overclocking, but the X58 SLI Micro looks like it really should hold its own in that arena as well. Overall, the X58 SLI Micro shows no deficiencies in the voltage department to accommodate all users. We are happy to see this as we had the perception that perhaps EVGA would cripple the X58 SLI Micro when it came to voltages. We were completely wrong with those thoughts.</p><center>
bios-15.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;"> The last screen is again another replica of previous X58 motherboard BIOS's. Having an almost identical BIOS to previous X58 boards has its positives such as rock solid stability and great overclocking with a ton of features. It also has its downfalls when those previous boards were lacking in certain areas. We really would like to see more extensive BIOS saving capabilities of the EVGA X58 motherboards. Being able to name saved configurations, saving to hard drive or thumb drive, things like that. ASUS, Gigabyte, DFI, and others all have these setting saving features and it is one skill that EVGA really could improve in their BIOS.</p>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Included Software

Included Software

<p style="text-align: justify;">When we first reviewed the <a href="http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/13276-evga-x58-sli-lga-1366-motherboard-review.html">EVGA X58 3X SLI</a> way back in January, we were thrilled with the E-LEET software package that EVGA came up with. It really was everything we could ask for in software for a motherboard. It offered overclocking within Windows, voltage adjustment in Windows, a clean interface that was very intuitive to use, and above all; it worked all the time. This was a new concept for bundled software with a motherboard, the "it working" part. Here we are some nine months later and while we still love E-LEET, nothing has changed.</p><center>
software-1.jpg
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The screen you see above of the driver/software installation CD that comes with the EVGA X58 SLI Micro - and all X58 motherboards from EVGA - hasn't changed either. This we are fine with. The interface is clean and represents the EVGA X58 branding well. We would have just liked to see some updates to E-LEET. We guess there are two ways to look at it, one, we want to see a great software be even greater. Or two, if it isn't broke, don't fix it. EVGA has clearly gone with the latter philosophy and we really can't fault them for it. E-LEET is about as good as it gets for motherboard software packages. Gigabyte's EasyTune 6 is pretty close but E-LEET just always works and is aesthetically better we feel. We'll be brief with our look at E-LEET since it has been covered a couple times before here & here.</p><center>
software-2.png
software-3.png
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">We our using our overclocked settings to model E-LEET - sorry to ruin the surprise - and our first two tabs are almost identical to the older version of CPU-Z. This software is clearly modeled after the overclocking standard and we couldn't be more pleased about that fact. The CPU and Memory tabs simply display the current information about their respective headings.</p><center>
software-4.png
software-5.png
software-6.png
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The heart of E-LEET starts with the third tab labeled Monitoring. This is where we get a quick - single page - snapshot of what are system is doing as far as voltages, temperatures, and even fan speed. We mentioned earlier that we would have loved to see some upgrades to E-LEET by this time and one of those upgrades would be a logging feature of this page. The ability to log all the data streaming into this page the way Everest Ultimate does would be a nice little upgrade to the already stellar E-LEET software.

The next two tabs labeled Overclocking and Voltages is where we can control pretty much every aspect of our system from the CPU multiplier when Turbo is enabled to BCLK to voltages. Every voltage that is adjustable in the BIOS is also adjustable from the E-LEET voltages tab. As mentioned, the best part of E-LEET is the fact that it always works. We have been using E-LEET to overclock and adjust voltages on the fly since January and it never fails. Even when running the EVGA X58 Classified under LN2 at CPU frequencies in excess of 5.5GHz, E-LEET is used every time we reboot the system to bring clocks up and at -100C, it works like a dream.</p><center>
software-7.png
</center><p style="text-align: justify;">The last tab of E-LEET is mostly for the About section but we also have the ability to validate our overclocks in the same manner CPU-Z does as well as the ability to setup profiles. These profiles can be triggered by key combinations and are a neat way to squeeze every last drop out of a system for benchmarking.

We don't want to harp on it but when you find something so good that normally fails so miserably, you want to give it praise. Bundled software packages have been a joke for a long time with motherboards and video cards. EVGA has really forced other manufacturers to step up their game in this capacity since introducing E-LEET and their GPU software Precision. EVGA didn't write brand new pieces of software, they took existing software packages used by enthusiasts and adapted them for their needs and have really done a great job with them both.</p>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Test Setup & Methodologies

Test Setup & Methodologies


<center><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="735px"><tr><td align="left">
setup-1.jpg
</td><td align="left">
setup-2.jpg
</td><td align="right">
setup-3.jpg
</a></td><td align="right">
setup-4.jpg
</a></td></tr></table><br /><table border="0" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="1" width="735px"><tr><td colspan="4"><b><font color="#ffffff">Test Platform:</font></b></td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Motherboard:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%"><b>EVGA X58 SLI Micro</b></td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Processor:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Intel Xeon W3540 (3845B010)<br>Intel i7 975 ES (3843A687)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Processor Cooling:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme CU<br>2 x Scythe Ultra Kaze 120MM 2000RPM 87.6CFM (DFS123812L-2000)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Thermal Paste:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Arctic Cooling MX-2</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>North Bridge Cooling:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Stock</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>South Bridge Cooling:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Stock</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>PWM Cooling:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Stock</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Memory:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Mushkin Redline Ascent 3x2GB PC3-12800 6-7-6-18 (998692)<br>OCZ Blade 3x2GB PC3-16000 7-8-7-20 (OCZ3B2000LV6GK)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Power Supply:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Ultra XPro 750W</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Video Cards:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">2 x MSI R4890 Cyclone OC (Catalyst 9.8 WHQL)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Additional Fan:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Scythe Ultra Kaze 120MM 2000RPM 87.6CFM (DFS123812L-2000)</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>Hard Drives:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Seagate 7200.9 80GB SATAII 8MB cache</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#cc9999" width="25%"><b>OS:</b></td><td align="left" bgcolor="#ececec" width="75%">Windows Vista SP1 (with all updates)</td></tr></table></center><p style="text-align: justify;">We have gone with a pretty high end setup for testing this little monster. We will be testing two sets of memory to see if there are any issues with DDR3-1600 memory at tight 6-7-6 timings or DDR3-2000 at 7-8-7 timings. We wanted to add a third, the Corsair Dominator-GT running DDR3-1866 at 7-8-7 timings but they decided not to be working any more after sitting for a couple weeks. Instead, we will run the OCZ Blade kit at the same settings as the Dominator-GT XMP profile. We don't anticipate any issues with the W3540 as the memory controller is very capable on it, but the motherboard can still play a role in how easy a kit of memory can get clocking. Going with a pair of strong HD4890's from MSI, it should be interesting to see what kind of performance we can get with this setup as it is primed and ready for some solid overclocks.</p>

Stability Overclocking Methodology

<p style="text-align: justify;">We have not made any changes to our stability testing methodology that has been used with great success in past motherboard and memory reviews. Because of this, we will simply cut and paste our previous explanation of our stability testing methodology.

<i>"Testing for true system stability is an arduous task and one that is hotly debated in open forums all the time. We have many years of experience watching these debates and have tried to put together a strong collection of stability tests to accommodate all schools of thought on the subject. Our stability testing methodology has also been a great success in finding a number of 24/7 overclocks on all kinds of systems. A lot of us here at HWC, myself included, use this same type of testing when setting up our own daily use machines and those that we setup for friends and family. This methodology is sound and shouldn't be taken lightly. We are definitely not like other sites that post a CPU-Z screen shot and then say the system passed all of our benchmarks. Our results should be considered a realistic sample of what one can expect from this motherboard for 24/7 operation."</i></p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/setup-5.jpg" alt="" border="0"></center><p style="text-align: justify;"><i>"Our virtual recipe of stability testing may not be considered true 24/7 stability testing but due to time constraints of a review, complete stability testing at so many different overclocks is virtually impossible. For that reason, we have designed the following list of programs to provide a very accurate portrait of complete system stability:</i></p><p style="text-align: justify;">That is how we do it, and if you have a problem with it, don't hesitate to let us know. Stop by the forums and let us know what you think. We believe our stability testing is among the better available that you will find in a review, especially for overclocks. We will now look at the last of our methodologies, how we run our benchmarks.</p>

Benchmark Methodology

<p style="text-align: justify;">For the majority of the benchmarks we will look at our standard two result set. The 3D/Gaming benchmarks we threw a bit of a wrench in the equation though since we are using the two MSI R4890 Cyclone OC's. <img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/method-1.png" alt="Just a sample graph outlining where the results will be coming from in the up-coming benchmarks" style="float: right; margin: 4px 0px 4px 7px">With the opportunity to do a quick CrossFireX comparison, we figured why not...it is not like overclocking the system has shown any benefits in the gaming benchmarks up to this point with i7.

Our first set of results depicted in <b>blue</b> will represent the stock settings of our Xeon W3540 (i7 950 equivalent) paired with the Mushkin Redline Ascent memory. We simply enabled the XMP profiles of the memory and left everything as is. This means Turbo is enabled and will give us the 23X CPU multiplier leaving us with an operating frequency of 3060MHz. The memory is running at DDR3-1600 6-7-6 as outlined by the Mushkin XMP profile.

Our overclocked setup will be portrayed by the <b>red</b> bars in the charts. This overclock will be what we are about to look at shortly in the Stability & Overclocking Results. We won't go into discussing this overclock here as it will be discussed at length in the next section, but it is quite a substantial overclock. Despite the heavy overclock, voltages have remained low and the system is completely 24/7 stable for whatever we want to throw at it. This overclock would be our representation of what we would do with this system for everyday use should this have been a build for a friend or ourselves.

The last item on our list of methodologies outlines how our OS is setup for the benchmarking section in order to keep the results fair.

  1. Windows Vista x64 w/SP1 is installed using a full format
  2. Intel Chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) are installed followed by a defragment and a reboot
  3. At time of benchmarks the latest drivers were downloaded from their official web sites as the latest drivers, most notable, ATI Catalyst 9.8 WHQL
  4. Programs and games are then installed followed by another defragment
  5. Windows updates are then completed installing all available updates followed by a defragment
  6. Benchmarks are each ran three times after a clean reboot for every iteration of the benchmark unless otherwise stated, the results are then averaged
</p>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Stability & Overclocking Results

Stability & Overclocking Results

<p style="text-align: justify;">This is obviously the favorite section of any motherboard review for me. I am an overclocker first and foremost so this section takes up the majority of time spent with a motherboard. Learning the limits of what a board can and can't do is half the fun of testing new hardware all the time. We take pride in the fact that our overclocking section is so diverse, in-depth, and well tested here at Hardware Canucks and hope the information derived from this section goes to good use in your systems.</p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/setup-6.jpg" alt="" border="0"></center><p style="text-align: justify;">In the last i7 motherboard review on the ASUS Rampage II Gene - another mATX X58 motherboard - it was eluded to that i7 processors appear to be the limiting factor in the maximum BCLK that a setup can achieve. This has become even more apparent over past months since that review was published. In fact, the CPU also dictates memory overclocking for the most part. For this reason, we have an arsenal of i7 processors for testing individual overclocks. In the sections below, we use two different processors for the various overclocking testing. Let's look at the results as we explain each overclock.</p>

Mushkin Redline Ascent 3x2GB PC3-12800 6-7-6-18 (998692) XMP Stability Testing

Click for full size...
<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/ocing-1.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/small/ocing-1.png" alt="Maximum Memory Stability Testing" border="0"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">We start off our testing with a basic XMP profile test of the Mushkin Redline Ascent memory that we reviewed back in May. In that review we tested the XMP profile on both the EVGA X58 3X SLI and the EVGA X58 Classified motherboard, so it was only fitting to test the XMP profile on the younger sibling of those two boards, the X58 SLI Micro. As expected, the memory had no problem running the XMP profile when matched up to our i7 975 processor and stability testing went off without a hitch. This memory really is a compatible with every setup we have put it in, the EVGA X58 SLI Micro being no exception. vDIMM is set to the proper 1.65v and VTT gets set to 1.30v which should be enough for any CPU to run this kit at the XMP settings.</p>

OCZ Blade 3x2GB PC3-17000 7-8-7-20 DDR3-1866 Stability Testing

Click for full size...
<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/ocing-2.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/small/ocing-2.png" alt="Maximum Memory Stability Testing" border="0"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Well, the title of this section is a bit of an edit from what we originally wanted to do. If you look at the screen shot closely you will notice that the CPU-Z tab showing the SPD profile lists the memory as OCZ Blade modules. We originally wanted to test the XMP profile of our Corsair Dominator-GT DDR3-1866 modules. As it turns out, the Corsair kit died on us after a period of inactivity. Corsair had been struggling with failing memory kits using the Elpida Hyper IC's and our kit was not spared from the carnage. Needless to say we wanted to test the DDR3-1866 XMP profile of the Dominator-GT kit so we loaded up the settings from that kit, then used our OCZ Blade PC3-17000 memory to do the actual testing. Again, the system handled setup extremely well with a limited amount of VTT and proper vDIMM. Obviously this isn't the ideal test as we really wanted to test the XMP profiles, but we at least know that DDR3-1866 modules should run on this board without issue.</p>

Maximum Memory Stability Overclocking

<p style="text-align: justify;">You may notice a distinct lack of a screen shot here. The reason for that is that we were completely unsuccessful in getting any of our memory to run anything higher than DDR3-1900 on this motherboard. We have more than capable OCZ Blade PC3-16000, and Blade PC3-17000 modules when matched to our very strong Xeon W3540's memory controller. But no combination of VTT/vDIMM/timing adjustments could get our memory running at speed. This came as quite a disappointment as our knowledge of the EVGA X58 lineup is very extensive. We have discussed it briefly with EVGA but they didn't seem to be able to come up with anything to alleviate this issue.

It sounds really weird but we had the same issues with the mATX Rampage II Gene, which turned out to be related to B2B CAS latency, something that is disabled by default on the EVGA boards. However you look at it, we can't recommend high frequency memory based on our experience with the EVGA X58 SLI Micro.</p>

Base Clock/QPI Stability Overclocking

Click for full size...<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/ocing-3.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/small/ocing-3.png" alt="Maximum BCLK/QPI Overclocking" border="0"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">Moving on to the max BCLK/QPI testing we went with the i7 975 over our 920 processor used in previous testing, this board just seemed to like it better. We did manage a solid 210BCLK for complete stability which is our highest yet, but all boards tested have handled at least 200BCLK. As we've said before, this is a limit of the CPU more than the motherboard since applying cold to the CPU breaks through this 200BCLK barrier easily, and some chips simply run BCLK higher on air. We will say it again, expecting over 200~210 BCLK to be stable 24/7 on an air or water cooled system will likely leave you disappointed, plain and simple. The platform just can't be expected to run those clocks. The EVGA X58 SLI Micro is right up there with all other boards we have tested and should not be considered handicapped in this capacity as it is quite the capable base clocker.</p>

Overall Stability Overclocking

Click for full size...<center><a href="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/ocing-4.png" target="_blank"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/small/ocing-4.png" alt="Maximum CPU Frequency Stability Overclocking" border="0"></a></center><p style="text-align: justify;">For the overall overclock we went back to the super strong W3540 we have in the stable so that we could really push this board, and push it we did. Clocking in at a whopping 4335MHz on the CPU and a very stout 942MHz or DDR3-1882 at 7-7-6 on memory, we have ourselves a solid 24/7 stable overclock. We left uncore clocks down just slightly as we wanted to keep VTT low so that less heat was being generated by the processor enabling us to run a bit more vCORE and higher CPU clock. Overall the board was a dream to get setup for a 24/7 overclock. The X58 SLI Micro was predictable and scaled nicely as we moved up in voltage. PWM temperatures were never an issue - thanks to a little bit of airflow coming from the fan cooling the memory - and allowed for us to really push this processor, despite being cooled by just a Thermalright Ultra eXtreme CU.

So despite the setback with high memory clocks - which in our opinion is a waste anyway because performance really doesn't increase with high memory frequency - the EVGA X58 SLI Micro continued the tradition of the X58 motherboards being excellent overclockers. The BIOS is identical to previous X58 motherboards from EVGA and the motherboard responded like the previous boards as well. Having been a veteran EVGA X58 user since December, I felt right at home from the very first boot and was clipping along at 200 BCLK in a matter of minutes.</p>
 
Last edited by a moderator:

3oh6

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
1,049
Location
Edmonton, AB
Memory Benchmarks

Memory Benchmarks



Everest Ultimate v5.02<p style="text-align: justify;"><i>Everest Ultimate is a very useful tool for any and all benchmarkers or overclockers. With the ability to read most voltage, temperature, and fan sensors on almost every motherboard available, Everest provides the ability to customize the outputs in a number of forms for display on your desktop. In addition to this, the memory benchmarking provides a useful tool of measuring the changes to your memory sub-system when tweaking to measure the differences.</i></p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/mem_bench-1.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">The difference between our stock setup and the overclocked one is pretty drastic. Our CPU frequency goes from just over 3GHz to 4.33GHz. With an i7, that is a night and day difference that will lead to a substantial increase in CPU bound programs. Our memory increase from stock to overclocked isn't as significant, but the increase in CPU frequency and uncore speed aids the Everest bandwidth results showing a significant bandwidth increase across the board.

Keep in mind, we do have a 140MHz increase in memory clocks and the change from 6-7-6 to 7-7-6 isn't very big at all, tRCD dictates a lot of memory timing performance and that stays the same at 7 in both setups.</p>

<center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/mem_bench-2.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">The latency numbers are also vastly improved due to a combination of CPU/uncore and memory frequency increases. The interesting performance increases between these setups will come in the system benchmarks, these memory results are pretty much expected.</p>

SiSoft Sandra 2009.SP2<p style="text-align: justify;"><i>SiSoft Sandra is a popular and well used benchmark in the industry but not really a friend of serious benchmarkers. The results SiSoft Sandra produces have been suspect at times basing the numbers it comes up with on system specs and not actual testing. The latest version of Sandra seems to be one of the few programs that appear to calculate memory bandwidth consistently so we decided to include it in today’s benchmarks. Like we have always said with SiSoft Sandra though, take these results for what they are and nothing more.</i></p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/mem_bench-3.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">SiSoft Sandra bandwidth results are very similar to the Everest results showing a 19% increase in memory bandwidth going from our stock clocks to the overclocked settings. Considering our CPU is overclocked just over 40%, this bandwidth increase appears to be heavily dependent on the memory increase which is an increase in frequency of about 18%.</p>

ScienceMark v2<p style="text-align: justify;"><i>ScienceMark is an almost ancient benchmark utility at this point in time and hasn't seen an update in a long time. It is, however, still a favorite for accurately calculating bandwidth on even the newest chipsets.</i></p><center><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/3oh6/evga/x58slimicro/mem_bench-4.png" alt=""></center><p style="text-align: justify;">The ScienceMark bandwidth numbers increase by almost 25% when looking at the overclocked bandwidth compared to the stock bandwidth. This indicates a little more influence in the results from the memory timings and/or the combination of CPU/uncore frequency increases. As it stands, our bandwidth numbers are about where we expected to see them with the overclocked setup displaying much higher memory bandwidth figures.</p>
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest posts

Twitter

Top