EVGA’s dual 1366 board explored

CES 2010 More and less than you think

EVGA logoEVGA TEASED US about a dual Intel Core i7 board a few weeks ago, and now it is showing that off. It is big, has lots of slots, and does indeed support two Intel Core i7 chips.

Lars told you about it earlier, and having seen it in person, we can add a few more details. The board itself is basically a two-socket Xeon mainboard that uses only a single Intel 5520 server chipset. Instead of wiring it with a Xeon in mind, EVGA wired it for two Bloomfields. Ironically, since both use the same socket, this may just be a BIOS flash away on any Xeon two-socket board.

EVGA dual 1366

The EVGA dual board

On top of that, EVGA didn’t go the dual IOH/chipset route, it just used a single 5520 and chained two Nvidia NF200 PCIe2 decelerators to it. This gave it the ability to add 7 PCIe2 slots without a second Intel chipset. You can see the relevant chips above and the PCIe2 clips on the far left . If it isn’t obvious, all the slots are adjacent, so you can only add seven 1-slot cards or four 2-slots.

The physical board itself is 381 x 345mm so it won’t do well in most standard cases, but EVGA will probably have something to fix that. Add in that the board needs at least five 6-pin power headers, that is before the VGA cards, and it looks like there is a custom PSU in any buyer’s future too. That said, if you are buying this board, you are unlikely to be the average consumer.


EVBot in action

To make your tweaking life a bit easier, EVGA has something called the EVBot, which basically is a handheld controller that lets you adjust voltage and clocks on the fly for up to four EVGA products. The company did things right because it is all a closed loop hardware system, no drivers or programs needed. The down side of this is that the hardware needs to directly support it, so at the very least, you are restricted to EVGA products.

It looks to be very feature rich, and the ability for the card to boost clocks for short periods of time and then drop back looks very promising. Looking at both the dual 1366 board and the EVBot, it seems EVGA knows its target audience well.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group.