The last EVGA board I touched was the 790i Digital FTW. The Classified packaging has stepped up the level of packaging. The box looks.. slick!
The accessories all come smoothly bagged up. You’ve got your PCI bracket mounted USB/Firewire ports, solid SLI bridges, an installation guide, a manual, and hard drive cables.
The ECP is an external control board that lets the end-user control some rudimentary aspects of the board. You can power on and reset the board, reset the CMOS, manipulate the PCIe slot connectivity, monitor the POSt process via the 80 port LED, and use the three switches to increase CPU vCORE by +0.1v per jumper.
I have to give it up to EVGA; the E761 Classified looks like it is worth $399 shipped
. The black and red color scheme with the black PCB just exudes a menacing aura; hopefully the board holds up to its price tag and sleek color scheme.
The DIMM slots are powered by a 3-phase PWM. To the right of the DIMM slots are 9 copper pads that let the end-user measure various voltages directly such as vcore and vtt. To the left of the 24-pin power connector are a series of jumpers. These jumpers let the end-user completely disable various PCIe slots, which is very useful when benching and you want to disable a graphic card.
The southbridge of the board is plastered with a rather large heatsink, some USB headers, a PORT 80 LED readout, and an extensive pinout to be used with the ECP.
The PCIe layout is designed around enabling triple-sli with double-width cards while having 1 free slot for a single PCIe x16 and PCIe x1 slot. With all 4 slots populated, bandwidth is split to 8x per slot.
The 10-phase digital PWM has been specially designed for extreme overclocking. Two +12v EPS connectors are wired into the CPU pwm to provide up to 600w of power. To improve signal and power stability EVGA has increased the gold content within the socket to facilitate making the best connection to the CPU.
The IO panel has a large number of input and output options. For output there is an optical and a coaxial SPDIF connector and 6 audio jacks. For input there are 8 USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port, an eSATA port, and two gigabit ports. The little red button by the optical port is a CMOS clear switch.