EVGA Z77 FTW Motherboard
Looks like EVGA is ready to reveal their Z77 boards. They started with the FTW model - E-ATX and surprisingly, 4-way SLI support (x16/x16 or x8/x16/x16 or x8/x16/x8/x8).
So it looks the same as all of their previous Classified and recent FTW boards, with a black/red scheme that some love and some hate. It's no secret that EVGA has fallen behind with their Z68/P67 and X79 motherboards, so they really have to play catch up. So far, I can see a few things I like about this board.
- Lots of PCI-E slots, 4-way SLI support
- POSCAPs, doesn't look like the entire motherboard has it this time but I may be wrong. This may set EVGA above the competition in terms of extreme overclocking. Doesn't really matter to me though.
- PCI-E and DIMM disable switches
- Angled 24-pin motherboard connector
- Angled 6-pin PCI-E power connector on the bottom (plus additional one above PCI-E slots if the bottom one is inaccessible)
- Four internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports
- High end EVGA boards always have a great layout for CMOS clear/reset switches (including on the external I/O)
- They didn't forget the PS/2 port
- Active chipset cooling
- Includes a mini DisplayPort for those who like onboard graphics.
Now for things I don't like.
- Location for 8-pin CPU power connectors worry me (heat sink clearance).
- Only 7+1 phase power design for CPU. I hope it's digital at least.
- Looks like it uses a plastic VRM heat sink again. Seriously?
The BIOS is another huge factor for an enthusiast board, and is where EVGA has been disappointing for P67/Z68 and x79. What kind of features will it have, how will the layout be, what kind of issues will it have? If the BIOS is finally up to par with ASUS/Gigabyte and others, then we have a serious competitor here.