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Jester
(@jester)
Member Moderator

EVGA really kept some information classified. As most of us know the EVGA X58 Classified utilizes the NF200 chip to offer more PCI-Express lanes. This is how it offers three PCI-Express 2.0 x 16 slots and a PCI-Express 2.0 x 8 slot. EVGA silently released a new, cheaper version of this board without the NF200 chip. On this board, the PCI-E layouts are as follows (excluding the x1 slot).

Slot 1 = PCI Express 2.0 x 16 (x8 if slot 2 is occupied)
Slot 2 = PCI Express 2.0 x 8
Slot 3 = PCI Express 2.0 x 16 (x8 if slot 3 is occupied)
Slot 4 = PCI Express 2.0 x 8

Compared to the version with the NF200 chip.

Slot 1 = PCI Express 2.0 x 16
Slot 2 = PCI Express 2.0 x 16
Slot 3 = PCI Express 2.0 x 16 (x8 if slot 4 is occupied)
Slot 4 = PCI Express 2.0 x 8

How does PCI-E 2.0 x 8 affect my performance? - Chances are it won't, when compared to a PCI-E 2.0 x 16 slot or PCI-E 1.1 x 16 slot. Most graphics cards can't utilize the bandwidth of a PCI-E 2.0 x 8 slot or PCI-E 1.1 x 16 slot, therefore you won't see a bottleneck or performance decrease compared to a PCI-E 2.0 x 16 slot. This is true for all video cards except for the ATI Radeon HD 4870 x2, the upcoming ATI Radeon HD 4890 x2, and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295. Even with those cards the bottleneck is small, but personally I don't like any bottleneck in my system.

How does the NF200 chip affect my performance? - The NF200 chip actually slows performance a tiny bit. This is kind of contradictory - the NF200 X58 Classified offers more PCI-E 2.0 x 16 lanes for better performance but due to the chip performance can also be lower. The difference here is very little as well, plus with the added overclocking potential on the X58 Classified it will give you the best results, once you overclock your CPU past what other X58 motherboards are capable of.

Personally if I were to purchase a whole new PC including an EVGA X58 Classified, I'd get the version with the NF200 chip. The reason for this is because I'd choose a GTX 295 Quad-SLI setup and an additional PhysX card (1 GB EVGA GTS 250). I'd put the first GTX 295 in slot 1 (x16), second in slot 3 (x16), and PhysX card in slot 2 (x16). If you were to do this on the non-NF200 board, slot 1 would operate at x8 and slow down that GTX 295.

How can I tell the difference? - There are two things that you can look at to identify which board is which. First is the product number.

141-BL-E759-A1 = Uses NF200 chip, comes with EVGA Control Panel (ECP)

141-BL-E760-A1 = No NF200 chip present, no ECP included

The second is the price. The board with the NF200 chip costs $449.99 while the one without it costs $399.99.

Links:

EVGA X58 Classified w/ NF200

EVGA X58 Classified w/o NF200

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Posted : 22/04/2009 6:13 pm
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