EVGA CES showcase includes H55 and dual-Xeon motherboards


— 3:31 PM on January 12, 2010

Our trip to EVGA's CES suite predictably began with a look at the company's new H55 motherboards. Pictured below, the H55V comes in a microATX form factor with everything you'd expect: HDMI output, Gigabit Ethernet, loads of SATA and USB ports, and 8-channel HD audio.

EVGA also makes a full-sized ATX motherboard with the H55 chipset. Simply named the H55, this model has a host of extra overclocking features, including a nifty onboard CPU temperature display. You also get solid-state capacitors throughout in addition to onboard power, reset, and clear CMOS buttons.

As one might expect, EVGA had plenty of graphics cards on display, too. But with Fermi still not ready for retail, we didn't see much in the way of new hotness. Well, not until we came upon a dual-socket Xeon board that looks like a spiritual successor to Intel's Skulltrail platform.

EVGA teased us with a picture of this board just before the show started, and we were actually able to get our hands on the monster. Don't get your hopes up about running a pair of inexpensive Core i7 processors, though; the board is designed for Xeon processors and requires that each CPU has two QPI links. An Intel 5520 chipset runs the show accompanied by two Nvidia NF200 chips to feed a total of seven PCI Express x16 slots.

The wealth of expansion slots leaves room for quad-SLI configurations with double-wide graphics cards, although it does create problems for cases. According to EVGA, the board is both taller and wider than Extended ATX dimensions, which means it won't fit in even most over-sized enclosures. The company is working with case manufacturers to come up with enthusiast-friendly enclosures to house the beast. EVGA says it will provide a full suite of tweaking and overclocking options in the BIOS, too.

Skulltrail's pseudo second coming will also be compatible with the EVBot, a nifty external overclocking control module that plugs directly into the backplane of select EVGA graphics cards and motherboards. The EVBot allows users to adjust voltages and frequencies on the fly and without auxiliary software. Up to four products can be connected to the EVBot at once, so you can manage a motherboard alongside multiple graphics cards. The cost? A cool $80.

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