EVGA tackles Sandy Bridge with two P67 motherboards

Although it currently offers five different motherboards based on Intel's P55 chipset, EVGA is simplifying its lineup for Sandy Bridge. At CES, the company briefed us on two P67 motherboards: a standard model and a more exotic offering that will be part of the Classified family.

The P67 SLI is expected to hit shelves by the end of the month with a street price between $190 and $200. For the most part, it looks like pretty standard fare. An 8+2 power phase configuration feeds the CPU, dual USB 3.0 ports are provided by an NEC controller, a pair of Gigabit Ethernet jacks stem from a couple of Marvell chips, and a third x16 slot offers four lanes of PCI Express bandwidth. EVGA has eschewed third-party storage controllers, at least for the internal SATA ports, which are powered exclusively by the P67 chipset.

Unlike P67 boards that compensate for the chipset's lack of PCI connectivity by bridging PCIe lanes, this EVGA model doesn't bother with old-school PCI slots at all. In keeping with this forward-looking approach, the P67 SLI's BIOS is a UEFI affair.

If you're in the market for something a little more exotic, a pricier Classified model is due to arrive in the middle of February. The Classified features a few enhancements on the power front: more phases for the CPU, a pair of 8-pin auxiliary 12V connectors, and a right-angle 24-pin power connector that should help tidy up internal cable routing. There will be more x16 slots, of course, and an onboard Compact Flash reader designed to let hardcore overclockers boot directly from a memory card.

Speaking of something a little different, EVGA has come up with an analog overclocking dial that looks like it's been pulled from the A-pillar of a tuned up Honda. I can see case modders having a lot of fun with the display, although the default cable is going to need to be a lot longer to really be useful for most folks.

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