EVGA teases three Haswell-E motherboards

Looking for black? The most basic, blackest, darkest of shades, with a side of Haswell-E? EVGA is teasing three X99 motherboards all set for Intel's upcoming high-end CPU. Official details are few and far between, but here's what we can gather from EVGA's teaser pictures and Cowcotland's coverage of the three models:

Source: EVGA.

First off is the microATX pocket rocket, which looks like the coolest one to me. This board has three PCIe slots (two x16 and one x8), four DIMM slots, six SATA 6Gbps ports, and an M.2 slot. To help with failed overclocking attempts, EVGA has included an onboard POST code indicator, what appears to be a CMOS reset button, plus reset and power buttons. With all of that stuff crammed into a smaller form factor, who needs ATX?

Cowcotland says the microATX board can take up to 64GB of RAM at speeds up to 2667Mhz. Other pictures on the site also show a backplate with four USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0, and another CMOS reset button, which I hope not to press by accident while plugging in a webcam. Audio is reportedly provided by a Realtek ALC1150 codec, though there's no word on multi-channel encoding for S/PDIF output. The street price is said to be $250 with a three-year warranty.

Source: EVGA.

Next up is the full-sized "FTW" version, which has an upgraded PCIe slot configuration: two x16s, three x8s, and one x4. The eight DIMM slots can reportedly take up to 128GB of RAM—enough to make some rackmount servers envious. 10 SATA 6Gb/s ports set the stage for what is scientifically known as "a lotta storage," although the M.2 slot has gone AWOL.

An angled 6-pin power connector sits in the upper left corner, probably to supply extra juice to the PCIe slots. The ATX header, three of the seven fan headers, and the USB 3.0 header are all angled, as well, which should make for cleaner cable routing.

Cowcotland says the board features dual GigE connectivity and will retail for $280.

Source: EVGA.

Welcome to the Classified section. This high-end board includes everything but the kitchen sink, including dual M.2 slots for mini SSDs and dual 8-pin power inputs for the CPU. Voltage measurement points are present throughout the motherboard, Cowcotland says, and a Creative Core3D solution powers the onboard audio. The asking price will reportedly be $400.

Comments closed
    • Peter.Parker
    • 5 years ago

    Doesn’t even have a floppy connector!

      • Krogoth
      • 5 years ago

      You realize that the majority of the motherboard made since this decade have been floppy disk controller free? We are almost there with PCI slots.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 5 years ago

    Interesting that the full ATX boards have the power connector rotated 90 degrees matching the orientation of the SATA plugs. Ever since I got a case with good cable routing, I’ve wondered if that would help conceal the cables a bit.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 5 years ago

    So umm…no SATA-express? They don’t even all have M.2. So much for being high-end boards.

    • Forge
    • 5 years ago

    If you buy an Intel E CPU and you’re only using four slots worth of ram, you’re clearly not interested in the full potential.

    If you could put four more ram slots on my Z97 board, I’d have them filled tout suite.

      • GrimDanfango
      • 5 years ago

      Why is that exactly? My work is ultra-heavy fluid simulations – about the most RAM-intensive activity you can submit a standard workstation computer to, and 64GB is plenty for my needs. I may eventually need to bump it up to 128GB, but for now, 4 slots is enough. I can’t imagine anyone needing more than 32 for any other purpose at this point in time, outside of major scientific computing (ie, applications beyond the scope of single-socket Haswell-E)

      I fail to see how not filling your board with masses of expensive ram you’ll never use constitutes not exploiting its full potential.

        • JumpingJack
        • 5 years ago

        Deleted.

        • weapau
        • 5 years ago

        Haswell E-Penis booster. That’s why you need 128GB of RAM.

        Oh wait, there is a Haswell-EP. I have no idea then.

        • Flying Fox
        • 5 years ago

        VMs, VMs, and more VMs? 😛

        • culotso
        • 5 years ago

        When working with multiple huge images in Photoshop, massive amounts of RAM is quite welcome. Or even with just one layer-heavy huge image, it would be a boon.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 5 years ago

      What if you’re working with an embarrassingly parallel workload that doesn’t need that much RAM?

      • the
      • 5 years ago

      Fewer RAM slots have traditionally enabled higher memory clocks and/or tighter timings for a small performance boost.

      For example, on the DDR3 side of things, official JEDC spec for 1866 Mhz memory is only one DIMM per channel. Granted, many enthusiast motherboards can attempt that speed across two slots per channel but that’s considered out of spec.

      • Krogoth
      • 5 years ago

      You realize that Z97 is limited by the Socket 1150 a.k.a memory controller on Haswell/Broadwell units? Socket 1150 doesn’t support registered DIMMs either so you are SOL.

      You realize that EVGA boards are geared towards epenis gamers who don’t know about better? If you want more DIMM slots for a Z99 board. I would suggest looking towards more enterprise-friendly vendors.

    • Takeshi7
    • 5 years ago

    Still not a single X99 motherboard with a PCIe x1 in the first slot. WTF? I was expecting at least one motherboard maker to do that configuration.

      • Airmantharp
      • 5 years ago

      What specific configuration are you looking for?

        • Spunjji
        • 5 years ago

        It’s nice to be able to put a PCIe 1x card of reasonable size (sound card?) in and still not block any airflow over a large GPU cooler.

          • Flying Fox
          • 5 years ago

          You know you can plug x1 cards to almost any PCIe slots?

            • Krogoth
            • 5 years ago

            That’s only true for post first-generation PCIe motherboards (2006-2008). If you tried using PCIe 1x cards in a larger PCIe slot with boards made in that era. It was either a hit or miss.

        • Takeshi7
        • 5 years ago

        I like my PC slots configured like this

        1.Sound card
        2.Video card 1
        3.Video card 1(cont’d)
        4.Open slot
        5.Video card 2
        6.Video card 2(cont’d)
        7.Open slot

        Or any configuration that allows a space underneath my graphics cards so they can breathe better.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 5 years ago

      For the record, WTF = FTW backwards.

        • GrimDanfango
        • 5 years ago

        F*** the what?!

    • Airmantharp
    • 5 years ago

    Now we’re getting somewhere- the number I’m looking for is what a 6-core Haswell-E upgrade with 32GB of decent RAM and a basic overclocking motherboard would cost.

      • Deanjo
      • 5 years ago

      Not sure why a person would go for a Haswell-E in a mATX form. That’s a bit like buying a hatchback for landscaping loads.

        • Flying Fox
        • 5 years ago

        If all you are going to use is just a single GPU card and under 6 SATA devices, why do you need more slots?

          • the
          • 5 years ago

          Cause I need some where to plug my ego into?

            • Grigory
            • 5 years ago

            Sorry, there are no ISA slots anymore.

            • Wirko
            • 5 years ago

            Choose your PSU carefully, egos consume any amount of power upwards of 2000 watts.

          • allreadydead
          • 5 years ago

          I’d feel very unconfortable cramming such high TDP levels into mATX space. Maybe liquid cooling solution for both CPU and GPU and something to cool mobo chip.. Still, it looks like too much heat in too little space to manage.
          How can i use my xonar with that mATX mobo when I have a big GPU ?

          Top-End CPU with mATX makes a very odd couple.

            • Flying Fox
            • 5 years ago

            You can do optical/HDMI for audio so you don’t necessarily need to plug in a discrete sound card (which is why confirming whether that ALC1150 supports DDL/DTS:C is important). Besides, there is that final slot even after you put in triple-slot video card?

            • derFunkenstein
            • 5 years ago

            If your’e buying a Haswell-E system with an mATX board, I have a feeling you’re also buying a higher-end (read: expensive) case, something like a Corsair 350D or the like. Plenty of space for a big cooler.

        • JosiahBradley
        • 5 years ago

        I can see the mATX form factor being better used in a workstation where perhaps you don’t need quad GPUs, but need quad channel memory throughput and 3 full x16 lanes for other types on I/O. Always nice to have options, but I’d still go full ATX just because I like working in a more full enclosure.

        • hansmuff
        • 5 years ago

        It’s a pretty cool board for a small sized workstation. Not a gamer board for sure, I don’t even see a SLI logo on it. That board, a workstation class GPU, adequate storage and 64GB RAM sounds good to me.

        • Vaughn
        • 5 years ago

        Someone that may encode in a htpc I can see using Haswell e in mATX.

          • Deanjo
          • 5 years ago

          130 Watt processor in small quiet case? Can’t see it happening for the same reason why people don’t buy FX-8350’s for HTPC’s.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 5 years ago

            mATX is just ATX with 3 fewer slots, so the cases are just 3 inches shorter. There are plenty of mATX cases that cool just as well as full ATX, it’s really not that big a difference.

            • Flying Fox
            • 5 years ago

            One can put a mATX board in a full ATX case and get good cooling and ease of access. However, there are some mATX cases that are as big as full sized ones to begin with. 😮

            If I were to buy, it will be for cost reasons assuming the mATX version is cheaper than regular.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            HTPC cases are usually more restrictive and tight than your average mATX tower.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 5 years ago

            Thy holiness Deanjo doth moveth the goalposts.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            How did I move posts? He mentioned using them in a HTPC, I responded to them being used in a HTPC. MMO, how thy reading fails.

        • Airmantharp
        • 5 years ago

        Personally, I’d be going for ATX unless I can be convinced that an onboard audio solution on a reasonably priced board will be as good as or superior to my current X-Fi for gaming with my HD555’s. I’m assuming the use of dual-GPUs (dependent on monitor options) and prefer to have a little bit of room to space them out and keep noise down.

        But I can see plenty of people going for an mATX Haswell-E setup, especially if they’re going for a non-traditional enclosure.

        • Wirko
        • 5 years ago

        No, that’s like buying a 250hp SUV and leaving it at 250hp.

          • Deanjo
          • 5 years ago

          No, it’s like stuffing a big block into a stock chevette.

        • cynan
        • 5 years ago

        So it fits in a smaller box.

        Wait if you only need towing and not payload?

          • Deanjo
          • 5 years ago

          Then I would something with enough rubber to comfortably pull the load. Doesn’t do much good having a v8 with skinny small wheels.

            • cynan
            • 5 years ago

            Lol. Well, generally it’s mass provides the traction, not size. At least if on even ground.

            What if you just wanted to beat people off the line at stop lights? Maybe the server class mATX is like the sports sedan then? Plenty of those out there with oversized powertrains. What would that make an Haswell-E inside a mini ITX? A corvette?

            Yeah. Car analogies for computers get dumb quick.

            • Deanjo
            • 5 years ago

            [quote<]Well, generally it's mass provides the traction, not size. At least if on even ground.[/quote<] There a ton of track users and snowmobilers that would disagree.

            • cynan
            • 5 years ago

            When talking about traction, we’re basically talking about friction. There are really only two things that determine friction. The coefficient of friction (stickiness) of the two substances in contact (eg, rubber and asphalt) and the amount of perpendicular force pushing them together.

            The reason why wider tires (and longer snowmobile tracks) provide more friction (better traction) has very little to do with the fact they are wider and have more surface area. It has to do with the fact that the rubber compound has a higher coefficient of friction. As such, a drag racer with a yard-wide tire would probably get just as much traction as one with a foot-wide tire. However, these stickier tires are also softer. That means they wear faster and don’t stand up to extreme torsion forces as well. So what the extra tire size is really getting you is increased durability of the tire, not better traction.

            So in the end, the reason stickier tires are wider, is not so much because the width provides the increased traction, it’s because the width makes them more durable and spreads forces over more material. With track racing, this durability is vital so your tires don’t rip apart.

            However, with towing, if you don’t apply a lot of force suddenly, a small massive tow vehicle with relatively skinny tires would provide just as much traction.

        • Chrispy_
        • 5 years ago

        Look at the Mac Pro trashcan, people find lots of power in small packages appealing. You can still run two GPUs and 64GB RAM in an mATX case without too much drama, and not everyone needs room for giant cooling solutions because not everyone overclocks.

        • Krogoth
        • 5 years ago

        They want a CPU with more cores than what normal Haswell offers, but have no need for having ton of expansion slots. They also want a small chassis build. mATX makes sense for these niches.

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