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EVGA nForce 4 SLI Mainboard Review - Page 13 of 13

CONCLUSION

The EVGA 133-K8-NF41-AX was fully functional and booted up first time with no problem. Components were correctly recognized and installation of the operating system was a breeze. Including the Raid diskette with SATA drivers made the installation process much quicker as there was no need for process of off-loading drivers from the driver disk onto a floppy. Just hit F6 when prompted in Windows XP, load the drivers, and go. The on-board LED Error Reporting and the Reset and Power buttons are nice additions.

The board is green with yellow and blue DIMM, PCI-E, and PCI slots. Not the color coordination I would pick for eye appeal but that is just a personal observation and I will leave it at that. The overall layout is basic in design with no frills which can be a good thing for system builders wanting to put together a fast system for gaming. The DIMM slots are spaced enough to accept heatsinks on the ram modules but the closest slot is still too close to the CPU socket and may prevent the use of some oversized heatsinks on the CPU. The problem of identification of the DIMM slots should be corrected to make it easier for setting up system ram in a dual channel configuration. If you are using or will use IEEE 1394a Firewire this is not your board as it is not supported. Realtek ALC850 provides the on-board sound and does the job. However, many would prefer a better sound solution but that is easily solved with an add-on sound card of your choice.

The introduction of the third full-length PCI-E slot is notable and does make the activation of SLI much simpler. The inclusion of three PCI slots for latency cards is good but I cannot remember the last time I used more than two PCI slots and that was with a dial-up modem and sound card. Of course, the extra room will provide for using the case slots for installing additional USB connections, fan controllers, and the like although none are included in the board's accessory list.
 
Overall, I like this motherboard and really enjoyed setting it up. Once up and running the board performed very well, showing good stability, functionality, and performance throughout all benchmarking and testing. Overclocking potential is there and with SLI capability this board is about as fast as they come. For building a PCI-Express system, with an SLI option, at the current street price of under $150 puts this board in the 'Buy' category.

Pros

  • Good layout
  • Thoughtful positioning of on-board cable connections
  • On-board Reset and Power buttons
  • LED Error Reporting
  • Good overclocking potential
  • Extra full-length PCI-E slot makes for a good alternative for activating SLI
  • Four 3-pin fan connectors well placed on the board
  • Good price for a nForce4 chipset board with SLI capability

Cons

  • Exclusion of IEEE 1394a Firewire
  • No USB 2.0 expansion cables included for use of the 3 on-board USB 2.0 connections
  • Motherboard color scheme

Thanks goes out to EVGA for selecting NVNEWS to review this new motherboard offering.

Please feel free to post your comments and questions in this thread of our forums.

Back to nV News

Last Updated on August 23, 2005


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