When posting my reviews, I would like to both have a video and a written review. I know the quality of my videos may never reach LTT's level, but I feel as though I can help the most people by doing reviews in as many formats as I can.
Here is the new video with updated audio. It is still processing, but I am going ahead and posting it since I have to get some sleep before work.
What is the EVGA X79 Dark?
The EVGA X79 Dark is an LGA 2011 compatible motherboard which features support for the Sandy Bridge-E, Ivy Bridge-E and 2011 Xeons.
When purchasing a motherboard today, it’s more about the feature set and company that you want to buy from. For me, this led me directly to the EVGA X79 Dark and here’s why.
Today’s motherboards perform very comparably, LTT had a video on this when comparing a Z87 ITX board and the mother of all Z87 boards, the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme. Sure, you may be able to get 100-200 mhz more on some other board, but what if that company has a horrible warranty, are skimp with features, or are known for horrible BIOS interfaces? I’m not talking about any specific company, because I’ve had great luck with quite a few different brands.
Why did I buy the X79 Dark
So why did I personally buy the EVGA X79 Dark? The main reason was EVGA support. When I had to use them before because of a power supply failure, their support was not only courteous but quick. They had me up and running and even made sure I got my power supply the day before Christmas! I also bought the X79 Dark because the reviews were great for the board, but I did know that I was going out on a limb buying this motherboard. EVGA’s past motherboards have left a bitter taste in some user’s mouths. I can happily say that is not the case for me. The board is great and throughout this review I will go over the features that I feel are meant for the end user. There are some features that I will not mention simply because they are meant for a select few people like LN2 users. I am do not have the skill set to go over those features, so I cannot personally comment on them.
What are the Pro’s of this motherboard?
Great GUI for the UEFI
Proper features that are meant for a typical to advanced user in the UEFI
EVGA ELEET Support
Great quality components
Great support for LN2 users with dual 8 pin EPS
QUAD SLI support
DEBUG and CPU temperature onboard
Power and Reset switch on board
Xeon support for those who want to throw a monster CPU in there
Probe-It connector for ease of use when checking voltages directly from the board
What are the con’s to this motherboard?
Red. No, No, No, No
Voltage regulation options are less than optimal for vcore
Other aesthetics like the caps being silver and red
LEDs that I do not believe I can turn off in the bios.
Some of the the cons are personal preference. It’s called the Dark, and I feel like with a name like that it should be a completely blacked out motherboard. Some of them are a bit unacceptable but not a complete deal breaker to me. I wish there were more v-core voltage options for v-droop. 80%, 60%, Disabled, and Intel Spec are just not good enough. None of them properly show the voltage that I manually put in. Disabled makes voltage makes it go much higher than what I put in (to be expected), but neither 60 or 80% get it right where I put it, it’s usually .02 above what I put. Which is easily fixable by the user by manually putting it down .02 from the voltage you actually want, but I feel this is unnecessary for the end user. The LEDs can be tamed by lightdims or even some electrical tape, but again I feel this is unnecessary for the consumer. I should be able to turn all LEDs on the board off in the bios. I haven’t really seen any manufacturer do this, but it would be nice if everything, even the debug display could be turned off or at least would turn off once booted into the OS.
I have actually painted the heatsinks on my motherboard so as not to show the red because it doesn’t fit with my color scheme at all. It is removable paint so if I do need to send it in for repair, that can be handled without a problem. If you do elect to get the cross-shipping RMA service, then you could even swap the heatsinks like I did when my board died.
I just said my board died, does that scare you? It should not. Things happen, and eventually a board will fail whether it be in 10 years or the second day you have it, this is where EVGA’s wonderful customer support comes in. I had contacted an EVGA rep on a forum and he set up the entire process for me. After it was set up, within a week I was back up and running like nothing had ever happened. Sure, it was not the greatest thing in the world to have my main rig down, but it was handled professionally and quickly which is all that I care about.
That’s the end of my review, but I did want to make a small side note. As a prosumer, I’m starting to care less and less about the latest and greatest features a board or product might offer and start looking at the warranty provided as well as the usual demeanor of the people who currently own products from a specific manufacturer. I have nothing but great things to say about EVGA and their support team, and I rarely ever hear anything negative about them as well. Don’t take my horrible luck with products in account for their failure rates, because apparently I am an extremely unlucky person. Before writing this review, I went to go watch Netflix on my TV just to find out it died today.
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