updated 02:05 am EDT, Wed September 3, 2014
Micro-ATX, FTW and Classified boards offered, new power supply, mice coming
EVGA had a presence at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle over the weekend, showing off some of the products it has released for X99 motherboards, mice and power supplies. With the X99 chipset and Haswell Extreme Edition processors being the talk of the show, EVGA put its first three motherboards on display, including a Micro-ATX version, a mid-level FTW board and a high-end Classified board.
When speaking with EVGA Product Manager Jacob Freeman, a few challenges were discovered when it came to creating the new X99 motherboards. For instance, since there was a shortage of DIMMs available for DDR4 memory, the company wasn't able to test as much as they would have liked. Currently, some of the boards are seeing memory speeds of 2667MHz, but EVGA is steadily making progress. Freeman added that the company currently has a beta update that's seeing stable speeds of 2800MHz. Overclocking has been successful for EVGA as well, as its seen speeds around 4.6 to 4.8GHz from some of the new Haswell processors.
EVGA X99 Micro
The hardware company had the only Micro-ATX motherboard with the X99 chipset on the show floor during PAX with the X99 Micro. The size does come with a drawback, as it reduced the number of DIMM slots from eight to four for a total capacity available of 64GB of RAM. However, it still sports three PCIe slots and the ability to run three-way SLI. It also includes Ethernet, an M.2 socket, and six native USB 3.0 ports. Unlike the full ATX boards, the Micro only has six SATA3 ports. Pricing is around $250.
EVGA X99 FTW
The company's middle offering is the X99 FTW, which is priced at about $300. The FTW board supports 128GB of RAM in eight DIMM slots, 10 SATA3 ports, six USB 3.0 ports, support for a dual BIOS, quick switches for CMOS, dual Intel Ethernet, and support for four-way SLI with its five x16 PCIe slots. Form factor for the X99 FTW is E-ATX.
EVGA X99 Classified
For the high-end consumer, EVGA has the X99 Classified. On top of the features listed for the X99 FTW, the company added Creative Sound Core 3D audio, a M.2 socket E and M, triple BIOS support, dual eight-pin power for the CPU, and support for four-way SLI and Crossfire. The X99 Classified maintains the E-ATX form factor for the 2011-3 socket for around $400.
Freeman said that some more motherboards could be in the works, but nothing firm has been set by the company. If anything were to be released to the market, it would likely be a high-end board that would be out later next year. Boards likely won't be released for ITX because of the sacrifices in memory that would be required. The new X99 will replace the aging X79 boards EVGA offers, but the Z97 platform will continue into next year.
A new power supply is in the works from EVGA as well, in what the company hopes will be the first of its kind to the market. Freeman said that EVGA is working on a 1600-watt power supply, possibly the first one to be granted a Titanium certification. The hefty power supply is expected to be out later this year.
Peripherals have also been an expansion for the company this year, as EVGA has dipped into the field with the Torq X10. The company went with a different design than many other devices on the market, with cut-outs in the palm that extend through the device by using real carbon fiber. However, two more models in different styles are coming from EVGA said Freeman. The new mice will be lower-end models, not having the adjustability features of the Torq X10 Carbon.
Talking about the mice, Freeman went into some of the design processes that EVGA goes through when coming up with new products. Specifically, the company is trying to make better products, but do something different. Feedback from the community does factor into some of the designs, but the team develops devices partially for themselves as well.
Graphics cards remain a focus for EVGA, but nothing new was brought to PAX by the company. Freeman did add that something could be coming soon.