Need an SLI motherboard but have less than $200 to spend? No need to stress, as the 750i SLI chipset was designed with you in mind. We are taking a look at how eVGA put the chipset to good use in the form of their 750i SLI FTW board, which offers solid performance and overclocking-ability, in addition to great board design.
Overclocking & Power Consumption
When I first received eVGA’s 750i board, I had high hopes. After all, the last two NVIDIA-based motherboards I used both proved amazing for overclocking in their own rite. Luckily enough, the new board does indeed offer a lot of overclocking room, although not as much as some other recent boards we’ve had in. To be fair though, this board retails for much less than other boards we’ve had in.
With Intel’s Core 2 Extreme QX9650 slapped into the board, I was able to reach 450MHz FSB speeds, with a reasonable Northbridge voltage of 1.35v. This result is not that impressive compared to a few other boards we have here, but the highest I’ve achieved with that chip on any board has been 470MHz, so the mark wasn’t that far off.
With the far less system-strenuous Core 2 Duo E8400 in place, the board reached 500MHz and beyond, finally settling in at 513MHz with a Northbridge voltage of 1.40v. At those speeds, the board did go a bit higher than most others in recent memory.
In the end, the board does have a lot of overclocking room, and for its retail price (when compared to the other boards that overclock a lot higher), it seems to scale nicely. Hitting 500MHz on a Dual-Core will not likely cause many complaints, although the somewhat lackluster Quad-Core overclocking leaves a bit to be desired.
To capture power consumption, we use a Kill-A-Watt, a cool gadget that plugs into your socket and reports the current wattage reading. We plug our testing machine directly into this, with our Gateway XHD3000 monitor plugged into the other available socket. Our results here show the power draw from the computer itself (including all internal components) and nothing else.
Please note that these figures also include the power draw from our Corsair Nautilus 500 water-cooling system, which gets its power from our PSU. Also, only one hard drive is connected to the motherboard and power supply, and the only ‘extra’ accessory used is the RAM fan. Before testing, network adapters are enabled, but no LAN cable is connected.
To record our results, we grab figures while the machine is completely idle, and then also while half of the processor (Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Quad-Core) is being utilized. The third and final set of results are grabbed while half of the CPU is being used in addition to the GPU (NVIDIA 9800 GTX), which represents a realistic result from normal gameplay.
The results here help make the 750i SLI FTW stand out, but not in a good way. The board managed to pull almost 24W more at both idle and load than the second-highest in our running. Whether or not this is completely attributed to the chipset itself and/or other components on the motherboard, I’m unsure. The fact remains though, compared to our other seven boards as tested, this one is far more power-hungry.