Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our test bed:

Thank you to OCZ for providing us with 1250W Gold Power Supplies.
Thank you to G.Skill for providing us with memory kits.
Thank you to Corsair for providing us with an AX1200i PSU, Corsair H80i CLC and 16GB 2400C10 memory.
Thank you to ASUS for providing us with the AMD GPUs and some IO Testing kit.
Thank you to ECS for providing us with the NVIDIA GPUs.
Thank you to Rosewill for providing us with the 500W Platinum Power Supply for mITX testing, BlackHawk Ultra, and 1600W Hercules PSU for extreme dual CPU + quad GPU testing, and RK-9100 keyboards.
Thank you to ASRock for providing us with the 802.11ac wireless router for testing.

Test Setup

 

Processor Intel Core i7-4960X ES
6 Cores, 12 Threads, 3.6 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo)
Motherboards EVGA X79 Dark
Cooling Corsair H80i
Thermalright TRUE Copper
Power Supply OCZ 1250W Gold ZX Series
Corsair AX1200i Platinum PSU
Memory Corsair Vengeance Pro 2x8 GB DDR3 2400 10-12-12 Kit
Memory Settings XMP (2400 10-12-12)
Video Cards ASUS HD7970 3GB
ECS GTX 580 1536MB
Video Drivers Catalyst 13.1
NVIDIA Drivers 310.90 WHQL
Hard Drive OCZ Vertex 3 256GB
Optical Drive LG GH22NS50
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 7 64-bit
USB 2/3 Testing OCZ Vertex 3 240GB with SATA->USB Adaptor
WiFi Testing D-Link DIR-865L 802.11ac Dual Band Router

 

Power Consumption

Power consumption was tested on the system as a whole with a wall meter connected to the OCZ 1250W power supply, while in a dual 7970 GPU configuration.  This power supply is Gold rated, and as I am in the UK on a 230-240 V supply, leads to ~75% efficiency > 50W, and 90%+ efficiency at 250W, which is suitable for both idle and multi-GPU loading.  This method of power reading allows us to compare the power management of the UEFI and the board to supply components with power under load, and includes typical PSU losses due to efficiency.  These are the real world values that consumers may expect from a typical system (minus the monitor) using this motherboard.

While this method for power measurement may not be ideal, and you feel these numbers are not representative due to the high wattage power supply being used (we use the same PSU to remain consistent over a series of reviews, and the fact that some boards on our test bed get tested with three or four high powered GPUs), the important point to take away is the relationship between the numbers.  These boards are all under the same conditions, and thus the differences between them should be easy to spot.

Power Consumption - Idle

Power Consumption - Metro2033

Power Consumption - OCCT

The EVGA X79 Dark seems very efficient in CPU loads, requiring only 225W total system power compared to 250W+ of other motherboards.  This might be down to the 3.7 GHz issue of the BIOSes, however.

Windows 7 POST Time

Different motherboards have different POST sequences before an operating system is initialized.  A lot of this is dependent on the board itself, and POST boot time is determined by the controllers on board (and the sequence of how those extras are organized).  As part of our testing, we are now going to look at the POST Boot Time - this is the time from pressing the ON button on the computer to when Windows 7 starts loading.  (We discount Windows loading as it is highly variable given Windows specific features.)  These results are subject to human error, so please allow +/- 1 second in these results.

POST (Power-On Self-Test) Time

Due to the Marvell controllers, the standard boot time of the EVGA feels longer than it should – our 16.86 seconds result felt longer than it is, and cutting the controllers out speeds up the process by a couple of seconds.  Ideally we would like a sub-12 second result for this test.

EVGA X79 Dark In The Box, Overclocking System Benchmarks
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23 Comments

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  • DanNeely - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    How solidly anchored is the 24pin ATX socket, and how stiff is the board itself? I've always assumed the reason I've never seen a sideways version of one was that the thickness and stiffness of the cable meant that if used in cases with behind the board cabling or that had limited space in front of the board would result in excess torque being applied. Reply
  • kolemunky - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    board is made of good quality material( stiff) and 24 pin is securely attached, but its location makes it very difficult for removal unless the board is removed from the case. Ive had this board since launch and can verify that the bios situation is as bad as the reviewer states. 2.07 does fix some of the overclocking bugs, but there are other issues that still persist. disabling marvell raid ports disables USB 3.0 ports. ? I have 4 ssds setup as a bootable raid-0 and have had it fail 3 times, once randomly, 2 others after updating the bios, 2.04, 2.07. considering this tech has been around 2 years , I don't see how they couldn't get this board rock solid day one. There are no features on the board that justify the price tag. Raid performance on marvell ports is abysmal. USB ports have serious issues. RIVE is a better buy and a better performer. I have already sold this board and am waiting for the RIVE black. I would advise anyone on picking up this board to look elsewhere. One look in the forums and you will understand why. Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    I'm not surprised about installing the cable being a pain; in smaller/older cases even the angled sata ports can be a problem. Reply
  • Flunk - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    I can attest to that. I used to use a SilverStone SUGO SG-03 for a SLI setup. Any angled connectors on the board are evil and should be expunged. Its less of an issue on an EATX board because the required cases are enormous but still annoying. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    The angled sata connectors are due to SLI/xFire on ATX/mATX boards; because there's not enough space near the southbridge to fit them in somewhere they're not at risk of being blocked by longer cards. Reply
  • CecileWamsley - Monday, October 28, 2013 - link

    My Uncle Julian got metallic MINI Cooper Clubman just by some part time working online with a macbook air... visit their website... http://smal.ly/8wUo2 Reply
  • ConcreteBrew - Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - link

    I have built ten high end machines using EVGA boards and I have never seen more eye candy or enjoyed tweaking it where "no man has ever been before" in a motherboard; including ASUS's Rampage IV which lasted a little over a year before giving up the ghost. Although supposedly still under warranty, I spent weeks trying to get an RMA from ASUS and finally gave up. This particular board is in my opinion, perfection at its best. It is significantly thicker and sturdier than the Rampage and the ATX socket, along with the rest that are at 90 degrees including the USB 3.0 to make room for that fourth GPU, are as stiff as in their vertical position. In fact, you can see the thickness of the metal framing coming through the board if you peel back the thick rubber insulation. These are all innovations and not gimmicks that I have found to be a constant with EVGA products. Never mind the fact that their technical support is available 24/7 for customers that have registered their products. They have a toll-free number and normally, you are on the phone with a live individual within two or three minutes. Better yet, they speak excellent English and and do know what they are talking about. You can't find anything this good anywhere. And best of all, they resolve your problems rather than put you off. And when warranted, you will hang -up with an RMA that is already in process. Reply
  • garnetandblack - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    This review is spot on. Great hardware, for the most part - troubling bios.

    EVGA's previous x79 boards were just as bad (if not worse) in this regard.
    Reply
  • warezme - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    Troubling to hear. I have always bought EVGA boards, usually the latest releases when I build a new system. Their boards are usually solid well built and their technical support and return policy are the best. You call and get to speak with real people. Reply
  • iamkyle - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - link

    eVGA's last solid board was the X58 classified. Everything has gone downhill since then and I can't understand why. Reply

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