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Dual-XEON EVGA W555... drool...

Last response: in Motherboards
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March 2, 2010 8:38:40 PM

Well, I'm very interested in this motherboard for a high-end scientific workstation. I've built one previously with the quad-core Nehalems with an Asus Z8PE-D12 (check this link, pics included, it's nice!).

A few things worth mentioning, though: tweakability is a much better selling point than the 7 PCIe 16x slots, which are simply overkill. Secondly, this is being touted as great because of support for Non-ECC unbuffered memory, but the ASUS boards that have been out for over a year don't require ECC/Buffered anyway, so it's nothing new.

People aren't really mentioning a very important problem with this platform: in general, you have to be careful about which aftermarket cooler you plan to use. I tried using Thermalright's TRUE Black with this platform, because I knew the screws matched (M3 screws), but ended up with an electrical component clearance problem (see the previous link) which was hard to solve.

What would be ideal, in my opinion, would be if they did NOT install that impossible-to-remove Xeon backplate at all, so we could use any cooler available for LGA1366. For instance, a quick glance at the new Thermalright Venomous shows that its mounting mechanism is incompatible with the Xeon's backplate. The TRUE is compatible, but I'd write an e-mail to EVGA before buying to make sure clearance issues don't arise.

I find it a little puzzling that there's no mention of this subject. Sites only say "any LGA1366 cooler will do" or so, but that's not true. The least EVGA could do is publish a list of compatible high-end coolers - it would help enourmously. Either that or we're stuck with Xeon cooling kits which are essentially "brute force"/"don't care enough" methods: chunks of copper with 5000-6000rpm sub-10cm fans attached to them. Or, wait, Noctua has a drop-in replacement Xeon 1366 cooler available.... that could be a solution as well.
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