Today is Monday, November 17, 2008, the official launch and availability date for the Intel Core i7 platform. The whole platform is officially on sale, just in time for Black Friday/Cyber Monday madness.
As revealed weeks ago, the motherboard itself is designed by ex-EPoX/now-EVGA design team, hand-tuned by K|ngP|n and Shamino, and manufactured by Jetway. This combo is responsible for (probably) the world’s first motherboard with limited lifetime warranty, and 90 Day Step-up program should be available for this motherboard as well (upgrading from, probably not upgrading to ;) ).
In Europe, customers will not get lifetime warranty, as that is impossible by EU laws (in case you’ve been asking yourself why EUropeans can’t get same warranty as US counterparts), but EVGA Europe will offer 10 year limited warranty, (maximum allowed by the same EU law) joining the ranks of Corsair, OCZ Technology and few other companies that go “beyond industry standards and practices”.
The motherboard, as far as several engineers is concerned, has only one design flaw: placement of 8-pin 12V rail. If your PSU comes with rigid cabling, you’ll have hellish time trying to get that cable connected to the motherboard without cutting the cabling insulation or bending the dual heat-pipe cooler for Digital PWM. On a second note, the reason for this placement is exact reason why this motherboard overclocks like there’s no tomorrow – since EVGA board supplies that whole rail into the CPU with no questions asked, the power transfer is as direct as possible.
Now, there is just one thing I am really hissy about. In product description on Tiger Direct, it states that EVGA motherboard allows customers to “Take advantage of the most significant architectural change in the x86 architecture in 13 years, the Intel Core i7.”
What kind of marketing BS is that? Core i7 is to Intel platform what Athlon 64 was to AMD’s one (even though first reviews of Bloomfield don’t show same performance jump), it is a majestic overclocking monster, but 13 years? C’mon, grow the heck up.
13 years ago, Intel introduced Pentium Pro architecture, and no, Core i7 cannot compare with the Pentium Pro (even though, there are some similarities between Pentium/Pentium Pro and Core 2/i7). In the halls of fame in IT industry, 8086, 80386, P6 (PPro), Athlon, Athlon 64 and Core 2 are the only CPUs that can be hailed as “great ones”. When Intel or AMD release a 128-bit CPU, we can talk about next “the greatest…” that came to the world of CPU architecture. Sorry.