EVGA's W555 Dual-Socket Motherboard Redefines High-End

Rob Williams

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Just over a week ago, EVGA sent out a teaser image to its Twitter feed that showed off an upcoming motherboard like no other. The first major feature is its size, which is too large for even the most common full-tower chassis' out there, and the second would be the fact that it includes two CPU sockets and twice the number of DIMM slots compared to a typical Nehalem-based motherboard.

evga_w555_010810_thumb.jpg


You can read the rest of our news post here!
 

Rob Williams

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I almost forgot... a size comparison!
 

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Tharic-Nar

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I see a water cooling labyrinth of Ivy in the near future. 7x PCI-E x16 slots... 4 fitted with single socket waterblocked GPU's, 3 FusionIO drives, 2 xeon's @ 4Ghz, 48GB ram (probably ECC), 2x 1.2KW PSU. 4 or 5 Radiators, 2 pumps, 10 meters of vinyl, couple gallons of water. 4 SSD's in RAID 5....
*Insert Windows playing Solitaire joke*

While the above is a bit of a geeks dream, it would have very few uses short of running impressive (specialized) benchmarks. It could be seen as a desktop Super computer, but the computer itself would be the desk with the amount of supporting equipment needed. Given time, someone would build it - definitely make an interesting project... (accepting donations :p ). But in all honesty, it would probably be cheaper to build an equivalent server, maybe even a 4 socket if you wanted...
 
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slugbug

Coastermaker
Not sure which form factor that is but I can't see it fitting in a standard ATX case. Maybe D-ATX(double ATX)?
 

Kougar

Techgage Staff
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I definitely would enjoy using one of these as a foundation for one hell of a folding super computer. It's not common to have the ability to overclock dual-socket boards, but I'm certain this board should allow for some serious overclocks. The sheer board real-estate to play with should have allowed the designers to plan the best trace layouts for it too.

The form factor on this board is "Super WTX", I kid you not. But who cares, if someone was lucky enough to have this board I bet they would use a cardboard box if they had too. :D
 
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Rob Williams

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slugbug said:
Not sure which form factor that is but I can't see it fitting in a standard ATX case.

It won't fit in most full-towers, either. It will require a very specific chassis. Apparently Lian Li makes a single chassis that can contain this beast. EVGA mentioned another company also, but I can't remember the name (it was completely new to me). You could also just use a special server chassis, but something tells me that it won't fit the overall theme of such a high-end enthusiasts product.

As a side-note, EVGA told me that in calculating the numbers, they figured out that in order to use this board to its full potential, meaning installing four or five big GPUs, and two CPUs, along with all the RAM slots, while overclocking each component, you'd require not one, but two 1200W power supplies, both working in unison. That... is insane.

For most people, they'd have to re-wire their house before using this thing.
 

Tharic-Nar

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I guess my prediction wasn't off then when i said 2x 1.2kw....

Just thinking of the internal wiring is a headache. Which PSU would power which components? My guess is, one PSU powers the 2 processors and mother board (including the PCI-E lanes) and the second PSU (using a jumper switch i presume) would provide the secondary power the graphics cards. But where do you plug in the hard drives and such. Also, would two PSU's cause trouble if each provided slightly different voltages on a given rail... 5v, 12v etc, as well as phase mismatching and leakage. Do graphics cards keep the PCI-E lane and external power lines separate? I don't know if any of this is a concern at all, but i thought i'd ask anyway...

Here in the UK, 13 Amps on a single socket is the limit, which at 230-240 volts is 3.0 - 3.2kw. Two 1.2kw psu's running at 1.0kw each under full load, gives you 2kw. I'll assume multi monitor displays here as well, say three 30" screens at ~200 watts each (though typically, they're around 150-160 watts)... thats 2.6kw's.... This leaves 400-600 watts spare for speakers, networking + miscellaneous items, which can easily be consumed, especially from the speakers. So Yeah, you'd need more than one extended power socket to be safe.... and forget about a UPS, unless you have a bank of batteries ready...

Here's an interesting test.... take something of an equivalent power consumption, like an electric radiator, and measure their effectiveness to heat a room.... One radiator Vs a super computer, 3 monitors and speakers.
 

slugbug

Coastermaker
Yeah but just imagine how much heat 2 processors and 7 high end GPU's would produce. You could heat your home just with your PC.
 

Rob Williams

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Tharic-Nar said:
I guess my prediction wasn't off then when i said 2x 1.2kw....

I completely missed that, nice one :D

Tharic-Nar said:
Just thinking of the internal wiring is a headache.

If the PSU's are combined to turn on at the exact same time, I'd imagine the best route would be to have a scheme like:

PSU #1: One CPU, Half the GPUs, Storage
PSU #2: One CPU, Half the GPUs, Other components

Kind of just split it right down the middle. Doing a daisy chain of PSUs really isn't something that's encouraged, so I think the best idea would be to dedicate each PSU to the components its designed to handle.
 
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