EVGA’s been making high-end motherboards targeted towards enthusiasts for a few years now, so they’ve had time to really nail down board layout. The layout of the nForce 750i SLI FTW is very good; EVGA didn’t make any obvious mistakes such as placing the DIMM sockets too close to the PCI Express graphics slots, or blocking a SATA port when a large graphics card is installed.
As you can see, the nForce 750i SLI FTW board sports a black PCB, just like EVGA’s more expensive nForce 780i SLI and 790i Ultra SLI motherboards. Also like many high-end motherboards, the FTW board is composed entirely of all-solid capacitors. Typically on lower-end boards, motherboard manufacturers combine conductive polymer aluminum solid capacitors mixed with more traditional electrolytic capacitors. In these configurations, typically the solid capacitors are used to power the CPU, while the electrolytic capacitors are used for powering less intensive areas of the motherboard. On higher-end motherboards like the nForce 750i SLI FTW however, every capacitor is a solid capacitor. With all solid capacitors onboard, the idea is that the capacitors will last longer while also boosting system stability under extreme conditions.
For powering the CPU, EVGA has integrated a 6-phase power design. While six power phases may not be as many as some other Core 2 motherboards with 8-phase power, the nForce 750i SLI FTW motherboard is fully capable of powering the latest Core 2 CPUs, including 1333MHz FSB Extreme Edition processors like the Yorkfield-based 3.0GHz quad-core Core 2 Extreme QX9650. Due to its 1600MHz FSB, the only CPU the motherboard doesn’t officially support is the Core 2 Extreme QX9770, although overclockers are certainly free to take a stab at it if they wish.
EVGA’s $350 nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard also features a 6-phase power solution (albeit with more powerful capacitors), so technically on paper the nForce 750i SLI FTW is just as capable as EVGA’s flagship offering in this regard.
Graphics duties are handled by two PCIe 2.0-compliant PCI Express Graphics (PEG) slots. Potential SLI users will be glad to know that EVGA leaves plenty of room between the PEG slots for dual-slot graphics cards like the GeForce 9800 GTX and 8800 GTS 512MB. Resting in between both PEG slots are two PCI slots, while a third PCI slot is placed beneath the secondary PEG slot. To round out the board’s expansion options, an x1 PCIe slot is located above the primary PEG slot.
The motherboards four SATA ports are mounted parallel to the edge of the motherboard, as does the floppy ATA connector. This allows them to sit low enough on the board that they won’t interfere with long components like graphics cards, and as a result, you can use all of them without issue. The parallel ATA connector is located higher on the motherboard, right behind the DIMM sockets. So it won’t get in the way of any critical system components either. Speaking of the PATA connector, one minor gripe some may have with the EVGA nForce 750i SLI FTW is EVGA’s use of just one PATA connector, even though the chipset itself technically supports two connectors. PATA drives have been going out of style for a few years now though so this won’t be an issue to most enthusiasts who already have at least one SATA drive. If anything, these type of users are probably more upset about the number of SATA ports (just four), although this is a limitation of the nForce 750i SLI chipset.