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eVGA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard. Image courtesy of AnandTech Forums
nForce 590 SLI reborn

An image of an upcoming NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI based motherboard has been leaked on the AnandTech forums. DailyTech previously reported NVIDIA was replacing its nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition with the nForce 680i SLI.

The motherboard is manufactured by eVGA and appears to be an enthusiast offering. It packs three PCI Express x16 slots, two PCI Express x1 and two PCI slots. While two of the PCI Express x16 slots are full-speed with sixteen lanes, it’s unknown what the lane configuration on the third slot will be. With three PCI Express x16 slots it appears NVIDIA may be taking on ATI’s triple-play physics processing architecture.

Other notable features of the nForce 680i SLI motherboard include 1394a, onboard high definition audio, dual Gigabit Ethernet and a heat pipe cooler for the MCP and SPP. It is unknown which high definition audio codec is used on the upcoming motherboard. Nevertheless, it will most likely be an ever-so-popular Realtek high definition audio codec.  

Performance and overclocking information on the upcoming nForce 680i SLI motherboard is unknown at the moment, though the thread originator promises more details next week.  eVGA is expected to ship the 680i motherboards in bundles with the upcoming GeForce 8800 series video cards at launch.

Update 10/13/2006: This image was sent out by NVIDIA PR to various sites. The motherboard is manufactured by Foxconn as eVGA does not have production capabilities like ASUS, XFX and Gigabyte.

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What is That?
By tripomarto on 10/13/2006 4:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
Looking the picture i notice something below the NB Heatsink, anyone knows what is that?

RE: What is That?
By webdawg77 on 10/13/2006 4:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
It looks to be a LED that can display two digits. It's probably related to MB error codes.

RE: What is That?
By tripomarto on 10/13/2006 4:58:49 PM , Rating: 2
nono, i was referring below the NB heatsink, not below de SB heatsink

RE: What is That?
By Serlant on 10/13/2006 4:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
looks like a fan header too me

RE: What is That?
By tripomarto on 10/13/2006 5:05:05 PM , Rating: 1
RE: What is That?
By BillyBatson on 10/13/2006 9:35:16 PM , Rating: 1
looks to me like empty space with the nvidia logo

RE: What is That?
By johnsonx on 10/13/2006 10:16:39 PM , Rating: 3
Looks like some sort of mounting point for a vertical fan bracket.

RE: What is That?
By shecknoscopy on 10/14/2006 5:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I think it's just the base of the NB heatsink itself. It looks continuous with that black radiator monstrosity, and affixed to the mobo itself with three pegs.

RE: What is That?
By clevere1 on 10/13/2006 9:48:23 PM , Rating: 3
Damn that's a big heatsink on the bridges.

RE: What is That?
By Xavian on 10/13/2006 11:53:09 PM , Rating: 2
Considering how hot nvidia's Northbridge is on recent Nforce boards, im really not surprised at its size.

It is MUCH better then the active-cooling solution used in previous Nforce boards.

RE: What is That?
By mindless1 on 10/14/2006 5:07:58 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe better, or maybe competing with a similarly monster-sized CPU 'sink. IMO, half the problem with the active 'sinks was easily fixable if manufacturers took some notes from those building quiet->silent PCs, to use thicker, lower RPM quality fans.

Onboard Audio
By qdemn7 on 10/13/2006 4:32:44 PM , Rating: 3
It matters little how "high defintion" the onboard audio might be, or whose codes it uses, if it's plauged by crackling and popping caused by leakage from the USB lanes. My current motherboard, an Asus A8N32-SLI suffers from this problem. Buying a separate sound card solved the problem. I paid $275 for this mobo in November of 2005. It's a crying shame you spend that much money, and get such poor results.

RE: Onboard Audio
By bob661 on 10/13/2006 8:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
My sound works and sounds great. Didn't pay that much money for mine though.

RE: Onboard Audio
By kilkennycat on 10/13/2006 11:27:14 PM , Rating: 3
I doubt if it is leakage from USB lanes. More like analog-crosstalk from the ground-current noise from the CPU -- up to 130 amps of peak-spike current rushing back and forth between the CPU itself and the CPU voltage-regulator capacitors. A common malady on integrated-audio motherboards of the ATX variety, where the audio signal circuit-board traces cannot avoid running close to the CPU or its power-planes. BTW, I have a A8N32-SLI also and use the optical output to an external amplifier/decoder. No noise on the optical output! Lots of noise on the analog outputs. Not an A8N32-SLI-exclusive problem. I have encountered significant analog-audio noise on every integrated-audio motherboard that I have encountered. Maybe my tolerance threshold for analog audio noise is much lower than the average PC user?

RE: Onboard Audio
By bob661 on 10/13/2006 11:46:11 PM , Rating: 2
I haven't heard jack on any of my onboard audio motherboards. I DO remember way back when I wouldn't touch onboard audio with a ten foot pole for the reasons you mentioned but I haven't had a problem in at least 4 years. The newer stuff is MUCH better. My A8N-SLI board is the best I've ever owned. And I'm STILL on the original bios (1002). Stable as a rock.

RE: Onboard Audio
By mindless1 on 10/14/2006 5:19:02 AM , Rating: 2
It might be that your equipment is more sensitive, I too find practically all onboard audio in the past 6 years or so, terribly noisey but if you hook low-grade consumer amp up to it (as in most, even so-called-good, computer speaker sets) much of the noise is gone, but not all. Then again, some people can't hear artifacts in 160kbps MP3 either, so,

By gramboh on 10/13/2006 8:54:03 PM , Rating: 4
Triple play is useless (at least to me, for now), but I am interested in the nice looking passive cooling on the NB, hopefully it works well. Gonna wait on my C2D build to see how this thing performs OC and feature wise.

What is with 2 PCI slots on most boards and losing one in SLI/Crossfire? Why can't they add a few more onto the bottom of the board? Is it because the ATX spec requires the board a certain size and there is not enough room? The only PCI card I use is my soundcard but it would be nice to have more room. Or Creative Crap Labs could just make a damn PCI-e 1x card already.

RE: 680
By Wwhat on 10/13/2006 10:48:34 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah there should be pcie audio cards already this is ridiculous.
In fact there should be pcie version of all the old pci cards, it's 2006, welcome to now.
On the plus side, I see there is now a selection of SATA optical drives finally, and some of them are only slightly more expensive than the IDE version:

Asus (ASUSTeK) DRW-1612BLT
LiteOn SHM-165S6S-01C / SHM-165S6S-11C
Samsung SH-W163 / SH-S183A

expansion slot placement
By Serlant on 10/13/2006 4:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
thats some excellent placement from the board makers on those pci slots. triple play you say? say goodbye to all your pci slots and a pci-e 1x slot. which leaves u with a measly 1x pci-e slot. so if youre gonna go with 3 cards u better hope that onboard audio is up to the job....or someone decides to bring out a pci-e sound card ( could be some already havent checked)

RE: expansion slot placement
By bob661 on 10/13/2006 8:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'll only be using the x16 slots. Onboard audio has treated me well.

RE: expansion slot placement
By Wwhat on 10/13/2006 10:41:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well it's not that easy to get several PCIE ports with enough room for large heatsinks and then get PCI and normal PCIE ports fitted too, plus all the headers and chips and it all has to fit in standard cases.

By jlaavenger on 10/14/2006 4:14:00 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't the ASUS P5N32-SLI Premium Wi-Fi board support a sound card? It seems like the better board to me. SLI, PhysX and sound card all in one. Looks like you could ad a Creative Sound Card to it and still have both SLI Video and a PhysX card too.

By jlaavenger on 10/14/2006 4:17:10 AM , Rating: 2
by the way, does anyone think this board will support the Intel Quad Core 2 Extreme QX6700? Or the NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTX when they come out?

By cochy on 10/14/2006 3:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
Sine the article said they are bundling the board with the 8800 vid cards, one would assume yes it is compatible. As for QX6700, I'm not sure but I'd assume yes until I heard otherwise.

3 PCI Express slots
By perrywilson78 on 10/13/2006 5:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
I have an evga board with 3 pci express x16 slots. Two are for SLI and the third is for a single vider card. I think that is what they are going for on this board.

RE: 3 PCI Express slots
By perrywilson78 on 10/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: 3 PCI Express slots
By Bladen on 10/14/2006 12:07:23 AM , Rating: 1
Most normal (non-retarded) SLI/Crossfire boards use the PCIe16 slot that is closest to the CPU, of the two.

RE: 3 PCI Express slots
By JWalk on 10/14/2006 12:28:20 PM , Rating: 2
I have owned an evga SLI board as well, and I agree with you. The three slots are just an easy way to switch on and off SLI. If you are using one card, you put it in the middle (blue) slot. If you are going SLI, you use the two outside slots. It takes away the need to switch jumpers on the board for SLI. Evga and Jetway both used this arrangement on their AMD-based SLI boards.

My God
By sirius4k on 10/14/2006 1:14:54 AM , Rating: 2
... what have they done with eSata...
Every DELUXE edition before have had an eSata port and this doesn't ??
Any good reason for that??
I want eSata back... FireWire is commonly used, but Sata is way better...

RE: My God
By Topweasel on 10/14/2006 2:12:25 AM , Rating: 2
This may not even be a deluxe (just the Bland SLI version) and secondly its not the deluxe mobos but the Premium branded ones that came with a e-sata, I know because I purchase an A8N-SLI deluxe and Premium and have been keeping an eye on just about everything else. Basically they include them in the 175+ boards.

By crystal clear on 10/14/2006 5:52:29 PM , Rating: 3
The image was not leaked -rather released to PC Perspective

Sneak Peek at the upcoming nForce 680i SLI for Intel Fri, Oct 13, 2006 - 02:49 PM

Jeremy Hellstrom | Source: NVIDIA | Subject: Motherboard
nVIDIA has sent us a look at the reference board for the soon to be released nForce 680i SLI. Motherboard manufacturers have the actual board, so it should not be too long before we start seeing previews of their versions. Notice the passive cooling on the two chip north and south bridge combination, as well as the three PCIe x16 slots for graphics cards....what could NVIDIA be up to now?

Unquote-source Nvidia

By RAMDRPC on 10/20/06, Rating: -1
RE: Noooooooo
By RAMDRPC on 10/20/06, Rating: 0
RE: Noooooooo
By zam786 on 11/3/2006 3:26:00 PM , Rating: 2
noooooooo intel and nvidia rock
bring on triple g80 with the nforce680i and corsair sli certified memmory oh yeah

Another question?
By webdawg77 on 10/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: Another question?
By tripomarto on 10/13/2006 4:59:44 PM , Rating: 5
they look like usb, but with white connector

RE: Another question?
By bob661 on 10/13/2006 8:37:11 PM , Rating: 5
USB ports dude.

RE: Another question?
By Wwhat on 10/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: Another question?
By Xavian on 10/13/2006 11:56:32 PM , Rating: 5
They would be USB ports, e-sata looks pretty much like normal sata ports.

RE: Another question?
By peternelson on 10/15/2006 10:09:12 AM , Rating: 2
Regular SATA has an L shaped keyway in the middle.

ESATA does not have this L shape in the middle.

RE: Another question?
By webdawg77 on 10/20/06, Rating: -1
"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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