More NVIDIA nForce 600 Series Details Revealed
October 20, 2006 4:09 AM
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Coming to a motherboard near you in November
NVIDIA is set to release its
upcoming nForce 600 series of chipsets
in the first half of November.
has come across more details of the upcoming chipsets including the nForce 680i SLI, 650i SLI and 650i Ultra—all for Intel’s land-grid-array 775 socket. At the top of the nForce 600 chain is the nForce 680i SLI MCP. This chipset will be
replacing the limited availability nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition that was announced last June
. The nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition
had problems with overclocking the front-side bus past Intel’s rated 1066 MHz.
NVIDIA has remedied this situation and the nForce 680i SLI will officially support a 1333 MHz front-side bus. Whether or not this will support
1333 MHz front-side bus refresh is unknown
. Nevertheless, the supported 1333 MHz front-side bus will allow overclockers greater headroom with current overclocking friendly
Core 2 Duo processors
. NVIDIA has improved the dual-channel memory controller as well. The nForce 680i SLI’s memory controller now has memory dividers capable of support DDR2-1200 memory. Also supported is
NVIDIA’s SLI-Ready memory with Enhanced Performance Profiles.
Graphics expansion will be a key point of nForce 680i SLI motherboards. In addition to the two full-speed PCI Express x16 slots, nForce 680i SLI motherboards will have a third PCI Express slot for NVIDIA’s
unannounced three-GPU applications
. This will most likely be a form of
HavokFX SLI physics processing
ATI’s upcoming triple-play physics processing
. The third slot will electrically have eight lanes routed to it.
On the networking side of things is the return of NVIDIA’s native Gigabit Ethernet, FirstPacket, DualNet and TCP/IP acceleration technologies. These features
previously debuted with the nForce 590 SLI
and remain the same on the nForce 680i SLI. High definition audio and six SATA 3 Gb/s ports with NVIDIA MediaShield storage technology are supported too. RAID levels 0, 1, 0+1 and 5 are also supported with the nForce 680i SLI.
Targeting budget conscious users are the nForce 650i SLI and 650i Ultra. These chipset are not officially rated to run at 1333 MHz front-side bus, though NVIDIA claims the chipsets can clock beyond official specifications with overclocking. Unlike the nForce 680i SLI, the 650i SLI only supports two PCI Express x16 slots in dual eight lane configurations. These two chipsets are identical with the nForce 650i SLI endowed with SLI support while the 650i Ultra only supports single-graphics card configurations.
The nForce 650i SLI and 650i Ultra have dual-channel DDR2 memory controllers, though there’s no official support for DDR2-1200 or SLI-Ready memory with Enhanced Performance Profiles. It is unknown if motherboard manufacturers will be able to expose the same memory dividers as the ones available on nForce 680i SLI motherboards.
Storage features have been stripped on the nForce 650i SLI and 650i Ultra as well. Instead of the six SATA 3 Gb/s ports found on the nForce 680i SLI, the 650i SLI and 650i Ultra are limited to four SATA 3 Gb/s ports. Nevertheless, NVIDIA’s MediaShield storage technology is still available with support for RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and 5 configurations.
Networking features are also crippled with the nForce 650i SLI and 650i Ultra. Although native Gigabit Ethernet and FirstPacket are supported with the nForce 650i SLI and 650i Ultra, the DualNet and TCP/IP acceleration features are unavailable. As with the nForce 680i SLI, high definition audio technology is supported too.
All nForce 600 series motherboards will support NVIDIA’s nTune utility that allows system tweaking within Windows. The utility allows CPU and memory adjustments in Windows without the need to restart.
NVIDIA is expected to launch in early November with immediate motherboard availability. Expect pricing on nForce 680i SLI motherboards to be north of $200 while nForce 650i SLI and 650i Ultra will fill in the below-$150 price points.
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10/20/2006 8:47:42 AM
I assume this board will not support DDR3 - am I correct?
Does anyone know when such boards will be available to the end user?
RE: DDR 3
10/20/2006 12:27:43 PM
You are correct, it does not support DDR3. DDR3 hasn't even been announced and is not available anywhere yet, so I think you're jumping the gun by about 6-9 months.
I think we can expect to see DDR3 on Intel systems by Q3 2007 at incredibly high price points, and in upper-mainstream systems mid 2008. The first DDR3 we see will be as slow as DDR2, so there'll be no compelling reason to upgrade to it (like when DDR2-400 came out...there was no reason to buy it).
After typing all that I looked it up and I was fairly close in most regards,
So there you go. Don't wait on DDR3.
RE: DDR 3
10/20/2006 12:56:42 PM
DDR3 is coming in Intel Bearlake chipsets (X38 and P35 I think are the replacements for 975X and P965). These have been announced (search Dailytech for Bearlake) but no ETA for release. Speculation it could be in May 2007. From what I can tell, there is no advantage to DDR3 other than lower power consumption, until speeds ramp up.
RE: DDR 3
10/24/2006 9:42:41 PM
Which, considering how high costs will be for the first year, is why it will be restricted to high-end systems for the time being.
I can't see Bearlake released in May, however.
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