Print 18 comment(s) - last by mbf.. on Nov 9 at 8:40 PM

Fortunately NVIDIA's performance is a bit better than their definition of secrecy
nForce 680i SLI, 650i SLI and 650i Ultra

NVIDIA is set to announce its latest core-logic family for Intel processors. The new nForce 600i family spawns three new products—the nForce 680i SLI, 650i SLI and 650i Ultra. The three chipsets will target hardcore enthusiasts, performance gamers and mainstream gamers respectively. With the nForce 600i chipset family, NVIDIA has adopted a new naming scheme to differentiate its Intel and AMD products. Beginning with the nForce 600i family, NVIDIA chipsets will have “i” designations for Intel chipsets and “a” designations for AMD variants.

For hardcore enthusiasts NVIDIA has the nForce 680i SLI. It features compatibility with Intel Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Duo, Celeron D, Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors. There’s also plenty of headroom with the nForce 680i SLI too. NVIDIA has engineered the nForce 680i SLI to run at a 1333 MHz front-side bus for future processor compatibility and overclocking headroom.

In addition to the 1333 MHz front-side bus support the nForce 680i SLI features a dual-channel DDR2 memory with various memory dividers to take advantage of SLI-Ready memory modules. NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI based motherboards also feature Quicksync Technology that accelerates memory performance when the front-side bus and memory speeds are synchronized.

As with the previous nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition the nForce 680i SLI supports two full-speed PCI Express x16 slots for SLI technology. In addition to the two full-speed PCI Express x16 slots, nForce 680i SLI motherboards will feature a third PCI Express x16 slot. The third slot will run at half-speed and have an x8 electrical interface. NVIDIA claims the half-speed PCI Express x16 slot is adequate for physics processing.

Other notable features of the nForce 680i SLI include LinkBoost, FirstPacket, DualNet, high definition audio and MediaShield technologies.

On the budget side of things is the nForce 650i SLI and 650i Ultra. Both chipsets are virtually identical with the exception of SLI support. The nForce 650i chipsets lack most of the features of the nForce 680i SLI. Nevertheless, it still features a dual-channel DDR2-800 memory controller, Gigabit Ethernet with FirstPacket technology and high definition audio. Interestingly enough, the nForce 650i series support two IDE channels while the nForce 680i SLI only supports one.

EVGA is the first manufacturer to release an nForce 680i SLI based motherboard. Images of the EVGA nForce 680i SLI motherboard was previously released by NVIDIA. The EVGA nForce 680i SLI motherboard features three PCI Express x16 slots with two full-speed and one half-speed. EVGA has based the motherboard on NVIDIA’s reference design. The motherboard supports all features of the nForce 680i SLI including the LinkBoost, FirstPacket, DualNet, MediaShield and high definition audio technologies.

Expect the EVGA nForce 680i SLI and other nForce 680i SLI based motherboards to cost south of the $300 border. Expect NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI and Ultra based motherboards should be more cost effective, most likely below $150.

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Upper memory limit
By dever on 11/8/2006 2:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
Excuse my igonorace, as I'm not a hardcore modder, but what is the limit to the memory capacity, or is that up to the mobo mfg? My first PC in '94 cost over $3k and came with 16MB of memory. But it had the capacity for over 700MB. It was nice to have the headroom, that I eventually used much of. I really am tired of buying PC's and laptops and maxing out the memory capacity almost immediately. What's required for 64 bit systems to start making available more addressable memory?

RE: Upper memory limit
By GaryJohnson on 11/9/2006 2:05:48 AM , Rating: 2
This board 'supports' 8GB.

Is that a true limit of the board/chipset, or is that just the largest amount that it was tested with? The board has 4x DDR2 slots, and to the best of my knowledge, 2GB sticks are the largest currently available.

Windows Vista x64 claims to support up to 128GB.

What would you need more than 8GB for anyways? Remember: 640K is all the memory you'll ever need.

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