eVGA nForce 680i SLI mainboard review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 03/03/2007 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Let's face it, ever since nVIDIA decided to enter the mainboard (chipset) market they have been very successful with it. Each released mainboard chipset constantly is improving, but sure like each manufacturer they have also been plagued with some issues. The 680i series for example initially had an issue with SATA data corruption. And that unfortunate mishap is still clouding the success of 680i a little. It took NVIDIA a week to fix it and with a BIOS update it was solved. So my first suggestion is to please forget about that as the issue was resolved quickly. The 680i mainboard series are magnificent.
The keyword for the 680i platform is "everything". You can do anything and everything you want up-to the limits of your hardware. There's one thing you may not forget, and that's that the success of a massive overclock is a sum of all things. You need the powerful PSU, the overclockable Core 2 Duo processor and the memory that can cope with high FSB's. Last but not least you need to properly cool down your processor.
See this is also why the benchmarks look so fantastic. All components are right. Hey it's not necessarily the 680i mainboard responsible for the pure performance, yet it allows the processor to be overclocked as much as it can handle, it allows the memory to be tweaked and run at insane clocks and it makes sure that the PC has plenty of data bandwidth to do it's thing in. All factors combined make it the greatest gaming and tweaking platform to date. And that's really quite something.
Despite me rambling about the positives, the 680i is not for everyone though. You really must be a sucker for tweaking and overclocking as otherwise you'll be throwing away money. This mainboard costs top dollar for the tweaking features. Go with a lower model 5 or 6 series product if you really are not into such a thing. In fact next week NVIDIA will be launching the 680 LT series of mainboards. It should save you a good 50 bucks yet has less tweaking options. So what I'm saying here is that if you want top notch performance, features, options and tweaking ability, you'll have to pay top dollar as the 680i mainboards are most certainly not cheap at 210 to 275 USD/EUR.
But look at it from the other side. A massive overclock of your system equals ROI - a return of investment. Sure our PC is expensive, but with passive water-cooling we have been able to push our Core 2 Duo Conroe E6600 processor from 2.4 Ghz towards a whopping 3.6 GHz 100% stable. Now if it even existed try to imagine how expensive such a processor would be alone. If you push too far then hey it's not an issue. This is a relatively easy to recover from mainboard with loads of safety features built in. If you crash due to a too high overclock and the PC won't even boot then after two resets the system automatically detects it and will recover towards safe default clocks. Stuff like that is really excellent.
Furthermore everything you can possibly need can be found on this mainboard. It's a little gem. Next to all that tweaking madness you get the nifty RAID features, Linkboost, Mediashield and Dual Gigabit Ethernet. Obviously the one topic that we did not spend time on was SLI. Do not forget that this is the best SLI performing mainboard available. We have been using this mainboard since November 2006 and pretty much 95% of the graphics card reviews (including 8800 GTS and GTX SLI) have been tested in this mainboard. Please have a look at these detailed SLI articles if you are interested in that.
Right, it's time to wrap things up. Oh yeah before I forget, eVGA will offer you a two year full warranty on the product.
If you are a tweaker that plays games often it's worth every invested penny though and oh my gawd you will love this mainboard.
The nForce 680i is a bloody brilliant platform, and not a soul on this earth will deny that. This is technology done right and Guru3D.com has been using this mainboard with pleasure for months now.
eVGA nForce 680i SLI
Price: 249 USD
The cheapest on-line price for this product
eVGA decided to make a new cheaper mainboard opposed to 780/790, designed it l33t, sexy yet offer two or maybe three features less than these sub 300 USD counterparts. And they named their new baby the eVGA nForce 750 FTW. Where FTW literally means "For The Win". Now if you send a product with "FTW" in the actual name then as a company you need to have some pretty big balls, as any reviewer will see if that product lives up-to the reputation. You know what, you need balls as big as an NVIDIA colored bull.
NVIDIA eVGA nFORCE 680i LT SLI
Let me put it simple .. The 68i SLI LT mainboard is a regular 680i SLI mainboard in all it's ways yet to cut costs there have been several functions stripped. For example .. you'll have to miss out on the 3rd "graphics" PCI-Express slot (the 8x one), you'll only have one GBit/s Ethernet connector, you lost the passively cooled SSP and MCP, it's now done with active fans, you loose LinkBoost and some tweaking options in the BIOS. Other stuff you'll miss are the black PCB, diagnostic LEDs, reset and power off/on micro switches in the mainboard PCB and some other small stuff. We'll explain ... click me !
eVGA nForce 680i SLI mainboard review
We started using this mainboard pretty much the minute we received it which was early November and ever since it has become the #1 mainboard for testing graphics cards. Intense stability, hefty tweaking features and massive performance. These are the three things I immediately think about when we talk about the 680i mainboards.