NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI review (eVGA)
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 03/17/2008 02:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
So then, I have to give it to NVIDIA. I mean, it surely does look like everything they touch turns into gold, doesn't it? It's for a good reason though as 99% of the time when you buy an NVIDIA product, you will enjoy the experience you gain from it. Once NVIDIA penetrated the mainboard market they immediately received good coverage and their products where well received. I mean as an example; who doesn't remember nForce 2 and Soundstorm ? That was about innovation. When nForce hit series 4, there was definitely a sort of mature feel to the mainboard line. Stability and feature rich products were the main focus. After series 4 NVIDIA however decided to attack the high-end segment. For example when it introduced nForce 590 it took us by surprise. With the launch of 680 SLI, despite a few quirks, things started to mature on that overclocking front and pretty much to this very date the nForce 680 set a new standard and is the king of all enthusiast mainboards.
Yet believe it or not, the 680 platform while still bitching nice, is nearly two years old and with age comes new technology. The nForce 790 takes all the good innovation that was introduced into the 680 onto a higher level. New features, new functions, new technology all based on that golden 680 concept, and for those that missed the 680 train, it might be time to get on-board with 790 as it is one of the finest platform experiences you'll ever have.
Here's where we leave the other products introduced today, from here on we talk about nForce 790i Ultra SLI only.
NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI was designed with new technology in mind, the next-generation Penryn 45nm Core 2 CPUs, 3-way SLI, Quad SLI, DDR3 with EPP 2 technology, PCI Express 2.0, processors with default 1600 FSB and recently announced, ESA (Enthusiast System Architecture) to closely monitor your components.
Let's walk through the technology.
The product we'll be testing today is the flagship enthusiast targeted Intel processor mainboard. It's based on the nForce 790i Ultra (with an i for Intel) SLI chipset. The product is based on NVIDIA's own design and consists of two discrete chips, both known the 790i MCP (media and communications processors) and the 790i SPP (system platform processors), more commonly called the North and South bridge respectively.
On the 780 board we noticed a third chip being the tiny nForce 200 chip. The NVIDIA nForce 200 chip is nothing more than a PCI Express switch chip with one upstream port and up to four downstream ports allowing all your PCIe functionality at full or if preferred less bandwidth (4x8 PCIe lanes). This process is now fully integrated onto the 790 chipset.
The new chipset brings support for the latest Socket 775 processors from Intel:
- Quad Core Yorkfield & duo core Wolfdale (45nm Penryn)
- Current (Kentsfield) Quad core & Duo Core processors (Conroe 65nm)
- All LGA775 Pentium processors
Processor support includes the new 45nm processor at 1600 MHz FSB (Core 2 Extreme QX9770). Most of the changes compared to the 780 chipset are to be found in the SPP chip. The nForce 200 chip I mentioned earlier has been integrated into the SPP, the DDR3 controller in embedded into the SPP and also new EPP 2.0 functionality (we'll explain later) is supported from the SPP. This all was needed because with the release of 3-way SLI and the move to the new PCIe 2.0 specification NVIDIA wanted to make sure that the third card for 3-way SLI used now also has full x16 PCIe lanes available (on 680i the middle PCIe was a x8 slot).
Effectively nForce 790i now has three PCIe x16 slots bringing you the maximum bandwidth available for all your graphics solutions.
Two x16 lanes are factually following the new PCIe 2.0 form factor and connected to the SPP, the third slot while x16 PCIe lanes is specced PCIe 1.0 and is being pulled from the MCP Southbridge). But let's have a chat about DDR3 compatibility as there are a couple of tricks we need to have a chat about.
In this article we'll cover all that you need to know about the nForce 790i Ultra SLI. This is the mainboard that applies to you guys. We'll do the review in Guru style. Meaning the real hands-on experience combined with all data you like to learn, gamers style. Obviously we'll test and compare a little as well. But first let me show you the technical specifications of the NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI before we attack it with red peppers and drive it to the extreme. NVIDIA made sure that the nForce 790 series is one of the if not the best overclocking platform available. But you will pay top dollar for it, yet by overclocking you will gain that invested revenue back, that's a guarantee.
NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI review - XFX
The industry has been moving forward and we now see slow adoption of PCIe 2.0, new Intel Penryn (45nm) Core 2 processors are close to it's release and then of course the launch of NVIDIA's 3-way SLI last week which for 780i meant adoption of (3x) 16x PCIe slots. Time for the good old nForce68-i to get an upgrade to the all new nForce 780i.
NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Intel preview
Reason enough for NVIDIA to release the nForce 500 series for Intel's processors (Core 2 Duo as well). Today we'll be taking a brief look at the reference NVIDIA NFORCE 590 SLI mainboard. It by all means is test done with a reference board that is not 100% finished and unfortunately we did not receive a final product from a board partner like ASUS. Nonetheless .. even with this very Beta reference mainboard I was shocked by the combination of Conroe and NFORCE 590 SLI for Intel, in very positive way I must add.
NVIDIA nForce 590 + AMD FX-62
In this article will specifically test the NFORCE 590 SLI platform, yet obviously we'll also have a brief look at the entire NVIDIA NFORCE 500 series of chipsets. We also look at the New AMD64 Athlon FX 62 processor and this'll also be a meory review with Two Corsair DDR2 1066 MHz memory kist that have (Sli Ready) EPP functionality.