Merely a month or two NVIDIA released a mainboard onto the market aimed at an enthusiast audience. You are a Guru3D.com visitor thus you obviously know that I'm talking about the delicious nForce 680i (Intel) and 680a (AMD) SLI series of mainboards.
We recently (finally) reviewed that unit and the conclusion could not be anything else that if you are a tweaker / guru / overclocker or high performance geek than such a mainboard would be the platform of choice as it offers an tremendous feature-set and breathtaking options.
The thing is... it's a 250 USD mainboard and all the features and options are not for everybody but there are still users out there that desire the raw speed and performance of the product yet need less whistles and bells. That user for example could opt a nForce 650 SLI mainboard... yet would be limited to 2x8 PCI-express lanes instead of 2x16; or 4 Serial ATA connectors instead of 6 which is a bummer if you want to do dual RAID 5. Such factors are leaving a small gap in the market in-between the 650 SLI and the 680 SLI mainboard series.
Now NVIDIA wouldn't be NVIDIA if they saw an opportunity in that and yes... here it is... the nForce 680i LT SLI series of mainboards. Let me put it simply... this is a 680 mainboard in all it's ways yet to save on costs, there have been several functions stripped away. 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 lose 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 later.
What remains is a mainboard that still can overclock quite well, and will offer you generic features yet with full PCI-Express bandwidth over the graphics slots (2x) x16 PCIe. It will offer the same performance as a full 680 board yet is a little cheaper at 200 USD.
But is the 200 USD pricetag justified by stripping away so many features? Let's grab a cheap Core 2 Duo E6600 processor, and find out how much performance we can boost out of it and see if it really matters...
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 !
NVIDIA Editor's Day 2003 The NVIDIA Editor's Day 2003 in sunny downtown San Francsico, brought together editors/journalists, from around the world, game developers, and NVIDIA engineers to talk about the GeForce FX technologies, drivers, and developer relations.