1 - A numeric introduction
Hey there. If you just finished our GeForce 9800 GX2 article, welcome back. It's time to have a peek at that other product that NVIDIA is announcing today. And boy, do we have a lot of stuff to talk about. Just like the GeForce 9800 GX2, the nForce 790 mainboard series serves a really high-end segment of the market. Now, I shared some concern about the pricing level in the graphics card segment yet here we land at a mainboard that will costs you 300-350 USD. And you know what? It's probably worth every penny, heck ... it'll last you way longer than a graphics card, that's for sure.
So without further ado, great to see you guys taking the time to read our lengthy articles. This one is about the new nForce series 7 products. Now I say series here as there's more to it than just the one mainboard we'll test today. You guys already learned about the nForce 780 SLI mainboard we recently tested, and today we move onwards to the 750 and and 790 mainboards. Keywords here are 45nm Intel processor support, stunning high-frequency DDR3 support and a proper introduction to ESA technology.
To keep things a bit organized let's go through them one at a time. The new nForce Series 7 products line-up will contain no less than four products, the following:
- NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI
- NVIDIA nForce 790i SLI
- NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI
- NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI
Before you start emailing me, yes an AMD version is scheduled as well, yet is to be announced. Key features you need to keep in mind, the 780 & 750 products are DDR2 products, the 790 series made the jump (quite exciting) towards DDR3 memory. And I mean that, I am really excited about DDR3 memory as prices are finally dropping, and your PC really certainly can use higher frequency memory.
If you are wondering why there are two models of the 790 series I again have to revert back to DDR3 memory. There are two different SKUs (stock keeping units) launched on the market, and the Ultra version seems to be an exclusive yielded chipset that can do overclocking wonders but more importantly, can run that DDR3 memory over 2000 MHz! For you recollection, current standard DDR2 memory in PCs runs at 667 or 800 Mhz, so you can imagine that's just a stackload of memory bandwidth at your disposal. The second 790i SKU will be called "NVIDIA nForce 790i SLI" yet only with DDR3 support up-to 1333MHz and no EPP 2.0.
But of course there's more to it than memory, 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.We've already stated it in our nForce780 article, four key factors apply to the luxurious 780 & 790 mainboards; Scalability, overclocking, aesthetics and the richest feature set money can buy you. Granted, it's a really expensive mainboard series, but 98% of the people that bought the previous generation product didn't regret it even for one second. Yours truly included.
In this we'll cover all that you need to know about the nForce 790i Ultra SLI, as supplied to us by eVGA. 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. That's a figure of speech, obviously.
Now what we'll do today is a bit different compared to usual. See, I figured I can fire off 1:1 comparison to other mainboard chipsets, yet instead I figured it'd be way nicer to guide you through the entire system building and most of all, the overclocking experience. We'll build a system, ESA everything. Then take a relatively cheap 275 USD 2.4 GHz Quad core Q6600 processor and then show you how we overclock it at several levels, we'll get QX9770 performance out of it .. in fact ... we'll even overclock from 2400 MHz towards 3600 MHz on this system ...
Next page please.
The nForce 790i "Oeltra" SLI - Hey .. is that a ringbus cooler ?