EVGA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard Review :: EVGA nForce 680i SLI Special Features

11-14-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Doc Overclock

680i Features, or the twelve principles of precision

  1. Extreme Overclocking
  2. NVIDIA SLI Technology
  3. SLI-Ready Memory with EPP Third PCIe Slot for Graphics Expansion
  4. NVIDIA LinkBoost Technology
  5. NVIDIA DualNet Technology
  6. NVIDIA Native Gigabit Ethernet
  7. NVIDIA FirstPacket Technology
  8. High Speed 1200MHz memory
  9. True Dual PCIe x16 graphics
  10. A 3rd PCIe slot for graphics expansion and physics
  11. Advanced NV BIOS and nVTune
  12. SLI ready memory with full enhanced performance profiles (EPP) supported

EVGA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard Review

NVIDIA has decided to use all NVIDIA approved vendor list (AVL) components for their 680i series motherboards. These components include capacitors, resistors, oscillators, and field effect transistors. They are designed to ensure high-quality components are being used throughout the entire manufacturing process. Quality in means quality out when it comes to the components used in a boards makeup.

The new 680i boards are based on the six layer design for enhanced quality. The normal motherboard design places the signals on the top layer, followed by layers for power, ground and more signals. The 6 layer design adds two additional signal layers in the middle, allowing for more optimized power delivery to the components and a more stable motherboard.

NVIDIA also introduced LinkBoost with their AMD nForce 590 SLI motherboard chipset earlier this year. This automatically increased the PCI Express bus speed by 25% over the default 100MHz clock when a compatible NVIDIA video card was installed (7950 GX2 or later). With the 680i this has moved the Intel chipset platform, allowing for up to a 25% increase in bandwidth from the video card to the system.

Another innovation of the nForce 590 carried over to the new 680i chipset was the introduction of EPP memory support. Enhanced Performance Profile memory stores additional information in unused data bits beyond the standard SPD information including the memory voltage and command rate of the memory. Profiles can also be set, to allow a wider range of settings for a particular memory chip. SLI supported memory is an option that AMD and NVIDIA worked on at its launch and is now transferring over to the Intel platform. This was not only technically a brave move, but marketing genius as well.

NVIDIA's nForce 2 chipset was the first commercially available and viable motherboard to support dual Ethernet right out of the box without the need for an adapter. The release of the nForce 590 SLI chipset introduced DualNet technology, allowing the two LAN ports to do things like teaming, load balancing and fail-over along with TCP/IP acceleration. Teaming turns the two Gigabit Ethernet connections into a single 2-Gigabit connection. TCP/IP acceleration accelerates traffic processing. FirstPacket technology allows the user to set priorities for the upstream bandwidth. If a game or app needs more, you can set a priority with FirstPacket giving it more bandwidth. The 680i moves NVIDIA into the next technical level in some aspects of its design and has all the best from its past experience built into their new chipset as well.