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Nvidia nForce 680i SLI Chipset Review

Date: 2006-11-9

   Nvidia has been present in the chipset market for just a few years but they have managed to become pretty successful in this field already. Starting 2001, when they introduced their fir...

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Power Consumption

In our todayís review devoted to the reference mainboard on Nvidia nForce 680i SLI chipset we have already mentioned its massive North and South Bridge cooling system designed using copper and heatpipe technology. The coolers used on Intel chipsets look much less sophisticated. It gives us some concern that one of the drawbacks of the new Nvidia nForce 680i SLI core logic set may be its high heat dissipation.

Since heat dissipation is directly connected with the power consumption we decided to measure how much power the similar systems built around different chipsets would consume. We measured the total power consumption of the entire platform except the monitor in several modes.

First of all we measured the platforms power consumption in idle mode, when there is nothing running. Note that we didnít enable Intel Enhanced SpeedStep or Enhanced Halt State technologies during these tests.

Nvidia nForce 680i SLI Chipset Review

The first results immediately reveal the difference. In idle mode Nvidia nForce 680i SLI based platform consumes about 20-30W more power than the competitors. And these 20-30W can be assigned to the chipset only, because the systemís configuration differed only by the mainboard they were built on.

Now letís take a look at the results of our second experiment, when the CPU was under 100% workload traditionally created by S&M utility.

Nvidia nForce 680i SLI Chipset Review

We once again observe a 20-30W difference.

The third experiment was performed with the graphics subsystem being fully loaded by the 3DMark06 testing suite.

Nvidia nForce 680i SLI Chipset Review

In this case the difference in power consumption turns even greater and makes 30W compared with the iP965 and 50W compared with the i975X.

So, we can state that Nvidia nForce 680i SLI is a less economical chipset than the solutions from Intel. And if you are looking to get a quiet economical system, then Nvidia solution will hardly be your choice.

Summing up the power consumption and heat dissipation analysis we can conclude that Nvidiaís new chipset loses quite noticeably to the Intel P965 Express and Intel 975X Express from the performance-per-watt prospective.

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