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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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Speaking about the memory configuration possibilities offered by this mainboard we should also check out the BIOS Setup options for latency adjustment. The mainboard allows adjusting all major timings alongside with Command Rate parameter that is unavailable on Intel based mainboards.

Nvidia nForce 680i SLI Chipset Review

Among the features that catch your eye right away we would like to mention the availability of three PCI Express x16 slots. The middle slot (blue) is logically connected to the PCI Express x8, although you can still install graphics cards into it. In fact, this slot is supposed to accommodate a physics accelerator, which doesn’t require high bandwidth.

So, you should configure the SLI system using black PCI Express x16 slots. But look how far apart they are! Nvidia engineers have given some serious thought to proper graphics card cooling and placed the graphics card slots as far apart as possible, which is definitely a great advantage of this design.

Nvidia nForce 680i SLI Chipset Review

Actually, I have to stress that the reference Nvidia nForce 680i SLI based mainboard design is exceptionally smart. All connectors are very conveniently located, the HDD connectors are at the very front of the PCB, and those that couldn’t fit in front of the DIMM slots are turned parallel to the PCB. There are two power supply connectors in front of the DIMM slots: a 24-pin connector and an additional MOLEX for SLI configurations. The 8-pin 12V ATX connector has been moved to the very right side of the board behind the processor socket. Even the Clear CMOS jumper is placed in a very reasonable spot. It is placed at the left edge of the PCB, so that you can easily reach it even when the mainboard is installed into the PC case.

The processor voltage regulator features three-phase design and uses only high-quality components. The MOSFET of the regulator are covered with matt black-anodized aluminum heatsinks matching the PCB color of the mainboard.

Nvidia nForce 680i SLI Chipset Review

The mainboard I/O panel is pretty standard. It features 6 USB 2.0 ports, PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse, two RJ-45 network connectors with diagnostic LEDs, a FireWire port, six audio-jacks and an optical SPDIF out.

Nvidia nForce 680i SLI Chipset Review

The remarkable thing about positioning of this product for hardware enthusiasts is not the availability of numerous additional controllers, but a few very pleasant trifles that come in handy during overclocking experiments. Among these trifles most certainly are the POST-codes indicator and Power On and Reset micro-buttons soldered directly onto the PCB.

Nvidia nForce 680i SLI Chipset Review

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