NVIDIA originally claims the 680i SLI chipset will support all 45nm dual-core and quad-core processors, but that came to an end when Intel made some changes on their latest stepping on their 45nm quad-core Yorkfield processors. NVIDIA has refined their BIOS for overclocking as they have added half multipliers to the mix, which allows you to better dial in your overclock. They have also some newer software revisions for NVIDIA control panel and system monitor. The new hardware features include 3-way SLI support with 3 full x16 lanes, which is great for those that have $1500+ to spend on three GeForce 8800 GTX or Ultra graphics cards. Finally the 780i is here.
Sadly, the NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI motherboard is an evolutionary advancement, not a revolutionary one. It adds features like support of 45nm Intel quad-core processors, which are not optional when you make a high end enthusiast board. NVIDIA is sure to sell many of these boards because they have an ace in their pocket that they love to have. When it comes to performance between the 680i and 780i our testing showed that a significant difference couldn’t be seen , but the 780i has the edge.
Long Simple Test
Sandra XII SP1 64-bit showed that the 780i motherboard held it is own when compared to the Intel X38 Express and NVIDIA 680i SLI chipsets. The 780i SLI was king of the hill when it comes to memory bandwidth thanks on the 45nm Yorkfield based QQX9650 quad-core processor. When it came to the 680i and the 780i with a Core 2 Duo processor a significant difference could not be found.
When it comes to the actual chipset, it is amazing that NVIDA has been able to use the 680i/780i for so long. The NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI MCP is built on TSMC’s 90nm process technology, and contains the same exact micro-architecture as the NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI MCP. Eventually NVIDIA will have to design a new chipset to support even more features like 1600MHz FSB processors, DDR3 memory modules, and native PCI Express 2.0 graphics. Either way, let’s see what happens.
If: I like Speed..Decent Overclocking…Price
If: I hate slower clock times…lesser quality components