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ASUS STRIKER EXTREME AND EVGA NVIDIA NFORCE I680 MOTHERBOARD REVIEW BENCHMARK OVERCLOCK


           

Asus Striker Extreme and evga nvidia nforce i680 motherboard review benchmark overclock
Posted:2006-11-24 By chipset review
Number of View:60737




ASUS STRIKER EXTREME AND EVGA

NVIDIA NFORCE I680 MOTHERBOARD

REVIEW BENCHMARK OVERCLOCK



By :chipset review

Posted:2006-11-24






xtreview is your : Video card - cpu - memory - Hard drive - power supply unit source

Asus Striker Extreme and evga nvidia nforce i680 motherboard review benchmark overclock



The chipsets nForce are since years getting success, they were confined a long time in the world of processors AMD. After intense negotiations with INTEL, NVIDIA finally succeeded in taking down a license at the beginning of 2005 and thus the authorization to conceive chipsets with destinations of processors INTEL. For as much and in spite of its experiment, NVIDIA had until now all the sorrows of the world to take the lead in INTEL market : the first nForce 4 INTEL did not manage a very restricted number of Pentium processors whereas recent the very confidential nForce 5 INTEL suffers from severe limitations in overclocking, an unquestionable handicap for a set of top-end-range components .
nvidia nforce 680i logo

NVIDIA thus returns today with the nForce 680i SLI, a new top-endrange chipset for INTEL processors . As much to be clear for the beginning, the ambitions of nvidia was simple: to propose as the launching of the best platform for gaming . To achieve this goal, NVIDIA put the package by conceiving a new whole northbridge not only more adapted to the processors Core 2 Duo.

nvidia nforce 680i chip

NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI: The new SPP

Logo NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI

one of the most reproaches often addressed to the precedent chipset nForce 590 for INTEL processors was related to its northbridge or SPP. Indeed, NVIDIA was satisfied with the nForce 590 SLI INTEL Edition to recycle the northbridge already employed on the nForce 4 for INTEL processors, northbridge which one could fear that the controller report is hardly adapted to the characteristics of all the recent processors Core 2 Duo. With its new nForce 680i SLI, NVIDIA makes close to the past, C19 drawing its reverence with the profit from C55 (the code name SPP)! The arrival of this new northbridge allows the last chipset NVIDIA indifferently to manage processors INTEL Pentium 4, INTEL Pentium D, INTEL Celeron D, INTEL Core 2 Duo, INTEL Core 2 Extreme as well as the futures Core 2 Quad always in Socket LGA775. If we take time to enumerate various INTEL processors  supported by nForce 680i SLI the list will be very long but their is many change since the precedents chipsets nForce for INTEL had some problems of compatibility: we clearly remembers particularly the nForce 4 SLI INTEL Edition and his incompatibility with Pentium D 820.

This change of northbridge makes possible to NVIDIA to re-examine its technology DASP which passes in version 4.0 and always aims at improving the performances of the memory controller dual-channel DDR2. It is not the only change for this controller since this one is now able to function officially with DDR2-800. For recall, old chipsets nForce for INTEL was officially validated in DDR2-667 and managed the DDR2-800 in overclocking mode. That resulted in problems of stability during activation of the 1T mode with the DDR2-800 whereas the parameter was functional with the DDR2-667. NVIDIA thus corrects this point with the nForce 680i SLI, which continues to be distinguished with this parameter modifying for recall value CMD or Command Per Clock from the memory. Alas for NVIDIA, this parameter gives results quite different from what one obtained with Athlon 64 where the passage in 1T boost literally the performances of the system . At INTEL, the benefit is much more restricted what is not so astonishing since the function does not have the same effect, the memory controller not being in the processor.

Always to the chapter memory, NVIDIA brings with its nForce 680i SLI the assumption of responsibility for the DDR2-1200. Of course the DDR2-1200 is non-existent today, but this compatibility makes possible for NVIDIA to prepare the future while making possible to overclockers to get pleasure. The latter for example will be charmed to learn that the memory controller of nForce 680i SLI proposes a completely desynchronized operating mode. The idea being to allow the function bus processor and memory bus report to work at different frequencies, frequencies which are connected between them by  ratio. on chipsets INTEL P965 (but also i975X), the operation of memory has an synchronous type. using coefficients, the overclocking imposes the use memory DDR2 able to function with more than 400 MHz. The ratio smallest generally imposing the memory frequency  of 500 MHz, impossible to be reached with standard DDR2-800.

NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI - Manager Windows

The nForce 680i SLI seen by Windows XP Professionnel Service Pack 2


NVIDIA EPP
As regards to the memory management  it is necessary for us to specify that the nForce 680i manages profiles EPP naturally. Installation for the first time with the nForce 590 SLI for processors AMD, technology EPP allow to memories manufacturers to store on a small additional chip the complete characteristics their memory slot. The goal being to ensure that those will be well configured, but also to facilitate the overclocking thanks to profiles of performances preset and validated upstream by the manufacturer. the EPP resides which is addressed to overclockers simplifying their life whereas generally love to overclock thing by hand by evaluating the impact of each tuning offered by the BIOS and by pushing the hardware in its last limit . During our tests, this Memory function gave us satisfaction. as a proof our DDR2-6400C3 Corsair were recognized with latency times of 5-5-5-18 without SLI-Memory whereas by activating the function, the BIOS could itself apply the good tunings : 3-4-3-9 with the right voltage.

The SPP or System Platform Processor of the nForce 680i SLI ensures the management of certain number of lines PCI-Express bus since it controls the first graphic port PCI-Express bus 16x while offering two links PCI-Express BUS 1x. NVIDIA with the nForce 680i has the presence of LinkBoost technology. Introduced with the nForce 590 SLI for AMD, technology missed NTEL with the nForce 590. Here it return this one consists with an automatic overclocking of the bus PCI-Express when a graphics board NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX or GeForce 8800 is present. LinkBoost technology is incompatible with other cards NVIDIA, including GeForce 7950 GX2. In practice, the activation of LinkBoost makes pass the frequency of the bus PCI-Express train from 100 MHz, the default frequency, to 125 MHz with for result a band-width in progression of 8 Go/S with 10 Go/S for the graphics board. Remain that like we had been able to note it in the past, LinkBoost technology does not bring any palpable gain on the majority of benchmarks.

NVIDIA LinkBoost


Diagram describing the changes implemented by LinkBoost

 

NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI: A southbridge which does not changeâ?¦

Contrary to its chipsets for processors AMD which comprise only one chip in general, NVIDIA uses with the nForce 680i a more traditional architecture with side northbridge and another southbridge. This diagram is made compulsory because of the need for amemory controller for processors INTEL. But let us return to the southbridge which does not have finally anything news. They use about same component MCP55 that we finds already in chipsets nForce 590 and this one is inter-connected by an HyperTransport link. Nothing new  thus, even if the list of the functionalities is always also impressive! The MCP of NVIDIA of course offers an assumption of responsibility of the bus PCI-Express which comes to supplement the management offered by the northbridge. Thus, the MCP manages the graphic port PCI-Express 16x  combined with the SPP,it makes possible to deal with the SLI  16x  graphics card. But it is not all since our MCP55 can manage 4 connectors PCI-Express 1x as well as a third connector PCI-Express 6x for graphics card cabled in 8x. The presence of a third graphic port being probably intended for platform SLI Physics where the user will add a third graphics card which exclusive role will be to offer an acceleration of calculations related to physics. On the whole, the nForce 680i SLI thus offers more than 46 lines PCI-Express !

Concerning HDD, the nForce 680i SLI has a controller Serial-ATA 3Gb/S with management of technology NCQ. The controller recognizes a total of six peripherals and NVIDIA of course proposes its MediaShield technology, or NVRAID. It is thus possible to create RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1 and RAID 5. In mode RAID 5 and thanks to the assumption of responsibility of six units Serial-ATA, the user can create two volumes RAID 5 simultaneously. If NVIDIA does not forget the good old woman interfaces IDE, the firm  limits itself  with only one managed channel : a maximum of two units! Useless consequently to plan to make RAID by mixing units Serial-ATA and IDE, this function having alas disappeared since nForce 4 SLI 16x.

NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI - RAID 5

driver NVIDIA and RAID 0


The network part of the nForce 680i SLI is also one of most complete market with the integration of two controllers Gigabit Ethernet. Those require however two additional components (external PHY). NVIDIA in addition try to dissociate competition with rather new functions network which it proposes. Although those are not new, since they are already present in the nForce 590 SLI AMD, it are necessary for us to briefly evoke them. NVIDIA thus proposes the function of teaming which does not make possible to incorporate two Ethernet connections to do any more but one of them by doubling in fact the band-width available. Functional as well with connections 100 Mbits as connections Gigabit, the teaming can make pass the maximum theoretical data of 12,5 Mb/S to 25 Mb/S.  the nForce 680i SLI is able to make rock all the traffic on the second connection available. Original, this function is supplemented by a material acceleration of protocol TCP/IP aiming to reduce the processor use during the massive transfers of files.


NVIDIA Teaming


Illustration of the technology of Teaming


NVIDIA proposes the technology First Packet which allows to make priority to the packages in order to guarantee the low possible ping in particular for games. Compatible with the applications of voice IP, technology First Packet requires the installation of driver management network NVIDIA and requires the desactivation of software fire wall . 

NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI - First Packet
NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI - TCP/IP Acceleration


Activation of various technologies NVIDIA connected with the network


To finish, we will evoke the functions of the southbridge from our friend the nForce 680i SLI. we finds here the management of ten ports USB 2.0, the assumption of responsibility of five ports PCI as well as Azalia compatibility. The last chipset NVIDIA meets the standard INTEL High Definition Audio, which enables him to benefit from the last codecs developed by Realtek, Analog Devices or C-Media.

And Windows Vista?

The next operating system from Microsoft was nt forgotten by new nvidia chipset . Finalized recently, Windows Vista is for the moment reserved to only professionals data processing. While waiting for its release planned for the end of January 2007, we wished to know what occurred while installing Vista on a motherboard nForce 680i SLI. For that, we had recourse to final version RTM of Vista. First good news and in accordance with what NVIDIA had been able to announce in the past, Windows Vista does not need driver diskette  to be installed on a RAID volume! It is a good point which enabled us to deploy OS on a RAID 0. Another good news, the controller network NVIDIA is automatically recognized by Vista: not need thus to install the driver nForce to benefit from a connection Internet.

 

NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI - Windows Vista

The peripherals manager of  Windows Vista on a platform nForce 680i SLI

eVGA nForce 680i SLI

Mother board eVGA nForce 680i SLI
concretely, the motherboard proposed by eVGA entirely was designed by the teams of NVIDIA, eVGA taking care only of its promotion and its diffusion. With the nForce 590 for AMD, NVIDIA had already designed a motherboard, but at the time it acted more than one collaboration with the teams of Foxconn that was a 100% realization of NVIDIA.

Entirely developed by NVIDIA thus, the card of eVGA adopts a black PCB and is presented in format ATX. Animated extremely logically by the chipset nForce 680i SLI, the card lays out in a stage of power six phases (largely sufficient for processors INTEL) and adopts Socket LGA775. we finds four memory slot able to accommodate DDR2 as well as an electric connector ATX 24 pins and a connector ATX 12 volts out of 8 pins in addition to the Molex connector stabilizing the power of the ports PCI-Express  Level cooling, and it is one of the strong points of the card, this one is completely quiet, northbridge and southbridge being both covered with radiators connected between-them by a heat-pipe. Certain components of the stage power are also surmounted by radiators, and eVGA delivers with the mother board an optional fan which will be able to hang on the radiator of the northbridge in order to better cool this last in case of overclocking.
eVGA nForce 680i SLI - 5
eVGA nForce 680i SLI - 6

Motherboard eVGA nForce 680i SLI


Equipped with three ports PCI-Express 16x of which only two are in 16x when third is in 8x, the motherboard counts two connectors PCI-Express 1x and two ports PCI. Naturally managing the technology of returned multi-GPU SLI, the card sees its second port PCI-Express in 16x positioned in third and last place. the port PCI-Express 16x of the medium is in fact in 8x. The peripherals HDD will have at their disposal a total of six ports Serial-ATA 3Gb/S whereas only one channel IDE is managed. The diskette drive is always present, and if the large majority of the functions are managed by chipset NVIDIA, eVGA has all the same recourse to a component Texas Instruments for the management of Firewire 400. The network is managed natively by the nForce 680i SLI requires all the same two signed components PHY Marvell whereas the audio part falls on a codec Realtek ALC885.

External interfacing question, eVGA proposes six ports USB 2.0, two connectors RJ45, two ports PS/2, a Firewire socket as well as six audio connectors minicomputer-jack and an optical output. we notes the absence of port series and parallel port. Thus the PCB comprises two small switches making possible to start the card or to make a reset without connecting the cables of the case. Another convenience, a display of the diagnosis codes : always practical to try to determine the cause of problem. If the layout of the card is relatively  successful, we will note some strangenesses with the pins ATX for the case which are wedged between memory and Molex connector, whereas ports Serial-ATA are unusually placed on the motherboard. To note, the presence of a total of six fan connectors on the motherboard.

eVGA nForce 680i SLI - cooling
eVGA nForce 680i SLI - southbridge
eVGA nForce 680i SLI - rear panel

Details of the eVGA nForce 680i SLI


Good surprise on the level of BIOS where the engineers of NVIDIA made wonders, let us not be afraid of the words. The BIOS is clear, is well arranged and almost pleasant to use! . the bios propose many tunings on the level of system frequency bus as on the level of the memory frequency , the latter being able to function either by using ratio or in a completely desynchronized way, the BIOS authorizes the adjustment of the memory latency times and naturally allows the tuning of volatge for the various components of system (CPU, memory, FSB, etc) with 1,8 volt maximum for the processor and 2,5 Volts for the memory. It will be regretted however that the BIOS expresses the frequency of the Face Side Bus in the form of a multiple of 4 what necessitates mental calculations to find to what corresponds a FSB of 350 MHz for example. in addition we finds logically functions of NVIDIA like LinkBoost, the GPU Ex or the SLI Memory in this rather complete BIOS. It will be even possible to regulate CPU multiplier , to activate the 1T mode for the parameter Command Per Clock of the memory and to adjust the multiplying coefficient of the HyperTransport link between the two chips (northbridge and southbridge) or to decontaminate one of the cores of your processor. Note in that CPU-Z cannot read the information provided by the BIOS in particular level with the memory parameter settings , a problem who should be regulated as soon as NVIDIA communicates to the author of the program adequate information.

Let us finish by evoking like habit the bundle accompanying this motherboard. u will find in the box, in addition to the optional fan to fix on the radiator of the northbridge and traditional I/O , a handbook as well as driver CD . eVGA delivers in premium four additional ports USB 2.0 and a connector FireWire 400. Side of cables, we finds a cable IDE, a cable for the diskette drive, six cables Serial-ATA and three electric adapters in Y Molex towards Serial-ATA.

External connectors of the eVGA nForce 680i SLI


External connectors of the eVGA nForce 680i SLI

Extreme Asus Striker

Asus logo
After the  P5N32-SLI Premium , the fault in an extraordinary delay, Asus appears among the first partners of NVIDIA to adopt the nForce 680i SLI. Rather than to use the design of reference connected with nvidia engineers . Asus proposes his own design of motherboard. The name of the last baby  Asus Extreme Striker. . Member of the family Gamers, the card is with format ATX and adopts a black PCB. It comprises Socket LGA775 and has  four slot DDR2. Using the chipset nForce 680i SLI from NVIDIA, it adopts a cooling system completely quiet . Northbridge and southbridge are connected each one to other by heat-pipes whereas the MOSFET also have their own radiators always connected by heat-pipes. we will be able to fear besides that the height of the radiators overhanging the MOSFET or plumbing surrounding of processor. Side power supply, the card has recourse to the traditional pair: connector ATX 24 pins and connector 12 volts out of 8 pins whereas its stage of power is built on eight phases. â?¦ With three ports PCI-Express train 16x, the same number that at eVGA, the card actually has two ports cabled on 16x whereas the third port operates in 8x mode. The management of the SLI is of course part. The whole is supplemented by a connector PCI-Express 1x and two ports PCI. It should be noted that Asus proposes a specific connector resembling an PCI-Express 1x, but actually reserved with the card its additional that it delivers and on which we will return. The IDE is naturally managed by Striker Extreme, but on only one channel, whereas part Serial-ATA comprises a total of six ports.
Asus Striker Extreme - 6
Asus Striker Extreme - cooling

Motherboard Extreme Asus Striker

the nForce 680i SLI is supplemented here by a chip VIA VT6308P for the management of Firewire, whereas the double controller Gigabit Ethernet integrated into the chipset has simply recourse to two signed PHY Marvell. six ports Serial-ATA of second generation dealt with by the MCP55, two external ports Serial-ATA managed by an additional component Silicon Image Sil3132 are added. As we indicated a little higher, Striker Extreme is delivered with an external audio card. This one plugs in in the port PCI-Express 1x dedicated (and reversed) and uses a component Analog Devices ADI1988B. The goal of this card, baptized Supreme-FX is of course to reduce to the maximum unwanted noise by off-setting the audio circuit from the PCB of the motherboard. This card in addition comprises audio connection with six sockets minicomputer-jack of which a digital display SPDIF.
Asus Striker Extreme - sound card

The card audio girl Supreme FX


To the level of external interfacing, the card offers four ports USB 2.0, two connectors PS/2, two ports eSATA, two sockets RJ45, a FireWire connector and two outputs audios numerical (optics + coaxial). To that 8 connectors for fan are added including one dedicated to the processor and one of the motherboard resides the numerical screen. This one displays the date, hour, but also of useful information on the various stages of the PC state (initialization CPU, chipset, detection memory, etc). The idea is to make possible the user to diagnose the cause of the possible startup failure . Remain that if the screen displays clear information, it is particularly badly placed: who will get into the back of his PC to see the a hypothetical message? In premium, Asus laid out a backlighted pushbutton : this one activates the lighting of the diagnosis screen as well as the lighting of the motherboard. also note, the presence of three pushbuttons on the low part of the card. Their roles? To allow the lighting and the restarting of the PC or the resetting of the BIOS what is extremely practical.

Asus Striker Extreme - 3 pci-e slot
Asus Striker Extreme - 3
Asus Striker Extreme - bios

Details of Extreme Striker


The card that we received for this test being a preproduction we will not return on the bundle, but we can already say that Wi-Fi is usually expensive . Let us finish by the BIOS whose layout is less clean and clear than what we seen in eVGA. One finds about the same options with the possibility of regulating the frequencies of the bus system (750 maximum MHz ), those of the memory bus and  those of the three ports PCI-Express . As at eVGA, the Memory bus can function in synchronous or asynchronous mode whereas Asus manages the clean technologies with NVIDIA like LinkBoost and the EPP. The multiplying coefficient of the CPU can of course be adjusted the volatge of the memory (maximum 3,425 volts) and of the processor (maximum 1,9 volt). The tunings of the memory latency times  are particularly complete and it is logically possible to activate the mode of addressing 1T. The part dedicated to management of the fan and the monitoring of  temperatures is particularly excavated

Asus Striker Extreme - lcd display


Large plan on the external interfacing of the card

To test the performances of the nForce 680i SLI NVIDIA we had recourse to several platforms whose detail appears below while starting of course with the configuration of the machine nForce 680i SLI:

  • Motherboard eVGA nForce 680i SLI (BIOS P20),
  • Processor INTEL Core 2 Extreme X6800 2,93 GHz,
  • 2x1 Gig Corsair Twin2X 6400C3,
  • Hard disk Western DIGITAL Raptor 36 Gig (Serial-ATA 150),
  • Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX
Operating under Windows XP Professionnel Service Pack 2 with the last Driver and BIOS available, this platform will opposite in our tests with the nForce 4 SLI 16x INTEL Edition and nForce 590 SLI INTEL Edition from NVIDIA. Here the detail of those machines:
  • Motherboard Asus P5N-32 SLI SE Deluxe (BIOS),
  • Processor INTEL Core 2 Extreme X6800 2,93 GHz,
  • 2x1 Gig Corsair Twin2X 6400C3,
  • Hard disk Western DIGITAL Raptor 36 Gig (Serial-ATA 150),
  • Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX
  • Motherboard Asus P5N32 SLI Premium,
  • Processor INTEL Core 2 Extreme X6800 2,93 GHz,
  • 2x1 Gig Corsair Twin2X 6400C3,
  • Hard disk Western DIGITAL Raptor 36 gig (Serial-ATA 150),
  • Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX
Finally we will oppose all chipsets INTEL i975X and P965 whose configurations are below :
  • Motherboard Asus P5W-DH Deluxe (BIOS 1601),
  • Processor INTEL Core 2 Extreme X6800 2,93 GHz,
  • 2x1 Gig Corsair Twin2X 6400C3,
  • Hard disk Western DIGITAL Raptor 36 Go (Serial-ATA 150),
  • Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX
  • Motherboard Asus P5B-Deluxe (BIOS 0804),
  • Processor INTEL Core 2 Extreme X6800 2,93 GHz,
  • 2x1 Gig Corsair Twin2X 6400C3,
  • Hard disk Western DIGITAL Raptor 36 gig (Serial-ATA 150),
  • Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GTX


3DMark 06 -processor Test

Test nForce 680i SLI - 3DMark 06 CPU


For starting our tests , we starts with 3DMark 06 and the processor test . To see the results, it is understood immediately that our different chipsets is on an equal footing on the level of their processor interface. between the platform slower and the fastest variation of performances reach 2,5% . At the head, we finds the nForce 4 SLI INTEL 16x followed by the nForce 680i SLI represented here by the motherboard Asus Striker Extreme. The third place returns with the P5W-DH Deluxe whereas the motherboard of eVGA is here in fifth position right in front of our card containing P965.

PCMark 05 -Processor Test

Test nForce 680i SLI - PCMark 05 CPU


PCMark 05 which test the processor seems to confirm the results already observed under 3DMark 06. No major difference thus to announce between the nForce 590i SLI here in last position and the i975X has the first position: not more than 0,4% of variation enters the two extremes. To note that the cards nForce 680i SLI here are rather well located in second and third position.

PCMark 05 - Memory Test

Test nForce 680i SLI - PCMark 05 Memory


A little more targeted, the memory test of PCMark 05 makes possible to evaluate the performances of the memory system from our different chipsets. At the head, the i975X in front  here of the nForce 680i SLI. Those are displayed however like more powerful than P965 with a gain bordering the 3,5%. As for the difference between the i975X and the nForce 680i SLI it does not exceed the 1,3%.

Sandra 07 -processor  Test

Test nForce 680i SLI - Sandra 07 CPU


we remains in the test synthetic by using this Sandra time 2007 SP1. Sandra confirms the observations already seen on PCMark 05 and 3DMark 06. No obvious difference on the level of the performances is visible for processor with our P965, our i975X or our various nForce.

Sandra 07 - Memory Test

Test nForce 680i SLI - Sandra 07 Memory


On the other hand, the test of the memory under Sandra 07 is shown definitely more instructive. The i975X of INTEL is here at the head, the nForce 680i SLI being right behind. vs its predecessor, the nForce 590 SLI INTEL Edition, the nForce 680i SLI is 2% here more powerful. Compared with P965, the last chipset of NVIDIA displays performances higher memories practically 6%.

Windows Media Encoder 9

Test nForce 680i SLI - WME9


The test Windows Media Encoder 9 consists in measuring time necessary to encode a video AVI to the format Windows Media. Attention, the results are expressed here in second and it is thus necessary to reverse its reading. The differences are small since between the slowest platform, the nForce 680i SLI from eVGA and fastest the P5W-DH Deluxe containing i975X, the variation does not exceed the 3 seconds.

Far Cry v1.4 - 1280x1024

Test nForce 680i SLI - FarCry


One begins this second series of test with Far Cry. Here the variations remain rather tight, but Striker Extreme from Asus is able to allocate the first place. In second position we finds the P5W-DH Deluxe Asus which does better than our card nForce 590 SLI INTEL Edition and than the eVGA nForce 680i SLI. Vs the P5B Deluxe Asus containing chipset P965, Striker Extreme is faster by 2,6%.

Doom 3 - 1280x1024

Test nForce 680i SLI - Doom 3


OpenGL Game signed John Carmack, Doom 3 shows clearly that it is limited here by the processor. The differences between our various platforms are non-existent and it is quite difficult, even impossible, to see any variation here.

Benchmark RaID - HDTach

Test nForce 680i SLI - RAID 0


In addition to the tests applicatifs or synthetic, we were interested in the performances of certain quite precise functions of the chipset. We thus tried to evaluate the performances of the  RAID 0 made up of two hard disks Hitachi 80 Gig each one interfaced in Serial-ATA 3Gb/S. We use for our tests the HDTach software. As u can see it on the graph above, and with the general surprise, the performances of RAID INTEL are higher in writing than those of RAID NVIDIA. Side reading on the other hand our three solutions are with equality. Note that the recorded values correspond to a flow expressed out on Mb/S.

Benchmark Serial-ATA - PCMark 05

Test nForce 680i SLI - Performances SATA


In complement for the performances RAID, we sought to know the behavior of interface Serial-ATA under PCMark 05. Here we use Raptor 36 Gig using interface Serial-ATA of first generation. the nForce 680i SLI and the i975X display identical performances here whereas the nForce 4 SLI 16x INTEL Edition is in withdrawal. It is true that this chipset uses an older southbridge.

Benchmark USB 2.0 - PCMark 05

Test nForce 680i SLI - Performances USB 2.0


Side of performances USB 2.0, we had recourse to PCMark 05 and an external hard disk. As u can see the performances raised on the platform i975X are clearly in on this side performances obtained on the cards nForce, those seeming more powerful since it is a question of USB 2.0. To note the very light progression of the performances between the i975X using  ICH7 and P965 using  ICH8.

Overclocking

Whereas the nForce 590 SLI INTEL Edition displayed poor goods aptitudes with regards to overclocking, its successor is introduced to us like very flexible on this matter.The nForce 680i SLI is desynchronized and allows already to overclock its processor without ruining with expensive DDR2. Remain that to be really interesting this desynchronized operation must be accompanied by a maximum flexibility in overclocking. Alas it is not inevitably the case and on the motherboard eVGA, the nForce 680i SLI did not want to exceed the 412 MHz of frequency bus system is a frequency of 3,3 GHz for our Core 2 X6800 Extreme exploited here with a multiplying coefficient of 8x. On side Striker Extreme from Asus enabled us to slightly do better with a FSB of 425 MHz result in the frequency of 3,4 GHz, but not more.

Compared with the nForce 590 SLI INTEL Edition, the nForce 680i SLI does undoubtedly better. But vs P965 which enabled us to reach under the same conditions, with the same configuration, the 460 MHz of bus system frequency the nForce 680i SLI is obviously in withdrawal. Too bad!

NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI - Overclocking - OCNVIDIA nForce 680i SLI - OC Extreme Asus Striker


overclocking: not more than 3,3 GHz for our Core 2 on nForce 680i SLI eVGA and 3,4 GHz for Extreme Striker!



Conclusion

NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI
With this chipset nForce, NVIDIA shows its know-how once again by proposing one of the most complete chipsets of the market. Of course, the firm with  had some difficulties in development of chipset truly compatible with processors Core 2 Duo from INTEL. Thus the nForce 590 SLI INTEL Edition had disappointed because of its limitations, in particular in overclocking. To cure this defect enough shouting, particularly for a set of components which is intended before-all for a public of players, NVIDIA will have to conceive a new whole northbridge: C55. Inaugurated by the nForce 680i SLI INTEL Edition, this new component seems to give satisfaction with performances which are definitively with go. the nForce 680i SLI is located ultimately halfway between P965 and the i975X, the top-end-range chipset from intel. regards overclocking  the nForce 680i SLI INTEL Edition are definitively higher than those of  nForce 590 SLI INTEL Edition, but they are wrose than those of P965.

the new chipset from NVIDIA has significant plus  to start with its desynchronized operation, its memory addressing in 1T or by the assumption of responsibility of the EPP. To add to that the assumption the support of the DDR2 1200 or the management of the FSB1333â?¦ and we will not even speak about the SLI, the nForce 680i SLI being one of rare the chipsets to offer this functionality for platform INTEL! Side of the additional functionalities,  NVIDIA does not disappoint, the MCP55 accompanying C55 being rather extremely complete in the absence of being new. Serial-ATA from second generation, double controller network Gigabit, dealt with of the RAID less capricious than the one from INTEL (in particular on the level of the management for the ports assigned to the RAID), all passes there and NVIDIA is even allowed to add functions like First Packet or Teaming. But we will regret only the single controller IDE when others chipsets of the family nForce 6xx have a double controller IDE.

Let us pass now to the motherboards nForce 680i SLI, by evoking the model eVGA first of all. For a first motherboard, the manufacturer signs undoubtedly a model rather successful! It should be said that the card is designed and produced by NVIDIA . Conceived well, it offers details goods seen (button startup, digital display of the codes diagnosis) and is characterized by a particularly clear BIOS. Its system of quiet cooling proves which more is appreciable. At Asus, Striker Extreme is displayed like a motherboard except standard, quite simply. Luminous, it lights everywhere with a screen LCD displaying the codes of diagnosis but this last is well badly placed!

the two motherboards nForce 680i SLI which we could test are of from good quality, but their price is simply high! Count a little less than 300 euros for the model eVGA and practically 380 euros for Striker Extreme Asus. With these high tariffs, the least defect becomes shouting and we will reproach for example the card eVGA the too low number of ports Serial-ATA: 6 it is not enough for a motherboard which is asserted top-end-range. And to add a layer by recalling that for 230 euros, the P5W-DH Deluxe from Asus (a card i975X) offers in particular an infra-red remote control and a Wi-Fi circuitâ?¦ As for Striker Extremeâ?¦ that to say if it is not that the price of the card is proportional to the uselessness of some of its functions. And we will address a reproach common to these two cards, reproaches obviously related to the chipset: their potential of overclocking which is far from the P965 cards. Fortunately Asus should return with a motherboard nForce more accessible 680i SLI financially with its P5N32E-SLI which will lose

To conclude and although the nForce 680i SLI is by certain aspects are very tempting, it still here question about overclocking and especially the high price: the SLI is good, but not at this price!





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