Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 17 Feb 2007.
Very nice looking board, especially that Northbridge cooler. However, a lot of real estate on the Rear IO panel has been wasted, but it looks like that was due to a few Caps.
Sorry to say, I'm still awaiting DFI's nForce 680i motherboard.
I was pretty sure the 680i and 650i northbridge was the same chip, and that it was the southbridge that differred. :/
680i is C55XE, 650i is C55, AFAIK. Rich will probably be able to clear that one up.
650i just has less USB ports and a few other things disabled, as far as I know.
Would it be possible for Bit to do a network test as well? maybe with iperf or the like to test how good the marvell cards/chipsets are?
personally, im impressed...i could give a rats anal region about branding, and really all i want when i upgrade is a stable board with good oc potential and 2x16 pci-e...this seems to do it...problem is, i cant find it here in the states...
I don't see a difference between that board and my eVGA 680i board, except mine came with more little plug-in plate thingies, like the serial port.
There is none. Both are exactly the same except for the bundle and price. Inno3D save a bit on the bundle and offer it for a bit cheaper, but the problem is the only stockist at the moment is ebuyer.
The 650i is based around the 680i: they are probably the same core just the 680i's test better so the 650i's end up being hard locked back a bit. That's my theory: I never met with NV at the time of launch since I wasn't full time back then. Next time I see them I'll try to remember to ask.
The 650i's are paired with the old 430 southbridge, which was on the NF4s: 2 IDE, 8 USB, 4 SATA. However the 680s are paired with the newer MCP55 southbridge which has 1 IDE, 10 USB, 6 SATA. Asus paired the 650i with MCP55 in the P5N32-E SLI Plus I reviewed recently which is not what NV wants, but it's a cheaper alternative that performs nearly as well. The northbridges are pin compatible and the interlink is simply hypertransport.
Hypertransport is (supposidly) suited to lots of little data packets where the overhead is low since it's a simply switching technology, whereas PCI-Express is suited to large data movement: that's why it suits graphics cards, and if the AMD chipset exec I met last monday is to be believed: northbridge to southbridge links as well.
However NVIDIA do things differently: the southbridge contains 16 PCIe lanes for the 2nd gfx card in SLI, whereas the northbridge contains 16 lanes for the first gfx card: If AMD would be believed this would be bad but it seems to work well for NVIDIA and I'm sure you can tailor the packet size through HT since it's transporting large gfx data packets. In comparison to AMD chipsets: which both x16 lanes are simply handled by the northbridge and the NB-SB link is a x4 PCI-Express connection.
Trig: I'll fire off an email to our Inno rep on Monday and see if it's for sale in the states. I was only told about this being Inno's first board in Europe (and we target our audience for mainly UK first).
Bindibadgi I enjoy your reviews here at Bit-Tech no fluff and to the point, which brings up a couple of questions. Is the Asus 650i plus that good or is the 680i that bad? The Asus plus is putting a hurt on the 680i boards you have tested and list on each review. And the other question will you get the Msi p6n Diamond 680i? So far I look to the plus for my next build unless the Msi 680i pulls it of with good numbers.
The P5N32-E SLI Plus is genuinely that good. It's not as good at overclocking as a proper 680i board but it is cheaper and has an identical southbridge which gives it effectively the same features. The heatpipes are pretty limited: the same as the normal P5N32-E SLI which is a proper 680i, and I recon it's those that probably limit the overclocking just as much. However the Plus has full soild state caps. It depends on how extreme you want your overclocking: nothing is guaranteed but I'd suggest you're more likely to do better with a 680i, although some people have got as good results with some 650s. Anything in excess of 400FSB is doing very well imo.
We are due the MSI Diamond in sometime soon, MSI are just waiting on the final retail product before sending it to us. But until it actually gets here and works, I reserve judgement. However I haven't planned where it'll sit in my queue of mobos todo, since we've done quite a few Intel/NV boards in the last month and we always want to mix things up with some other stuff. The P6N looks pretty cheap though, could be a good deal, will have to see.
Unfortunately, Inno currently only sells in Asia and Europe
Whats the cooling like with the NB with the fan and off?
Piss poor. It really needs it, and I forgot to mention it. I had made a mental note when I got the board out as well. The chipset runs exceptionally hot and easily hits 50+ degrees with the fan on it.
Is the fan loud and is it Speed adjustable?
It's a 5500rpm jobby but it isnt that loud (it's hard to tell in a test suite full of PCs). The problem is that the southbridge is also hooked into it so you have to replace them both, but they are held in by pins so you have holes for bolts should you stick on something Zalman.
edit: I lie, it IS loud
How come the Creative HD integrated audio never caught on? Is the Realtek better or what? If I remember correctly when I read a lineup of motherboards, the msi with the integrated creative had the lowest cpu overhead.
It's better but FAR more expensive. We were trying to get in an MSI board that had it at some point but I don't know where that got to.
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