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XFX 680i LT SLI - Can a graphics card builder make a good motherboard? - Final Thoughts

Reference designs - do boards need to be tweaked by a specialist motherboard maker to give top performance and features?

| NVIDIA Chipset in Motherboards | Posted: May 13, 2007 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8.0%Manufacturer: XFX

Final Thoughts

 

Nvidia's 680i LT SLI chipset certainly has a good place in the chipset market due to its price point. When 680i SLI was announced the price was not set. Boards over $500 AUD are now starting to show up and even higher price points have been seen. Due to Nvidia's pricing strategy, the only way to avoid it was the cheaper 650i SLI which splits the PCI Express x16 slots into two x8 slots when running SLI. This is something we would rather not do, especially since it means you cannot run Quad SLI on the 650i.

 

680i LT SLI mixes the sweetness of twin full speed SLI with a sub US$200 price point for the boards, and what a relief that is. Now you can save money on a board with twin x16 slots and get a good processor, and if you want to, spend some hard earned bread on a Quad SLI setup if that is what floats your boat.

 

XFX has done a good job with its board in that the board represents what Nvidia wants from its partners, but that is all. The board is too plain reference; there is no character to distinguish it from the other reference boards. In fact, if you did not see the box, you would simply think its Nvidia's reference board straight off the factory production line.

 

Performance of the board was on par, as was overclocking. The 680i LT SLI is not designed to match the speed of the 680i SLI, so if you want FSBs in excess of 500MHz you are simply going to have to bite the bullet and get a 680i SLI.

 

In terms of performance we cannot fault the XFX board, but when you compare the whole package to what you get from the DFI offering in comes up looking anaemic. Overall the XFX has come up with just another reference design - a cake without the cherry.

 

- Pros

 

Clean layout

 

NV BIOS

 

Eight channel HD audio

 

Twin full Speed X16 slots

 

Supports 1333FSB CPUs

 

Firewire

 

- Cons

 

Plain Reference design

 

No eSATA ports

 

Rating - 8 out of 10

 

Pine Technology XFX MB-N680-ISH nForce 680i SLI Motherboard

 

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