Nvidia's nForce brands of chipsets have really made a huge dent in the processor chipset market. Who would have thought that when Nvidia released its first Riva 128 graphics card that they would expand so far as to build a company that is one of the biggest GPU suppliers as well as have chipsets for both AMD and Intel platforms? Not us.
Nvidia has had a short life when it comes to producing chipsets for the Intel platform. AMD has been the biggest cash cow for Nvidia in the chipset market, nForce 2 saw the death of VIA's dominance as the chipset king for K7, and with K8, Nvidia simply went from strength to strength.
nForce 4 was the high point for Nvidia's chipset platform with SLI making its return, as well as the beginning of Nvidia's push to be the overclocking kings. It was the nForce 4 platform that finally made a transition to the Intel platform, while it was designed using the same technology such as SLI that made the AMD version quite good, its memory controller was extremely poor and its overclocking was not what was expected and as a result, this chipset didn't really get off the ground.
nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition was another chipset that was quickly abandoned, quite simply because of the design and compatibility problems, it was simply an nForce 4 Northbridge paired with a 590 SLI Southbridge from the AMD chipset. Only a few companies decided to put out boards with this chipset, the rest simply didn't want anything to do with it. This was when Nvidia put 500 series for Intel to bed and started from scratch on the 600 series.
600i series chipsets have taken off quite remarkably because of their high feature set, full speed SLI, a new MCP with more SATA ports and the ability to have a third graphics slot on the high-end 680i SLI for physics. 680i LT recently made its debut to provide a more cost effective chipset based on the 680i design with full speed SLI, but not support for physics slot. 650i SLI used the original SLI design by splitting the single PCI Express x16 slot down into two PCIe x8 slots and reduced the amount of SATA ports and Ethernet connections.
Today we are looking at the first of the more value orientated chipsets form Nvidia in the 600 series - the 650i Ultra. Designed similar to that of the 650i SLI, it supports all of the same features bar one - SLI support. DFI has provided their Infinity NF650i Ultra board for us to test but how does it perform? Let's find out right now!