nVidia has been on the cutting edge of the PC industry in both graphics chips as well as platform solutions for some time now. While the very first nForce chipset wasn't received very well, it was no surprise that it wasn't going to be the greatest chipset in the world.
Being the very first platform chipset, you may expect a few teething problems - VIA had their own, and SiS had theirs, but unlike these companies, nVidia learnt very quickly and with the nForce 2 chipset to run the Athlon XP series of processors, things went from strength to strength for the SPP from nVidia.
On the other hand, it took quite a while for nVidia to jump into the Intel chipset market. It wasn't until the nForce 4 series that Intel got its first taste of a powerful chipset that supported the SLI function and while the lesser popular ATI Crossfire was supported on the Intel 975X, SLI was a no-no.
The nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition chipsets didn't live up to expectations, with memory controller issues resulting in the chipset not recognising some modules as well as dismal overclocked, even for when it was released, the nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition never really took off.
When nVidia announced its first 500 series chipset for the Intel platform, the market was looking forward to a chipset that could perform, after seeing how well the AMD variants worked. We were all expecting to get our Core 2's blazing on the 500 series for Intel; unfortunately, nVidia dropped the ball here. While a new MCP was introduced, the Northbridge or SPP as its known from nVidia was the same C19 chip that was used on the nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition, the same woeful memory controller and overclocks followed yet still remained fairly popular due to SLI support.
Learning from this mistake, nVidia took its 500 series for Intel and threw them down the toilet and started to work on the 600 series, which would be the first new chipset for Intel platforms using completely new and improved silicon.
Today we are taking a look at the technology behind the 600i series nForce chipset and testing the high-end mother of them all, the 680i supplied to us by eVGA.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [nForce 600i Architecture]
- Page 3 [Testing Motherboard - Package and Features]
- Page 4 [Testing Motherboard - In the Flesh]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Overclocking]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Sandra]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - PCMark]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Media Encoding]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - 3DMark05]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - 3DMark06]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - PREY]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Quake 4]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - F.E.A.R.]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - Far Cry]
- Page 15 [Final Thoughts]