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  • kentster2 - Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - link

    This motherboard sounds perfect for me but I can't find it anywhere. In fact I can't find any boards based on the 650i Ultra chipset available anywhere. I did find the specs on an MSI board based on this chipset but again no availability. Does anyone know when the general availability will be for these boards? Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Still does not compare to the best AM2 'budget' board out there. Add the following, and it would do good I think:

    1) Heatpipe cooled chipset
    2) Either one more PATA port, or 2 more SATA ports for a total of 8 drives
    3) Firewire ( not supported ?! )
    4) Overclocking options out the wazzu, with memeory voltages capable of 3.0v

    Are the PATA ports controlled by the 430MCP ? It seems that way, going by the features list. If this is the case, WHY leave out a PATA port ? It does not make sense. These four things I've mentioned above are not too much to ask, ABIT has already proven that with the NF-M2 nView, and places like newegg, ZZF, etc can not seem to keep these boards in stock ! What gives . . .
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    it;s obvious that having a high priced sound card will help out with frame rates, but what about a cheaper card? Would a $27 Creative Audigy SE provide the same speed benefits by taking the load from the cpu? Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    The SE will provide frame rates that are on average about 2~3% worse than the X-FI in my experiences. Reply
  • lopri - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link


    The MCP is not actively or passively cooled and remained hot to the touch throughout testing; although additional cooling was not needed it is recommended. We feel like the inclusion of an additional low profile heatsink would have been in EVGA's best interest with temperatures soaring to 83C without airflow and 76C with airflow while overclocking. At stock voltages we witnessed temperatures reaching 71C without airflow while under load and hovering around 64C with airflow. Our idle temperature at stock voltage was 59C without airflow and 53C with airflow. Fortunately, the board has the mounting holes for a heatsink if the user wishes to add one.

    Gary's measure is remarkably similar to my observations on EVGA 680i board. (Interesting because the chips used on the 680i SLI are different from 650i Ultra) Without active cooling, I saw SPP temp rising to 100C(!) and MCP to 80C. This will not only cause instability (especially mated with other high-end components) but likely shorten the lifespan of the board. Even more worrisome is that the ever-increasing popularity of those L-shaped HSFs. These HSFs provide practically zero air-flow on the board's hot (i mean, HOT) spots and therefore the heat keeps building up.

    I think NV at this point just assume that their target audience are *enthusiasts* in that:

    1. Enthusiasts today just accept that a new motherboard/chipset is basically a beta product and expect fix/patches via BIOS updates and/or hardware revision.
    2. Enthusiasts tend to employ their own cooling solution anyway.

    And that's exactly what I've done up to this date. Every single NV chipset board I bought the first thing I did was replacing stock chipset/VRM cooling with aftermarket stuff.

    And I'M TIRED OF IT.

    This board may be selling for $99, but in order for you to build your main rig with a peace of mind on it, you will need an aftermarket cooling for the missing SB HSF (how dare they leave it wide open like that is beyond me) and the paltry NB heatsink for a heavier one. There goes extra $20~30 quite easily.

    To my eyes, this board cut so many corners and definitely not worth $99. $70~80 maybe. And I do think that's how much it'll sell for in less than a month.
  • nullpointerus - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    When it's included, active cooling's crap anyway. The little NB/SB fans last a few months at most before giving out completely. Motherboard makers should get in touch with Zalman or somebody like them and get some decent quality HSF's on these boards. Reply
  • jay401 - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    Totally agree! It would be stupid to buy a motherboard that requires you buy other items just to ensure stable operation and longevity. Reply
  • Scarceas - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    Really, who needs 2.2V? If you have RAM that needs that much voltage, chances are you paid more money for it, and the board you are looking to use it with will probably not be a budget board. Reply
  • WT - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    I have an eVGA N41 board, so I want to like this thing, but looking at this 650 board .. blechhh .. talk about plain Jane !! It looks like a straight reference board or an Intel board ! Regardless of looks, performance is what we want, so I would refer anyone looking at this board to read Anand's earlier article on the MSI P6N Platinum and see if that isn't a better fit for your needs. The extra $40-50 is well justified (in my case at least) with the better cooling setup on the MSI board as well as Firewire (just bought a miniDV camcorder) so give that a read as well.
    If the MSI Plat is priced too high, then check out the FI board priced at $108 at popular vendors websites.
  • Pirks - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    Gary, E6300 has TWO megabytes of cache, not FOUR Reply
  • Zak - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    Is there a SPDIF out bracket included? I'd find that a show stopper if it wasn't. Also, regarding the layout: with more and more video cards being quite large these days why they don't allow some extra space between the PCIx graphics slot and the next slot? This is a huge problem with mobos IMHO. Just because I want non-SLI, midrange motherboard doesn't mean I won't have a high end video card in it. Zak. Reply
  • saratoga - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    I noticed the onboard sound benchmarks, but theres nothing about the onboard sound quality. Rightmark has a benchmark for this that take 2 minutes to run and spits out very useful information. Why not include those results like some other sites do?

    While knowing how it performs is great, knowing if the results are worth listening to is also important. I don't care if its the fastest onboard sound in the world, if its got poor SNR figures, I'm probably going to buy a PCI card :)
  • yacoub - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link


    we firmly believe that a few additions such as memory voltages to 2.2V, *EPP suppport*, CPU VTT / GTL Ref voltage control, ... and maybe a six-layer board design *with all solid caps* would have placed this board in the exceptional category for those enthusiasts on a budget.

    Added two items to your list of desired additions. If a 650i Ultra board came out with the above features, it'd be worth an additional 25% in price to me. (i.e. $125)

    It's still practically amazing how well the C2D chips OC even on this board with its somewhat limited overclocking features. =)

    Thanks again for a great review Gary.
  • yacoub - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    Thanks for including the benchmarks with a real-world system. It's neat to see how incredibly different most of the test results are compared to your monster rig with XLC Flex RAM and an 8800GTX. ;) Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link


    DRAM Voltage Adjustment: Auto, 1.80V to 2.10V in .10V increments

    So don't buy this board if your DDR2 sticks want to run at 2.2v or 2.3v.
  • yacoub - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    Ah yes, there you go:

    However, with memory voltages limited to 2.10V we found it difficult to take advantage of the memory options with a vast majority of our modules. Only our high end modules from OCZ, Corsair, and Patriot were able to operate at 1T command rates with absolute stability. We found in memory testing that switching to manual settings and changing the tCAS, tRCD, tRP, tRAS, and command rate was required to ensure optimum performance.

    While we understand NVIDIA's reluctance to open up the BIOS options on a board designed for the budget market we do think they made a mistake in this area. Our performance results generated by the board would indicate that a couple of additional voltage options, improved electricals, and an increase to 2.20V for the memory would have transformed this board from very good to exceptional status in the sub-$100 market.

    So time to wait and see if any other folks (Asus, Abit, MSi, etc) come out with a 650i board that offers better adjustment options in the BIOS.

    Also would like to see a fully solid-capacitor design as well. Wouldn't mind paying $120-$125 for one of these 650i Ultras with those features added.
  • yacoub - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    I'm really glad you posted that nice feature chart on page 2 because I didn't know that only 680i boards got the EPP compatibility. Boy it sure would suck to spend extra money on nice high-performance DDR2 RAM that advertises really nice timings when EPP is enabled, only to find out your nice new 650i SLI or Ultra board doesn't support EPP. Reply
  • nullpointerus - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    I'll probably be getting one of these when I upgrade to C2Q late this year. From my browsing experiences, the current crop of Core-compatible boards are much too expensive or lack the new features I would like to gain by upgrading to the new platform. Kudos to EVGA for bringing a solid mid-range board to market!

    I'm glad to hear nTune (almost) works properly with this board. On my NF4 Ultra board, nTune crashes everytime I try to bring up the system status/overclocking stuff, and BTW the software is a pain to get working in Vista--something like six error messages come up when started without administrator permissions. Hopefully, the Vista issues will be resolved in a few months.

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