nForce 680i Platform

At the top of the product line, and targeted at the "hard-core overclocker", is the nForce 680 SLI. It consists of two discrete chips, the 680i MCP and the 680i SPP. As we saw in the 590 chipset, one x16 PCIe slot is controlled by each chip. This provides dual x16 SLI slots for the 680i, similar to what was provided by the 590 chipset.


There is a significant new addition with 680i, however, in a third PCIe x16 slot between the x16 PCIe slots for SLI. This third slot is x8 PCIe instead of x16, but it can be used for a GPU on the 680i, with a new twist. This x8 slot is suitable for a physics processor combined with SLI.


If you prefer multiple monitors instead, you can even drive up to six monitors - two per card - with video cards in all 3 PCIe slots.


The nForce 680i provides a total of 46 PCIe lanes, with 18 lanes available on the 680i SPP and 28 lanes provided on the 680i MCP.

New features of the 680i are the addition of Extreme Overclocking capabilities and basic refinements of the features first introduced with the 590 SLI chipset. Features include:

Extreme Overclocking
  • FSB speeds of 1333 MHz can be achieved with a CPU that supports this specification.

  • DDR2 speeds of DDR2-1200 and beyond can be used to keep pace with overclocked system components. NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI MCPs support high-speed SLI-Ready memory
NVIDIA nTuneTM Utility allows adjustment of CPU and memory speeds without rebooting. There is also access to most BIOS settings from inside Windows.

True 2 x16 PCI Express SLI Support provided by two full-bandwidth, 16-lane PCI Express links.

Third PCIe Slot for Graphics Expansion

NVIDIA MediaShieldTM Storage includes RAID and SATA drive support.
  • Multiple Disk Setup Through a wizard-based interface, you can set up your drives for better data protection, faster disk access or maximum storage capacity. MediaShield automatically selects a RAID 0, 1, 0+1 or 5 configuration according to your needs. Advanced users can access RAID options directly.
  • DiskAlert System In the event of a disk failure, MediaShield users see an image that highlights which disk has failed to make it easier to identify, replace, and recover.
  • RAID Morphing MediaShield allows users to change their current RAID setup to another configuration in a one-step process called morphing. This eliminates the need to back up data and follow multiple steps in the process.
  • Bootable Multidisk Array MediaShield storage fully supports the use of a multi-disk array for loading the operating system at power-up.
  • Six SATA 3Gb/s Drives Combine up to six SATA drives into one volume for bigger, faster RAID. Drives can be configured as six RAID 0 (striped) drives for maximum throughput, or Single or Dual RAID 5 arrays. Hot plug and Native Command Queuing are supported.
Networking with Dual Gigabit Ethernet with Teaming allows the two connections to work together to provide up to twice the Ethernet bandwidth.

High Definition Audio (HDA) can deliver 192 kHz/32-bit quality for eight channels.

USB 2.0 plug-and-play interface that provides easy-to-use connectivity for up to 10 USB devices.

Features: nForce 600i Platform nForce 650i SLI & 650i Ultra
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  • yyrkoon - Thursday, November 9, 2006 - link

    From my little experience with an Asrock board that can use this program, it WILL adjust clock frequency on the fly, however I think that voltage changes need be done only by rebooting. Reguardless whether I'm remembering correctly, I'm fairly certain atleast one possible change needs to be done during, or after a reboot, could be thinking of clock multiplier maybe ? Reply
  • Pirks - Thursday, November 9, 2006 - link

    that sucks. guess I'll have to wait till nVidia makes 100% nonreboot-OC mobo, or on-the-fly-OC mobo where you just click a couple of buttons in Windows and voila - your machine turns from quiet office machine to a Crysis fireball, and vice versa - I can dream, can't I? ;) Reply
  • ssiu - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    Since NVIDIA claims the 680i has better FSB overclock than the 650i's, and the 680i results are on par with the mainstream P965's, I am afraid that the 650i's would be significantly worse than the DS3s/P5Bs. In other words, I am afraid that the 650i's are not really a new competitive option for budget/mainstream overclockers. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    I dont think any true enthusiast is going to be buying a mid range board(chipset) to begin with. If the Intel numbering shceme is anything like the AM2 numbering scheme, the 650i will probably have less availible PCI-E lanes as well, and would be a major factor in my personal decission in buying any such hardware, and I know I'm not alone ;) Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    I don't think your definition of enthusiast is wholly correct but rather the Manufacturer idea of enthusiasist. I personally think many enthusiasists do indeed have a limited budget, and after seeing the pricing of Asus 680i board, I think mid-range is the way to go...hoping for a cheap < $250 680i board >_>. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    Yeah, He wasnt talking about true enthusiasts though, I realize this after re-reading his post.

    One a side note, that if my board brand of choice suddenly went away (ABIT), I would seriously consider buying a Gigabyte board, but the DS3 doesnt seem to be making a lot of people happy in the stability category. What I'm trying to say here, is that perhaps the board MAY not OC as well, but that according to what I've read (reviews, forum posts, and A LOT of newegg user reviews), it couldnt do much worse than the Gigabyte board in this area.

    The second question I'd be asking myself, is WHO THE HELL is EVGA . . . we all know they make Video cards (probably the best for customer support for nVidia products).

    I'm definately interrested in the 680i chipset, but i think my brand of choice for MANY years now would remain the same, and that I'll be sticking with ABIT :)
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    1. The reference board is designed and engineered by NVIDIA. Foxconn manufactures the boards for the "launch" partners that include BFG and others. Asus, Abit, DFI, Gigabyte, and others will have their custom designed boards out in a few weeks.

    2. The Abit board is very interesting, here is pic of it - http://img474.imageshack.us/img474/2044/in932xmaxy...">Abit 680i - ;)
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, November 9, 2006 - link

    Didnt even know there was one this close to release gary, lol thanks for the link. Judging by the 5 SATAII connectors, previously released ABIT boards, and what LOOKS like an eSATA connector on the back panel, I suppose this board will support eSATA, and possibly a SATA PM ? Reply
  • Stele - Friday, November 10, 2006 - link

    That Abit 680i board looks very interesting indeed... if nothing else because it looks like it sports a digital PWM power supply circuitry similar to that used by DFI in the latter's LANParty UT NF590 SLI-M2R motherboard (the Pulse PA1315NL coupled inductor array is a dead giveaway, as it is designed for use only with Volterra's VT11x5M digital PWM circuitry).

    Unfortunately more information on such circuitry is proving very difficult to find (Volterra themselves restrict their product details and datasheets to design partners only) ... it'd be great to know how such a power circuit compares in performance and capabilities over the traditional PWM-MOSFET-based ones.

    Curiously, the Abit 680i seems to have dropped the AudioMax daughter board.

    yyrkoon, I'm guessing the 5th SATA II and the eSATA port are there courtesy of an SiI3132 controller - which is likely the little square IC under the upper heatpipe, just beside the audio connector block. As such, the usual capabilities and features of the said IC would apply, I think :)
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    I'd just like ot point out that DualNet technology is NOT true NIC Teaming, or rather Link agrregation(802.11a/d I think).

    When I first heard about DualNet I was extremely excited, since I had been doing TONS of research on NIC bonding etc, but after doing some homework, I found that DuelNet only supports out going packets. It was my hope that you could link two of these boards via a regular GbE switch, and get instant 2GbE connections, but this is not the case(unless they've recently redone DualNet).

    Now to the question: Since SATA port Multiplier HBAs require a specific SIL chip(s) on the device they communicate with (to give full speeds of a true RAID), what are the chances that nVidia boards will work with these devices ?

    In the past, I've seen two AM2 boards that have a built in SIL chip with eSATA connectors on the board back panel (ABIT, and Asus), but onboard SIL 'chipsets' seem to be rather limited(as in only supporting PM support on two SATA connections). I'd personally REALLY like to see this technology standardized, so it doesnt matter WHAT SATA controller chipset you're using. I also think that once nVidia realizes that PM support onboard is a major plus, and once they implement it, they COULD be taken seriously by many Intel fans.

    Also, some Intel chipset fans believe that Intel chipsets are best for a rock solid system (for the record, I'm not one of these people), I guess we'll see if nVidia will change thier minds.
    Reply

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