18th December 2007

Nvidia nForce 780i motherboard chipset specs and benchmarks

posted by Eric C. in Hardware, Motherboards |

Full specifications and benchmarks have been published for Nvidia’s new Nforce 780i chipset. It turns out that it’s basically a 680i SLI chipset running at higher speeds with the same southbridge used with the 590 SLI and 680i SLI chipsets, in addition to a new chipset dubbed nForce 200. The nForce 200 chip is what allows the 780i chipset to have two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots, as the 680i only supports PCI Express 1.1. The 780i supports Three-Way SLI, with two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots and one PCI Express 1.1 x16 slot supported by the southbridge. Obviously it would be preferable to have all three PCI Express x16 slots be PCI Express 2.0 but the real world performance difference between 2.0 and 1.1 aren’t huge and the market penetration of Three-Way SLI probably won’t be that huge anyway. The only other downsides in the specs I saw was that it doesn’t support AHCI for the SATA3.0Gb/s ports and that it only supports DDR2-800 and not DDR3-1333. With that said, I’m not sure many people would benefit from DDR3 support at this point with the current prices of DDR3 vs. DDR2. It appears to be a good option for those looking for an Socket LGA775 SLI board, as the benchmarking results are fairly solid as well, and TechReport said the XFX reference design board they used had no stability issues throughout all the abuse during testing. One comment on the reference motherboard’s cooling design, is that if you are looking to use a passive video card with heatpipes and a large heatsink on the back side of the card it may hit the northbridge heatsink that appears to be fairly close to top PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot and appears to be fairly tall. You may be able to put the card in one of the other PCI Express x16 slots though.

To take a look at the full specs and benchmarks click here.

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