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Intel or Nvidia? nForce 680i Challenges Intel P965 and 975X

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December 19, 2006 5:14:18 PM

Motherboards with Nvidia's nForce 680i chipset are now hitting the shelves, so we decided it was time for a chipset battle. The goal? To find out what is the best solution for your Core 2 Duo system.
December 19, 2006 7:37:56 PM

Where are the Overclock benchmarks for each board?
December 19, 2006 8:08:19 PM

"Our recommendation is simple: Go with the nForce 680i SLI if you want the best platform for Core 2"

It looked to me like 680i lost most of the benchmarks...Even overclocked.

I don't know did I miss something?

Edit: Ok...not overclocked, just with faster memory.
Related resources
December 19, 2006 8:36:03 PM

I've also come across this

According to their research, lowering your multiplier on a 965 (and possibly other intel chipsets like 975 as well) may have a huge impact on the northbridge core clock. Lowering the multiplier basically overclocks the NBCC, by a factor of Default/Set - in the case of your article, 11/7 = 1.57.

I, for example, run an E6400 on a P965 board at 425 FSB trouble-free. I've been stable at 450, but didn't like the high temps. Apparently RobsX2 runs an E6400 at 3.7GHz on a P5B Deluxe (also P965). That's 462 FSB, just like your 680i.

The upshot is that P965 is excellent for OC'ing low-multiplier CPUs like the E6300 and E6400, but if you need to lower your multiplier to achieve a high FSB, it looks like the 680i is the way to go.
December 19, 2006 8:46:13 PM

I guess I'm a little confused too. All the numbers argue for anything but the 680i but then you recommend it? If the recommendation is a bet on future FSB speed improvements (Bearlake) and overclocking potential then I don't think the article includes the required verbage to argue for this. For example the two 16x PCI Express slots with LinkBoost seems to be a plus for the 680i but its benefits weren't evaluated?

Nonetheless, glad to see the additional information comparing these three chipsets.
December 19, 2006 8:47:18 PM

This review is bogus.

I didn't see why the 680 is better at anything. except pay the bills for nvidia.

Can you compare Price/Performance Ratio. I know 965/975 chipsets. and the conclusion i have gotten is.

975
Lower FSB 400-430 Limit
Higher Multi CPU needed (e6600, e6700 even X6800)
Faster because of tighter timings

965
Higher FSB 450-500 Limit
Lower Multi CPU is OK (e6300, e6400)
Timings are the same as 975 to some point after that it changes strap and you have to OC you FSB even more to get decent times.

Either way the real deal is to mix and match components. What your memory sticks can do in 1 chipset probably can't do it in the other.
December 19, 2006 8:49:18 PM

just built a new computer round a Evga 680iSLI, Evga 8800GTX, Corsair Dominator 2GB, 150GB Raptor and 2 500GB Seagates, plus Fatal1ty FPS audio in a water cooled Lian LI 1000B:

I have my C2D E6400 running 3.6Ghz full throttle is only 34C because I put a DangerDen Water block using dual 120mm raidator and 1250 Enheim pump that pumps like no ones business.

I haven't even started doing serious overclocks and its already putting out serious number.

680i ROCKS
December 19, 2006 8:53:05 PM

Quote:
just built a new computer round a Evga 680iSLI, Evga 8800GTX, Corsair Dominator 2GB, 150GB Raptor and 2 500GB Seagates, plus Fatal1ty FPS audio in a water cooled Lian LI 1000B:

I have my C2D E6400 running 3.6Ghz full throttle is only 34C because I put a DangerDen Water block using dual 120mm raidator and 1250 Enheim pump that pumps like no ones business.

I haven't even started doing serious overclocks and its already putting out serious number.

680i ROCKS


Not everyone can spend $2000 worth of equipment in a second. run cpu benchmarks you are going to end up with a sour taste on your moth when you either spend double as the next guy for a MoBo and get the same results.

Tweaking on the other hand that is impressive, we P5W guys or P5B Dlx guys are needing that and not getting it in favor of the ROG boards.

Do a plain level bencharks of all 3 even add the 650 chipset and you will get minor changes from 1 to the other.
December 19, 2006 9:06:17 PM

Quote:
This review is bogus.

I didn't see why the 680 is better at anything. except pay the bills for nvidia.


I dont see how you see this review as bogus.

It compares and contrasts the differences between the three chipsets fine imo. I mean, yes, the 680i may allow you to overclock more with more ease but I cant see the benchmarks being reliable comparing overclocked components on boards. There are more factors involved with a successful overclock than the individual parts involved, although they do have an impact.

While the P965 may have performed on par or better in most of the benchmarks in the review I felt that it was made clear that the 680i would be the board taking the cake if you wanted to cram the best components and wanted max overclocking capability.
December 19, 2006 9:24:45 PM

Quote:


I dont see how you see this review as bogus.

While the P965 may have performed on par or better in most of the benchmarks in the review I felt that it was made clear that the 680i would be the board taking the cake if you wanted to cram the best components and wanted max overclocking capability.


I Don't understan your POV. Doing benchmarks it's simple get generic stuff for all 3 board trying to find a midle ground. Memory, HDD, Video, CPU etc.

Get Stock level numbers. Post, Overclock get fastest stable 24/7 config, post results.

I have a P5W DH, with a 975x and i had a 6400 wich did 425x8, i bought a e6600 guess what im still getting 425x9, so that makes my limit around 425 24/7 stable.

You will hit a wall sooner or later with each and every board. this review even if the numbers don't show the big advantage says GET the 680 BOARD. Tell that to all those poor people that spent 400 for a Strikout Xtreme and getting not much real world performance gains from their "old" 965 or 975 board.
December 19, 2006 10:00:00 PM

Quote:

I Don't understan your POV. Doing benchmarks it's simple get generic stuff for all 3 board trying to find a midle ground. Memory, HDD, Video, CPU etc.

Get Stock level numbers. Post, Overclock get fastest stable 24/7 config, post results.

I have a P5W DH, with a 975x and i had a 6400 wich did 425x8, i bought a e6600 guess what im still getting 425x9, so that makes my limit around 425 24/7 stable.

You will hit a wall sooner or later with each and every board. this review even if the numbers don't show the big advantage says GET the 680 BOARD. .


Yes, everyboard will certainly hit a wall sooner or later that is a given. The review is not telling everyone to go buy a board with the 680i chipset. It's saying that if you want every bell, whistle, and the ability to truly have complete control over each component of your board - then buy the 680i. The Intel chipsets just cannot compare in the number of options that is provided with the 680i, but you pay for it.

Quote:

Tell that to all those poor people that spent 400 for a Strikout Xtreme and getting not much real world performance gains from their "old" 965 or 975 board.


If someone had upgraded from a 965 or 975 chipset to the 680i expecting increases of leaps and bounds in stock performance, they didnt do their research, and owe their disappointment to themselves.
December 19, 2006 10:06:09 PM

I can hardly wait till the RD600 chipset enters the race, as it will be cheaper than the nVidia solution, stay cooler, and still have at least the same overclockability.

To bad ATi won't make more Intel chipsets ;) 
December 19, 2006 10:16:19 PM

Quote:
I can hardly wait till the RD600 chipset enters the race, as it will be cheaper than the nVidia solution, stay cooler, and still have at least the same overclockability.


Possibly. But you have to take into account that without the RD600 out there is no real direct competition for the 680i, which I'd imagine accounts for some of the price difference. I'm sure it'll come down in sync with the release, unless the RD600 is similarly priced.
December 20, 2006 4:26:31 AM

Quote:
I can hardly wait till the RD600 chipset enters the race, as it will be cheaper than the nVidia solution, stay cooler, and still have at least the same overclockability.


Possibly. But you have to take into account that without the RD600 out there is no real direct competition for the 680i, which I'd imagine accounts for some of the price difference. I'm sure it'll come down in sync with the release, unless the RD600 is similarly priced.

RD600 Discussion

Basic gist of it is the RD600 turns out to be a really solid chipset but not the "King of all C2's" that we had hoped it to be.

So far only 2 RD600 boards are in the works, one by DFI and ASUS just announced theirs. Look for Dario's and Ninja's posts as they can explain things better than I.

Needless to say, it looks like there is no silver bullet for the C2D.... just a matter of personal preference and budget.
December 20, 2006 11:37:06 AM

I'll never understand why some people will pay so much for a motherboard. my last one cost me $75 canadian, and believe me CS:S and BF2 run BEAUTIFULLY on it.

I'd be very interested to see an entire article written about performance/$ differences between different examples of each component (motherboard, cpu, gpu, RAM). It would be interesting to see how much % difference each of these components can make (roughly) independent of the others. I'm betting the motherboard would be the smallest % contributor to your gaming experience by FAR.
December 20, 2006 11:42:16 AM

Quote:
Tweaking on the other hand that is impressive, we P5W guys or P5B Dlx guys are needing that and not getting it in favor of the ROG boards.


I was just lauding the benefits of the 680i as a good overclocker, and as I state in the end, I haven't even begun to do serious tweaking, like FSB combos, maybe CPU multiplier and mem combos, mem timings, etc. Just because I bought heavy hitting equipment does not mean I'm to lazy or dont' know what I'm doing. I've been tweaking and overclocking since before it was even mainstream and was still called hacking.

The 680i is just a great tool if you can afford it for this purpose. Once Intel Quads get some competition from AMD and drop their prices, I will most likely kick the OC E6400 out and put that in.
December 20, 2006 12:21:02 PM

Quote:
This review is bogus.

I didn't see why the 680 is better at anything. except pay the bills for nvidia.


I dont see how you see this review as bogus.

It compares and contrasts the differences between the three chipsets fine imo. I mean, yes, the 680i may allow you to overclock more with more ease but I cant see the benchmarks being reliable comparing overclocked components on boards. There are more factors involved with a successful overclock than the individual parts involved, although they do have an impact.

While the P965 may have performed on par or better in most of the benchmarks in the review I felt that it was made clear that the 680i would be the board taking the cake if you wanted to cram the best components and wanted max overclocking capability.

I think where some of us are looking at the article and going "huh?" is with the conclusions. The article writer is saying that the 680i is better, but the benchmarks do not bear that out. The 680i only won the memory benchmarks, but lost all others (either it barely lost or lost significantly) to the Intel chipsets. Now, while the 680i is going to do SLI much better and overclock better, not everyone is going to overclock or run SLI. The author of the article barely touches on this when he makes his recommendations to go with the 680i. The real conclusion that should have been written is this:
If you plan to do a range of overclocking or use SLI, then the 680i is the chipset to choose. If instead you plan to use a single video card and do moderate to no overclocking, the Intel 9x5 chipsets would be a better choice with the 965 being geared more to more extreme overclocking of lower multiplier Core2 processors and the 975 being geared to lesser overclocking of higher multiplier Core2 processors.
December 20, 2006 12:31:31 PM

Hmmm.... No mention of the well publicized 680i stability and corruption issues? I would think the article would at least address them a bit.
December 20, 2006 2:40:00 PM

Add me to the list of people scratching their heads. The data presented in this review is not supportive of the conclusions. It appears that the conclusions were written before the data was pluged into the process....
I hope that this is a one time Holiday deadline glitch.
December 20, 2006 2:45:38 PM

Yes and this is the very board with all the Sata data corruption issues.

I love this line.

Be sure to reduce the processor multiplier before overclocking your system speed that much! At the default x11 multiplier of the Core 2 Extreme 2.93 GHz, the processor would have to run at over 5 GHz - which it cannot do.

Sure what ever you say. Check out this link where this very processor is running at 5.5 Ghz.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=59...
scroll to the Intel Conroe section or follow this link.

http://www.iamxtreme.net/coolaler/WR/x6800/wr_1m_5526_9...

The first link will also verify that the P965 chipset is capable of 567.04 mhz FSB.

In all fairness though, one should follow the above statement when overclocking the FSB to find the max the board will support as your process may not support the resulting speed.

I found the article more then confusing in the layout, page 2 seemed to have nothing to do with the topic at hand. The conclusion is equally confusing as the 680i chipset seems to be only for the Extreme gamer who over clocks and who spends the money to make the board over clock well. While the recommendation for the chipset is not wrong the article should have supported it. If the author showed overclocking results and then used the included conclusion then you can say it was accurate, but the facts presented do not support the conclusion. I think the chipset has merit, well once the issues with the reference board are worked out, but at the current price point, I would suggest that the best results, either overclocking or in stock performance, goes to P965.

The 680i chipset gives the overclocking result that the Nvidia users were hoping to find in the 590 chipset. So we finally have a competative chipset from Nvidia assuming you have the cash to pay for it.

Also the information about Intel Matrix Raid technology is wrong. In reference to intel Raid technology we get the usual incorrect 0,1, 0+1, 5 when the P965/975 website show this text.

With a 2nd hard drive added, provides quicker access to digital photo, video and data files with RAID 0, 5, and 10, and greater data protection against a hard disk drive failure with RAID 1, 5, and 10.

This is nothing new as every where you see this shown incorrectly.
December 20, 2006 4:34:53 PM

Sorry, not impressed.

As someone else once stated, "benchmarks are just numbers and bragging rights".

IMHO, it's up to the user to decide if the product is the best or not. For example, for me, the 975x chipset is the best I've ever worked with. But perhaps for someone else, it was a nightmare. I love how they write reviews on CPUs and motherboards and rarely ever mention to the reader that every board is different regardless that they're the same model. My motherboard has a lower wall than others. Then again, maybe it's the CPU? Who the h3ll knows? Who should care as long as everything works good enough for them?

My point is, IMO, this review was not very well written.
December 20, 2006 5:07:33 PM

I think some of our readers should consider trying their hand at an article and submitting it for consideration. ;) 
December 20, 2006 5:37:41 PM

I'd love to if I was given the opportunity as well as the hardware. But no promises on returning the hardware once reviewed :twisted:
December 20, 2006 5:45:11 PM

The NVIDIA chipset clearly offers 2 lanes at 16x, but the video card in the review was an ATI. Most of the benchmarks were the same, so I don't see much advantage to going with NVIDIA. I want to see benchmarks from each board with SLI.
December 20, 2006 5:49:56 PM

Quote:
I think some of our readers should consider trying their hand at an article and submitting it for consideration. ;) 


I assume that most of us would do a very poor job of it. However, it appears that a significant number of readers of this article recognize that it does not meet the historical quality standard that we have grown to expect from Tom’s. Remember that most of us do not purport to be professional technical journalists. However, we can & will judge a review or article by our standards.

Furthermore, if we withhold positive or negative feedback, we fail to contribute to the improvement of the review process.
December 20, 2006 6:03:11 PM

I guess I just notice at least one negative feedback for virtually every article written. In that light, it appears as if every writer on the site is inept, which I do not beleive to be the case. :) 

I confess, there do seem to be many disagreements in forum responses to this particular article. However, I do feel there are a good deal of pessimists lurking around. ;) 
December 20, 2006 6:37:51 PM

I wouldn't recommend the 680i unless someone wanted to overclock and use SLI.
December 20, 2006 6:39:01 PM

Woo! Kudos for you! :tongue:
December 20, 2006 7:10:04 PM

Quote:
I guess I just notice at least one negative feedback for virtually every article written. In that light, it appears as if every writer on the site is inept, which I do not beleive to be the case. :) 

I confess, there do seem to be many disagreements in forum responses to this particular article. However, I do feel there are a good deal of pessimists lurking around. ;) 


I don't think it's a matter of how the article was written, I think what you're seeing is people that look at the benchmark results and just don't see why the reviewer is recommending the 680i over the two Intel chipsets. The benchmarks really are lackluster on the 680i and most of us here look for top performance for the price and the 680i just doesn't seem to deliever in that aspect.

As I mentioned in my prior post, if I had written the article, I couldn't recommend the 680i unless someone really wants to overclock and use SLI at the same time, and with the data corruption issues on the SATA coming to light, I'm not sure I could recommend the 680i even if someone wants to overclock and user SLI.
December 20, 2006 7:53:11 PM

Quote:
I'll never understand why some people will pay so much for a motherboard. my last one cost me $75 canadian, and believe me CS:S and BF2 run BEAUTIFULLY on it.

I'd be very interested to see an entire article written about performance/$ differences between different examples of each component (motherboard, cpu, gpu, RAM). It would be interesting to see how much % difference each of these components can make (roughly) independent of the others. I'm betting the motherboard would be the smallest % contributor to your gaming experience by FAR.


Agreed. Just look at my board--at the time I bought it I had a super sweet deal of $48.97 USD, and even though my vid card isn't the baddest boy, I have seen systems with that board running an ATI x1900XT and the benchmarks are not significantly less than the ones for stock speed with the same FX-57 processor used in some other the nforce4 mobo tests. Point? It works fine, has all the features I want and more, supports a riser for socket AM2 with DDR2 RAM if I need it to, and it costs one fourth the price of some of the others. Why on earth would I buy a "better board" for $130 when this $49 one is superb?

Except for a few poor quality chipsets VIA has had, along with many poor quality SiS chipsets--IMHO, motherboard chipsets make little difference for the same processor platform. ULi, Intel, ATI, and NVIDIA are (or in ATI's case 'were') pretty much on par with each other as far as performance and reliability. They almost always have been.
December 20, 2006 8:26:47 PM

I would have loved to be a technical writer, but instead went to IT. I love reviewing stuff and have spend a lot of money for equipment to test it out and sold it once the best new things arrive

The thing is prices are getting way out of control. So no Strikout for me.

Currently with Motherboards it all comes down to BIOS programming. Why the 680i have a lot of tweaks and the 965 or 975 boards don't have nothing??

Why the Commando have a lot more tweaks the the normal 965-Dlx?? Being both 965 Chipsets.

Again is all a question of what CPU with what motherboard with what memory.

Toms should do a a review competition. Wish i could have another board and another sticks of memory...

EDIT: Maybe review your own equipment and the 3 or 5 more conclusive and/or real get to receive 2 or 3 boards for review officially, and the winner should be able to keep them...
December 20, 2006 8:32:55 PM

Quote:
I guess I just notice at least one negative feedback for virtually every article written. In that light, it appears as if every writer on the site is inept, which I do not beleive to be the case. :) 

I confess, there do seem to be many disagreements in forum responses to this particular article. However, I do feel there are a good deal of pessimists lurking around. ;) 


I been following Toms for 5 years now. I have seen many many many reviews thru the years.

My main itch with current reviews are that they don't come to a decisive conclusion that clearly puts out, Buy this instead of that. or at least good, better, best.

Or reviewers are not doing their homework, they just receive the equipment review it post it.

Did they knew about the Strap Change in 965 and 890, and not in 975?
Did they knew about Lowering multi in 975 actually OC your NB?
December 21, 2006 2:24:06 AM

On page 1 the review states:

"First of all, we have to make very clear that although today's chipsets support varying features and target different user segments, you won't notice any difference in performance between a motherboard using a P965, 975X or nForce 680i SLI chipset when you start Windows to attend to your daily business. Only if you belong to the feature-aware, performance-hungry or overclocking-savvy crowds will you appreciate the huge overclocking margins and plethora of tweaking options."

So it does state from the beginning that there are only certain instances that one chipset will provide better options than another. I see the argument as to why one board would be better only if overclocking or running SLI as moot, since it was stated at the beginning of the review exactly what they were looking for to nominate the "better" board.

However, my problem with the review is mainly that it puts out incorrect information.

Page 3:
"The 975X is Intel's third-generation PCI Express core logic for enthusiasts, following the 925X/XE and the 955X. It supports all Intel processors, whether you want to use a Celeron, Pentium 4, Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad, including the corresponding Extreme Editions, and it thus supports all current front side bus speeds between 133 and 266 MHz (FSB533 to FSB1066)."

Wrong!! I have a couple Asus P5WD2-E's that are 975X chipset, and DO NOT support Core 2 Duo, let alone Core 2 Quad. It really irks me that these reviewers don't do their homework before posting things as fact. Most 975X chipsets support Core 2 Duo and more and more are supporting Core 2 Quad.

The other thing that makes this review worthless is the fact that the Corsair memory wouldn't work on its factory timings in the 975X board. This implies that the board is faulty, whether its hardware or the BIOS. Right there and then the test should have been stopped until a replacement board was provided.

Then the reviewer uses a GA-965P-DQ6 for the 965P chipset. I just happen to be typing this from a system with that particular board so know a little about it. Its not anywhere near the fastest 965P board on the market, although it is a great performer and all of the features on mine work flawlessly. So it seems the reviewer either didn't know that this board was slower than most 965P boards, or intentionally slanted the review in favor of the Nvidia chipset.

Furthermore, the reviewer states that 965 chipsets don't offer much in performance over the 975 chipsets. Again, had he tested one of the faster 965 boards, he'd have seen a pretty substantial improvement over any 975 board.

Lastly, the review claims the Nvidia chipset is the best for all the bells and whistles but only reviews a limited amount of them. What's the idea of bragging up SLI if you're not going to test and compare it?

So bottom line of the review, as I see it, is that if you want all the bells and whistles and still have competitive speed, the Nvidia chipset may be the way to go. However we won't know for sure until a decent review and comparison is done on it.

The other thing I got from this review is that TG's editors aren't worth their weight in salt, and neither are their reviewers. How can you edit a technical review if you don't understand the subject content? Its obvious from quite a few TG reviews lately that you certainly can't write a decent review when you don't know the subject either.
December 21, 2006 12:37:50 PM

I agree with some of the stuff you say. Now, if Intel had released a new chipset or ATI released a new chipset for Intel (d@mn you AMD for messing this up... or perhaps it's ATI... or Intel's fault :evil:  ), then I could see this being a more accurate review.

Sadly, I'm still surprised that the Intel chipsets vary very very little difference when compared to the performance of the 680i motherboards.

IMO, nVidia and Intel should just go ahead and merge so that the computer industry can destroy itself. I've used an nVidia card for 3-4 years and switch to ATI. The only thing I love about ATI is that it's dual monitor support (at least for me) seems to be more stable. But thanks to AMD, my chances of ever pairing crossfire with Intel in the near future are shot! (I know my current motherboard supports crossfire. But I was hoping to later upgrade the mobo and still use crossfire)

I also ran an AMD for the last 2 years and was satisfied. But nowadays, you just can't beat the Core 2 architecture... at least not yet.

So, this sucks seeing that I like ATI and Intel :( 

But do note, I'm not a fanboy of Intel, AMD, ATI, or nVidia. I just purchase the product that has best performance for a reasonable price!

My computer in 2004:
AMD 64 3200 @ 2.2GHz w/Zalman CNPS7000B
ASUS K8N-E Deluxe
2 GB Corsair XMS 400 @ 2-3-3-6 @ 2.7V
PNY GeForce 6800 (stock) w/ NV5 Silencer
WD 200GB
Seagate 80GB
Sony CD-RW
NEC DVD-RW DL
NEC Floppy Drive
Ultra X-Connect 500 WATT PSU
Thermaltake Shark Case

My computer now:
See signature.

Two totally different setups! Point is to clarify that I'm not a fanboy of either!
December 21, 2006 5:22:27 PM

Its all good that you have a system that you're happy with. Stick with what you know works and avoid what you know doesn't.

I've built 100s of systems in the past year. 1000s since we went into business. Because we are not tied to any specific vendors, we can use components from every manufacturer.

The advantage that Intel has enjoyed over AMD all along, is that with few exceptions (VIA, SIS) Intel has been the main manufacturer of chipsets for their processors. For this reason, compatibility hasn't been an issue with Intel chipsets. The few problems that I've encountered have been with SIS and VIA chipsets, which we now avoid like the plague.

On the other hand, AMD has never built their own chipsets. From my earliest experience with a K7 not being able to view a simple .jpg image (to their credit the CPU was replaced under warranty and worked well afterward), to the Nforce4 problems with RAID arrays being corrupted due to power surges and taking out components in the process (never been fixed), the list of problems with AMD and their chipset vendors goes on and on.

However, reviewers seldom test all the options provided by motherboards. Thus, the end user doesn't have a clear picture of how these options perform (or don't perform) until they actually buy one and run into problems. Understandable, since review sites are supported by the products that they review with kind words. I'll leave it up to each individual to decide whether this reviewer intentionally didn't test the all components on this motherboard, even after they correctly pointed out that only people needing all these options would benefit from the Nvidia chipset. It could be that there were problems that Nvidia didn't want pointed out, or it could be that the reviewer didn't have all the necessary components to test all the features, or it could be that they're just in a hurry to meet a deadline for a review at the cost of doing a thorough job. At any rate, it is a worthless review that points out how all the options would benefit a user and then does not test them.

In my opinion, Nvidia makes a great video card, but has never made a decent chipset. I wish they'd stick with what they know, but apparently where there's $ to be made, they will come.

I count 3 motherboards on the shelf in front of me for AMD CPUs that will work fine for a computer user who doesn't require a RAID array. Namely, DFI Lan Party NF4 SLI-DR, Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI, and Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe. All 3 are worthless for RAID, although its integrated on all of them. All 3 have Nvidia chipsets. The DFI Lan Party board (Nforce4) alone took out 2 hard drives, a BFG 6800U OC, and a PSU during separate instances of stray voltage spikes. Every time the system was idling when a BSOD occured. Upon rebooting, the RAID array was corrupt. The fix was to disconnect the hard drives from the NV SATA controller, connect them to the SIL SATA controller, power up, power down, and reconnent to the NV SATA controller. Essentially, this grounded off the stray voltage and the RAID array was once again seen as bootable. Then the fun of starting up to discover which components (if any) had been destroyed. This was happening every 2 weeks or so. None of the fried parts were covered under warranty as they weren't faulty. The DFI was RMA'ed 3 times. The second time they sent back a refurbished board that had scratches on the back. The third RMA was declined due to the scratches. Go figure. Just another manufacturer added to the list of vendors to avoid in my book. All 3 of these motherboards performed similarly, although the DFI errored more frequently than the Gigabyte or Asus boards. None of these manufacturers admit to a voltage spike problem, let alone provide a fix for it.

For me, the slight advantage of speed in the past with AMD products has never offset the high cost of replacing components. Not to mention its rare that an AMD system will run without the occasional BSOD or game crashes even without a RAID array. (I thought BSODs were gone with Windows 98 until we started sampling the latest AMD products a couple years ago.) My son is testing the 3rd AMD dual core system this month. I'm now building an Intel system for him because of all the problems with the AMD systems, including BSODs, random reboots, and skippy game screens during LAN play.

My experience with Intel boards and Intel chipsets is completely different. I can recall 1 time that we had to re-install the OS (XP Pro) due to a corrupt install. Otherwise the boards have performed without errors.

I have never had an Intel board with an Intel chipset come back with problems. Never. Like the Energizer bunny.. they just keep going and going. I suspect that with Nvidia entering the Intel arena, Intel's reputation will be hurt more than helped. :cry: 

Unlike TG and other review sites, component manufacturers don't pay my bills so I'll always tell it the way I see it. You bet I'm a fanboy. In my opinion, only a fool would resist becoming a fan of a vendor who provides products that work 'better' (defined by me as more stable and trouble free) than the competition. :wink:

For those who have never had problems with AMD and/or AMD chipsets, good on you mates. Unfortunately, my experiences have proven to me that its only a matter of time before you do. Here's hoping everyone's systems run error free forever. :-)
December 21, 2006 6:23:59 PM

Quote:

Here's hoping everyone's systems run error free forever. :-)

Linux, RAID 1, and ECC memory anyone? :tongue:
December 21, 2006 9:43:56 PM

[quote="Eurasianman
Linux, RAID 1, and ECC memory anyone? :tongue:[/quote]

No thanx.
December 27, 2006 2:31:44 PM

Quote:
This review is bogus.

I didn't see why the 680 is better at anything. except pay the bills for nvidia.


I dont see how you see this review as bogus.

It compares and contrasts the differences between the three chipsets fine imo. I mean, yes, the 680i may allow you to overclock more with more ease but I cant see the benchmarks being reliable comparing overclocked components on boards. There are more factors involved with a successful overclock than the individual parts involved, although they do have an impact.

While the P965 may have performed on par or better in most of the benchmarks in the review I felt that it was made clear that the 680i would be the board taking the cake if you wanted to cram the best components and wanted max overclocking capability.

I think where some of us are looking at the article and going "huh?" is with the conclusions. The article writer is saying that the 680i is better, but the benchmarks do not bear that out. The 680i only won the memory benchmarks, but lost all others (either it barely lost or lost significantly) to the Intel chipsets. Now, while the 680i is going to do SLI much better and overclock better, not everyone is going to overclock or run SLI. The author of the article barely touches on this when he makes his recommendations to go with the 680i. The real conclusion that should have been written is this:
If you plan to do a range of overclocking or use SLI, then the 680i is the chipset to choose. If instead you plan to use a single video card and do moderate to no overclocking, the Intel 9x5 chipsets would be a better choice with the 965 being geared more to more extreme overclocking of lower multiplier Core2 processors and the 975 being geared to lesser overclocking of higher multiplier Core2 processors.

I agree. This review is worthless. I came out of the review knowing nothing more about the 680i than I knew before, except that the P965 beats it in most benchmarks. The conclusion's a joke.

It boils down to this: The Intel chipsets beat the 680i in every benchmark. As a result, THG recommends the 680i as an 'overclockers' board. The problem with that recommendation is that they performed NO tests on the board, overclocked. The only thing they did was crank the FSB, screenshot CPU-Z, and call it the "King of overclockers."?!?!? Are you serious?

Have they been living in a cave? An ~1800MHz FSB is no easy feat, but it's by no means unheard of. I'm running a 1600MHz FSB on all stock volts at stock temps on a P965.

Besides, CPU-Z doesn't mean sh!t, let's not fool ourselves, and neither does a high FSB. What were the running temps with it overclocked like that? How did they compare with the P965 at the same speed? Was it stable? Did it pass an overnight session with Prime95? Did it perform to-par with the overclock?

For those that can't afford a X6800, what happens when the memory bus isn't running 1:1?? The performance of an async bus is largely dependant upon the design chipset. How did the board perform 1:1 versus async?

Anyway, again, to make the point, the 680i lost most of the benchmars, and THG follows with, "This is the best choice for overclockers," yet they provide no proof other than a CPU-Z screenshot.

Yet another THG article dissapointment. At least they didn't recommend a Foxconn motherboard this time... :roll:
December 27, 2006 2:41:12 PM

I agree and disagree with you on your points, but you do have a few really good points.

Quote:
Furthermore, the reviewer states that 965 chipsets don't offer much in performance over the 975 chipsets. Again, had he tested one of the faster 965 boards, he'd have seen a pretty substantial improvement over any 975 board.


Really good point. The P965 even outperforms the 975X in most of their own benchmarks. From where did they draw their conclusions, exactly?

Quote:
However, reviewers seldom test all the options provided by motherboards


This is another HUGE point. The motherboard affects overall system performance, because it ties together all of the different IO. As you can see in most benchmarks, the actual performance numbers, at stock values, are usually well within the 5% error margin.

What's the processor usage at high network usage? At high disk load? With WinAMP running in the background (i.e. SoundCard processor usage). How does the RAID perform (nVidia has a bad rep in this area)? Ok, the dual gigabit interfaces are nice. How do they perform? Have you tried a network file copy with Jumbo frames?

When I choose a chipset, I'm not looking for anb extra 3 or 4 FPS. I'm looking for overall system performance, and Intel always comes out on top in this area. Their matrix RAID is really a star performer.
December 28, 2006 1:10:12 PM

Where do I begin. If anyone reads my posts, I'm in that ever longing state of searching for the best hardware to buy so when I finally get the cash to drop on it, I'll know what to buy, no questions asked.

I heard the 680i was great. Well, after reading this article and more importantly, the critiques of it, I might not get the board.

Scientifically speaking, the claims must support the facts. This is the bottom line. Yes, benchmarks are one sided, blah blah blah. Well other than that, how else do we rate these things? Yes, some tests are worse than others, but there must be a base line for comparison. I don't even get the argument that benchmarks are irrelavent. Well, we'll just blindly choose a board and it'll be the best one since benchmarks don't matter.

The context of the comparison must be taken into account and we all know that. This is a good review (sorta) if you compare stock and ignore the conclusion and a few other things. Ok its not the best, or even good. :lol: 

This revieve is flawed. We've been over that. No SLI, no real overclocking shown. NO PROOF FOR WHY THE 680i IS RECOMMENDED.

I think I'll do what I've done in the past. Read some articles, then post some questions to people about the hardware. Even if the 975x isn't the "best" chipset, if it'll deliver what I want it to for a cheaper price, hell, thats the one I want.

I would like to see an OC'ing comparison, but I'll keep dreaming.





By the way, has anyone OC'ed a QX6700 on any of these boards? I'm having trouble finding some numbers on the subject.
December 30, 2006 12:39:25 PM

Very interesting. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but very interesting...
January 13, 2007 4:58:46 AM

How can I put this gently. Let's see:

That article was a crock.

What a bunch malarke! The enthusiast crowd's dogmatic devotion nVidia is nauseating. nVidia & AMD just aren't that great. It is so obvious the authors are deluding themselves its almost comical. You have an entire article where Intel chipet-based computers smoke the nVidia in nearly every single test, and consume less power to boot and then the articles conclusion is that nVidia is superior? It wasn't even a convincing lie. I mean, if you're going to lie, fudge the statistics so the lie at least appears credible. Amateurs.

Oh sure, they look great. On paper. All your local geek kids will swear they're great. There was a time I believed them, so I jumped head-first into their world. First Intel/nVidia. The performance was dissappointing. I foold around with that for a year and figured maybe it was the pairing of CPU & chipset, so I jumped into the AMD/nVidia world. It was dissappointing from day one and every day I was used it. It was so bad I genuinely was considering a legal action. I mean, it wasn't just false advertising, it was willful negligence & fraud. AMD didn't work with windows. nVida & AMD wasn't better. Oh, sure Sandra said it was better. If all you do is bencharking all day, then nVidia is your choice. It benchmarks great.

But if your goal is to USE THE COMPUTER, and you aren't a gamer, you will be very sorry you "drank the nVidia/AMD Kool-Aid (r)."

I eventually got up to nForce5 & dual-core Athlon 4800+. Rogers & Astaire it wasn't. More like Fred and Barney. The pair connected to a DFI Lanparty are where they belong. On a shelf in my office collecting dust. Anybody want them?
January 13, 2007 5:05:12 AM

Quote:
Where do I begin. If anyone reads my posts, I'm in that ever longing state of searching for the best hardware to buy so when I finally get the cash to drop on it, I'll know what to buy, no questions asked.

I heard the 680i was great. Well, after reading this article and more importantly, the critiques of it, I might not get the board.

Scientifically speaking, the claims must support the facts. This is the bottom line. Yes, benchmarks are one sided, blah blah blah. Well other than that, how else do we rate these things? Yes, some tests are worse than others, but there must be a base line for comparison. I don't even get the argument that benchmarks are irrelavent. Well, we'll just blindly choose a board and it'll be the best one since benchmarks don't matter.

The context of the comparison must be taken into account and we all know that. This is a good review (sorta) if you compare stock and ignore the conclusion and a few other things. Ok its not the best, or even good. :lol: 

This revieve is flawed. We've been over that. No SLI, no real overclocking shown. NO PROOF FOR WHY THE 680i IS RECOMMENDED.

I think I'll do what I've done in the past. Read some articles, then post some questions to people about the hardware. Even if the 975x isn't the "best" chipset, if it'll deliver what I want it to for a cheaper price, hell, thats the one I want.

I would like to see an OC'ing comparison, but I'll keep dreaming.





By the way, has anyone OC'ed a QX6700 on any of these boards? I'm having trouble finding some numbers on the subject.


Thank you. Some sanity in this sea of baloney.

You've hit the nail on the head: where's the backup for the claim nVidia is superior? It doesn't exist because it ISN'T! nVidia is terrible, and their driver support for their MB chipsets is awful. I haven't checked lately, but in December nVidia's Vista drivers were still September's RC1 drivers. Meanwhile Intel had drivers in December written in December. And earlier ones in November, etc. etc.

Contrast that with nVidias utter unwillngness to be even a little bit customer focused. I mean, talk is good, but the proof is in the pudding. nVidia's pudding was shrivled up and ready to be thrown out. Gross.
January 18, 2007 3:54:18 PM

Quote:
Hmm. Seems like this article needs to be updated. The 680i is looking kind of weak, mostly to the so called "965 value boards". How much did Toms hardware get paid? See screen shot.

http://www.voanet.com/forums/file.php?21,file=430


The DQ6 is probably the best OC motherboard I've seen for C2D.
January 18, 2007 7:17:33 PM

Quote:

The DQ6 is probably the best OC motherboard I've seen for C2D.


Agree, obviously why I own one. The thing that gets me is this DQ6 board loves to run above 1800 bus speed. For instance, here is my stable speed at over 2GHz bus.
http://www.voanet.com/forums/file.php?21,file=432

Where is the 680i again? Toms should consider posting some real world OC's on this article before people buy the wrong part. Maybe that's where we step in. :twisted:
April 26, 2007 4:55:10 PM

My jaw dropped when I read the conclusion. After just looking at all the benchmark results, I have to agree that the conclusion seems to have been written independently of the benchmark results.

This is why I went to this forum, in the hope to find an answer. But what I found here is several people saying the same thing, that they don't understand where the conclusion came from AND NOBODY EXPLAINS IT!?

Where is the reviewer? Can you please explain why nvidia loses on all tests, and then you say it's the best mobo?

Thanks,
Aleric
April 26, 2007 5:00:21 PM

Digging up 4 month old reviews... bad.
!