Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

680i Motherboard Comparison Part 2

Last response: in Motherboards
Share
February 22, 2007 2:14:04 PM

A broader selection of high-end NForce 680i SLI chipset platforms is finally beginning to surface, but was it worth the wait? We compare the performance, overclocking potential and other features of three newcomers to Part 1 entries.
February 22, 2007 4:38:11 PM

I'm still having trouble with my Striker Extreme since I got it in November. Its currently back at Asus again and I'm still waiting to get it or a replacement back.

I have the same memory as the article (corsair dominator 8888) but if I enable sli-ready memory in bios the board won't even boot. It turns out even after hours of tweaking settings manually that the board isn't stable with a memory clock above about 900Mhz. Asus's own website advertises the board as being compatable with SLI-ready memory upto 1200Mhz.

The technical support I have got from Asus has been somewhere between terrible and non-existent. I'm on my 2nd RMA now, and Asus take forever (3+weeks) to turn-around repairs or exchange-RMA refunds. The amount of paperwork is stupid and the forms look like a kid wrote them, having lots of typos and bad grammar, which is stunning for an international company. You also need to be prepared to have to call them many times to get anything sorted out and each time be prepared for 20 minute+ waits in phone queues before you speak to anyone.

When you finally get to speak to technical support they really haven't a clue about the details of the motherboard other than to tell you to ugrade to the latest bios then work through a list of the most blatantly obvious points that anyone with half a brain would do anyway, thats about all the help they can be. They can't answer any technical questions such as those around the SLI-ready memory support in the bios. The guys I spoke to just kept trying to blame my memory, and clearly didn't know about the different memory types out there, even though Corsair reccomend the memory I have specifically for the striker.

I read in several different places on the net that early strikers had problems, but Asus tech. can't/won't discuss that or even disclose what the latest shipping hardware rev. is. Evidently the phone staff have been briefed to not disclose that information for some reason. Also when you do an RMA they will only replace the board with the same hardware rev. only, even if that is the cause of the problem!!!

This basically means you're stuck with a $420+ product that doesn't do what is advertised and Asus don't care and won't do anything to fix it other than swap it for another with the same problem at your cost.

I paid the crazy cost of a striker because I thought that I'd really be getting something worthwhile and I was building a no-compromises rig. It turns out it can't even run my memory at full speed.

I've been building PC's for like 20 years and I've always bought motherboards from Asus because I beleived they were the best quality. I can understand that every now and again they make a mistake but the way Asus continues to apparently misadvertise the product and the quality of their customer support (or rather lack of it) is ensuring I, my friends, and anyone else I can get the message to will never buy from them again.

Please can anyone who has just bought an Asus Striker motherboard post here what their hardware rev. is.
Its painted on the board itself in white lettering just below the asus logo and is something like 1.00(green).
Also if any striker owners could post their highest stable memory clock, memory voltage, memory type and motherboard rev. I'd be really grateful.
a b V Motherboard
February 22, 2007 6:57:09 PM

I have the earliest revision of the Asus board and the PC2-8888 memory, it works fine with "SLI Memory" turned on in "Expert" mode at "1:1" ratio and "2.30V" DIMM voltage. 2.40V is recommended by Corsair but at 2.30V the memory runs very cool without a fan.

If you're overclocking you need to choose a lower memory ratio. Remember that 1:1 is actually 2:1 DIMM:FSB for clock speeds, and 300MHz at "1:1" (FSB1200) will run the RAM at 1200, beyond its rating.
Related resources
February 22, 2007 7:41:24 PM

Quote:
I have the earliest revision of the Asus board and the PC2-8888 memory, it works fine with "SLI Memory" turned on in "Expert" mode at "1:1" ratio and "2.30V" DIMM voltage. 2.40V is recommended by Corsair but at 2.30V the memory runs very cool without a fan.

If you're overclocking you need to choose a lower memory ratio. Remember that 1:1 is actually 2:1 DIMM:FSB for clock speeds, and 300MHz at "1:1" (FSB1200) will run the RAM at 1200, beyond its rating.


Even with not overclocking anything (i.e. mode set to standard) and memory voltage set to 2.30V my board isn't stable under memtest86 unless I down-clock the memory to 900Mhz or so.
I get the same with either FSB-linked or separate FSB/Memory clock modes. If I set it to 1:1 so that the memory clock is 1066Mhz, or even enable SLi-memory mode, the motherboard doesn't even boot as far as the bios.

I know this is definately a motherboard issue/limit and not a ram limit because if I tweak the Northbridge voltage I can hit a sweetspot where I can increase the memory clockspeed upto about 930Mhz before memtest86 shows errors. This wouldn't be the case if my memory was already maxxed out as all I'm doing is tweaking the northbridge voltage, and not changing any other memory settings at all.
February 22, 2007 7:56:30 PM

I'd like to see a P965 board chucked in the charts with the 680's for a comparison. I just bought a new rig and used an ASUS commando, for several reasons, some of which include:
1. Intels chipsets handle IO better and faster
2. PRICE!!! the commando was AU$200 cheaper than the Striker
3. the whole bios thing
4. I'm not going to go and purchase ANOTHER 8800GTX. one is plenty thanks so no need for SLI

The only problem I'm having is that the p965 has no legacy IDE. its handled by the jmicron controller and it sucks, so I'm waiting on delivery of a SATA DVD burner so I can turn the jmicron off, it is so slow for disk access its crazy.

I would really like to see the boards compared. the benchmarks for the P965 boards that were done ages ago used an X1900XTX I think.
Anyway, lets see it!
a b V Motherboard
February 22, 2007 8:04:03 PM

It works for me, I'd reconsider whether it might be bad RAM.
February 22, 2007 9:28:19 PM

Quote:
I'd like to see a P965 board chucked in the charts with the 680's for a comparison. I just bought a new rig and used an ASUS commando, for several reasons, some of which include:
1. Intels chipsets handle IO better and faster
2. PRICE!!! the commando was AU$200 cheaper than the Striker
3. the whole bios thing
4. I'm not going to go and purchase ANOTHER 8800GTX. one is plenty thanks so no need for SLI

The only problem I'm having is that the p965 has no legacy IDE. its handled by the jmicron controller and it sucks, so I'm waiting on delivery of a SATA DVD burner so I can turn the jmicron off, it is so slow for disk access its crazy.

I would really like to see the boards compared. the benchmarks for the P965 boards that were done ages ago used an X1900XTX I think.
Anyway, lets see it!


I also chose a P965 for my latest build. I almost went for the commando but ended up going with the new P5B Premium Vista Edition. Another advantage of the P965 compared to the 680i is that the P965 runs much cooler and that helps lower temps all around. I used a SATA DVD burner in my build as well to avoid dealing with the driver installation of the JMicron IDE. Once Windows is up and running you can install the JMicron drivers easily and it works fine.

Like you I would like to see some more recent P965 board comparisons like the commando and the P5B premium. And I would also love to know how the new Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus comapres since Asus replaced the 680i chipset from the non-Plus version with a hybrid chipset that consists of an upgraded 650i northbridge and an nForce5 Southbridge from AMD platforms. Supposedly this hybrid chipset is much more stable and runs cooler while providing all the features of the 680i, including Dual 16x SLI. and it's even a little cheaper than the regular P5N32-E SLI board. I'm really curious to see how that board performs against true 680i chipset boards.
February 23, 2007 1:45:05 PM

Anyone know why EVGA 680i SLI board isn't in this?

I'm looking at buying this board for three CAD/3D workstations using SLI Quadro cards and I was looking for some more results/comparisons.

The EVGA card has lots of problems and I just wanna see if people are still having them or if they are huge problems or not.

Viper
February 23, 2007 3:42:44 PM

Hi all,

Great news this MSI mobo!!! I think is the first one integrating the X-Fi sound processor... Do you have any knowledges about other mobos using X-Fi?

Thanks and regards,
patrokle
February 23, 2007 5:34:09 PM

Why not buy a new processor for overclocking testing? Enthusiasts who are buying these boards most likely want to at least know the limits of overclocking capabilities, and lowering the multiplier has not proved to be as accurate as a full spped overclock test. An e4300 costs $169 at newegg; that seems like a small investment to make in order to be able to make an accurate writeup of C2D overclocking.
a b V Motherboard
February 23, 2007 5:41:55 PM

You'd probably want the newest stepping of E6300 for overclock testing if you're not manipulating multipliers, as an E4300 would have to be multiplier dropped to get any decent bus speed from it.
February 24, 2007 4:35:37 AM

Quote:
Anyone know why EVGA 680i SLI board isn't in this?


Are you blind? It's right there on Page 2!

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/02/22/680i_motherboard...

I must be becuase that looks like the ECS PN2 SLI2+: not the EVGA 680i SLI.

They say its the same board but different stickers. None the less I would still like to see the results
Quote:
but each brand has its own customer support department, warranty policy, accessory kit and price structure
W
a b V Motherboard
February 24, 2007 5:04:28 AM

I have the major brands right here in my possession: They have the same manufacturer string on them. That's right, they came off the same assembly line.

They are the same board, they use the same BIOS unless the brand decides to add its own logo, and then its only the logo that's different. You peal the stickers off and they all say nVidia underneath, and being that they come off the same assembly line they even have the same capacitors.

Which means that there is absolutely zero point in retesting every different brand of the same board. None. Zero. Anything you say to the contrary is just a pipe dream or a conspiracy theory.

EVGA has a better warranty than everyone else. That means you get the same board with a better warranty. Great news for EVGA fans, but that has nothing to do with testing.
February 25, 2007 6:04:32 AM

I think Part 1 had the Evga 680i. I have the Evga and I just love this board. Rock solid and stable. :D 
February 25, 2007 7:19:05 AM

I picked up a Striker Extreme and installed it just this week. I replaced a P5W DH Deluxe with it (system with Deluxe was working great).

I've had three issues with it thus far, some far more severe than others.

First, I had major troubles with the system just randomly shutting down with absolutely no warning. I had thought perhaps it was Vista, but it did it to me in the BIOS once as well so it obviously wasn't an OS/Software problem. I was using an Antec NeoHE 500W power supply and I have an 8800GTX installed. Thinking that someday I might want to add a second, I ordered a new Thermaltake Toughpower 850W PSU. When I installed that, the random power-offs stopped. It has been running for the better part of 36 hours now without an unexpected shutdown. Seems that I've got that particular problem is fixed. I've read a review that states the NeoHE has a little flutter in one of its outputs during testing and I also recall reading a while back that its current on the 5V rail was not that high compared to other PSUs. Perhaps the Striker is particularly sensitive in regards to those issues.

The second problem I'm having, and have yet to resolve is heat. I have a CoolerMaster Centurion 5 with a mesh front grill, an 80mm front fan and a 120mm rear chassis fan. At roughly idle in windows (just a few lightish duty tasks running) the system temp was reading up to 50C and the CPU could be 55-60C (an E6700, stock clocking). This was obviously distressing. The new thermaltake PSU has a bottom drawing fan on it and has helped air flow and matters a bit.

I noticed the rear 120mm chassis fan was only running about 850-900 rpm so I ordered a new Vantec 1500rpm 120mm to replace it with, thinking it was faulty. I installed the new Vantec and noted that it was also running at 900ish rpm only. I discovered that any fan connected to the power outlet designated for the chassis fan ran far below its rated rpm and I would guess that the board is supplying inadequate power to that outlet. Thankfully, there are about 7 other outlets available and it was easy to use another and I'm now getting the full rpms out of my chassis fan. This has helped cool it down a little bit, but it is still running at 45ish for the system temp and 48-50C for the CPU at light load. I am running the stock CPU cooler still but have a Scythe Ninja on order which should arrive shortly and vents to the side (which I'm hoping will also improve overall air flow). I am almost positive the Ninja is not going to fit without some dremel work though. If its going to be a major hack job, I may just order a Coolermaster Hyper 6+ instead.

With any luck a better cpu cooler will help get those thermals under control. Still, this board is running really hot, far hotter than any other board I've ever owned that I can recall. I'm almost wondering if there is actually something a bit wrong with it. That being said though, aside from the heat issues, it does seem to be stable at the moment.

The third issue I've already covered as it related to the heat issue and that was the odd problem with the designated chassis fan power outlet.

To answer the rest of your query Niz, I am using a 2 GB (2x1GB) Corsair XMS2 6400 C4 kit and I have it running at stock 800MHz speeds @ 2.1V (timings and voltage set manually, SLI Expert mode enabled). I have not attempted to overclock anything yet, as A) I don't really feel a need to squeeze out more speed yet and B) with things running hot in the case already I don't particularly want to worsen matters until I get the matter reigned in a bit first (if that is possible).

My board revision is 1.00G and I am running the 901 BIOS.

This board is quite nice but I was rather frustrated and dissapointed with the issues I ran into with it. Now that I have it running stable without random crashes, I'm much happier. Still, the heat problem is going to be tricky to manage it would seem. I also wish that you could set the LCD poster backlight to be off when the system is shutdown, I do not particularly care for a glowing case and you are apparently stuck with either the LCD poster or internal LEDs on while shutdown (Or at least I haven't found a way to have them both off yet while shutdown).

Regards,
dolynick
a b V Motherboard
February 25, 2007 8:06:20 AM

Yeh, your fan is supposed to run slower because that's what automatic fan controls do. If you've disabled the correct fan control in BIOS and its still running slow, it means the "disable" feature is broken.
February 25, 2007 3:27:00 PM

Quote:
Anyone know why EVGA 680i SLI board isn't in this?


Are you blind? It's right there on Page 2!

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/02/22/680i_motherboard...

I must be becuase that looks like the ECS PN2 SLI2+: not the EVGA 680i SLI.

They say its the same board but different stickers. None the less I would still like to see the results
Quote:
but each brand has its own customer support department, warranty policy, accessory kit and price structure
W

Yeah, the EVGA mobo is the 122-CK-NF68-AR. That's from their site. Also, unless I'm missing something major, why pay $150 more for the Striker Extreme when the P5N32-E SLI by ASUS is virtually the same? I'm also looking at the P5N32-E SLI Plus. ASUS has managed to hybrid the 650i and 570 chipsets to give you most of the features of the 680i.

http://www.asus.com/products_compare_show.aspx?array_mo...

http://www.pricegrabber.com/search_compare.php?topcat_i...

I've been building systems for 12 years and can't see what justifies the price premium of the Striker Extreme. I'm even considering the P5N32-E SLI Plus as it's $45 less than its 680i brethren and less than half the cost of the Striker. What are your thoughts?

Thanks,
Jeff
a b V Motherboard
February 25, 2007 4:58:00 PM

Asus just understands marketing a bit better than you, they know how to extract huge sums of money from their fans, it's the price of belonging to the Asus fan club.

Seriously, if they couldn't sell them for that price they wouldn't.
February 26, 2007 6:05:22 AM

I would also love to see a review of the P5N32-E SLI and P5N32-E SLI Plus. Why are they actually missing from the part 2? 8O
It would have been interesting to see how they perform in comparison to the included nForce 680 boards.
February 26, 2007 8:27:06 AM

I got my striker a week ago - still playing with it. Main issue was the memory voltage, preventing me from booting, took me a day to get it to boot but once I got into the Bios that was easily sorted.

I've got an E4300 and so far all i've managed to get out of it is 2.4Ghz (x9 1066) using Corsair Dominator PC8500 CL5 (Linked 1:1). Temps are getting high but thats probably because one of the feet on my Artic Cooler Freezer 7 Pro got bent (50C full load). However if I try to push tp 2.5-2.6Ghz PC boots but windows either doesn't load or fails Orthos. I've tried skipping to higher FSBs but 2.7-3.0Ghz refuses to boot. Yes i've tried increasing Vcore anything from 3.25 to 3.75 - same results (currently sitting at 3.25).

Its not the ram, i've tried various different options with ratios (linked and unlinked) and i've used Sync mode (which is a true 1:1 ratio) but still anything above 2.4Ghz is not stable... not tried "expert mode" I just use the manual overclocking options - isn't that more flexible?

Couple of questions: What is VTT voltage? What is HT voltage? What NB voltages are you guys using? Anyone else using an E4300 with the Striker - what overclocks are you getting and what settings are you using? E4300 should easily get to 2.8Ghz just seems unachievable for me right now :( 

I'll post my Striker's hardware rev tonight when im home.
a b V Motherboard
February 26, 2007 8:38:40 AM

First I'm assuming you mean voltages between 1.325 and 1.375V, not 3.25 to 3.75. I'd try more...probably 1.40V.

Also raise VTT to and Nortbridge to 1.50V each. VTT is the FSB voltage.

HT is the link nVidia is using between the Northbridge and Southbridge, don't worry about it.
February 26, 2007 9:43:16 AM

Thanks for that crashman - i'll give that a try tonight.

Thats twice i've gone and put 3.25 instead of 1.325... doh! Thing is, it seems abit extreme to require 1.4V to OC above 2.4Ghz with an E4300. I'll probably notch up the Vcore only a little and try bumping up the VTT and NB first. Since boosting Vcore a fair bit made little difference on my last outings.
February 26, 2007 2:54:13 PM

Afer reading part 2, I noticed a bit about the P6N Diamond that was left out. If you were to download the sales kit that was made available in the power point format by MSI, they mention chipset watercooling. Here is some info pulled from that kit.

"Unique heatpipe thermal solution with Water-Cooling
Innovative Watering-Cooling system embedded for chipset and PWM
Both designs are under validating for best effects with fit small size.
Sealed copper-pipe without refilling, copper/water dual pipe heatsink design!
Will called “WaCool!” system."

MSI P6N compare P6N Diamond
PCI Express Slot 4 PCIe x16 (16x-0x-16x-8x or 16x-8x-8x-8x), 1 PCIe x1
FSB and memory FSB1333, DDR2 1066
PCI Slot 2
Storage On board 5 port, Silicon Image RAID 2 port, 1 port eSATA, 2 IDE port
LAN Dual Gb LAN
Audio CREATIVE Sound Blaster X-Fi treme audio 7.1
Serial Port 2 1394, 10USB
Thermal soluiton Fancy Heatpipe + FAN
Limited Water cooling
PWM 4-phase with pipe
Add on feature EAX, Quad VGA, Solid Cap, X-Fi with EAX HD!, Direct backup RAID, Dual CoreCell with Vista Ready!
Media Shield, nTune.
Retail Price 299USD (Forecast)

Comments?
February 27, 2007 9:21:16 PM

Quote:

I'm even considering the P5N32-E SLI Plus as it's $45 less than its 680i brethren and less than half the cost of the Striker. What are your thoughts?



I saw a rumour somewhere that the P5N32-E SLI (the one with 680i)
is discontinued and there is only the Plus version left for purchasing. Could this possible be true?
February 27, 2007 9:30:08 PM

I'm pretty sure it is... ASUS removed it from its website - it had too many issues with it to be worth continuing.
February 28, 2007 11:01:30 PM

Is anybody else worried about these boards' advertised ability to run future Quad-Cores at 1333FSB? The review at Anandtech indicates that this may be far from a sure thing. Unless I missed that part, I'm a bit surprised that the THG series of comparisons didn't explore this.
a b V Motherboard
February 28, 2007 11:28:59 PM

Hey, that's a great question. Unfortunately the leaders don't have time to read every post, so it would probably be a good thing to send them a message through the email feedback page.
March 6, 2007 1:53:06 PM

Is the MSI Diamond ever goin to be released? This is getting beyond a joke, I'm waiting on it for my next upgrade, I've emailed MSI and they just ignored it....
September 6, 2007 6:24:55 PM

Has any issues been resolved on the MSI Diamond with it's qwerks or is it still pretty much the same board and bios as the first release?
!