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680i vs. 780i

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December 12, 2007 3:42:49 AM

Hi everyone,

I am making a new build and am struggling with the mobo choice. I am eyeing a GTS 8800 (G92) SLI setup and therefore am pigeon holed into the 680i.

Big debate is the 780i is about to be released, so what I would like to get some opinions on is:

Is it worth it to wait?
Will the obvious (pending) price differences be worth it?
Is it worth the risk to buy the first round of 780i's with the possibility of glitches? or pick up a reliable 680i with a Q6600 now... and if the benefits are huge in the future upgrade to a better rounded 780i with a new gen chipset?

I'm getting abit trigger happy on my build because i've been without a gaming comp for a year... tried out a laptop, didn't work out too well lol.

Thanks for any help.

More about : 680i 780i

a b V Motherboard
December 12, 2007 3:50:20 AM

Two major benefits of the upcoming 780i is support for next generation Penryn 45nm processors and support for PCIE 2.0. 680i offers neither. A 680i/Q6600/8800GTS (G92) build would be plenty powerful, but would offer absolutely no upside.

If you must build right now and can't wait for the 780i, should look like this.

Intel X38/6600 (waiting for penryn 45nm to drop in), 3870's Crossfired.
December 12, 2007 3:56:56 AM

Hmm ya i've been considering that. I've got to admit i've gotten abit wrapped up in the 8800 craze that has been going on

How do the 3870's stack up versus the gts 8800 (G92)? If I was to only get one and crossfire it later... that a big issue?
Related resources
December 12, 2007 4:02:27 AM

sooooo your thinking not worth the wait...

Ok i do like the x38 boards obviously. But my problem is I'm abit nuts for the GTS 8800 (G92). Now I would like SLI capabilities so that leads me to the 680i.... but if i was to be seriously lazy and not buy another graphics card then it would have been stupid to do the 680i... should have done the x38. This is my dilemma.
a b V Motherboard
December 12, 2007 4:07:52 AM

@Zen...wow, that's news.
December 12, 2007 4:22:36 AM

no kidding.... yet i'm even more confused hahaha

I dunno. I just feel like the 780i's may be buggy and their ddr3, pci-e 2.0, and cpu expansion possibilities of the model i get my hands on may be even more out-dated by the time I take the plung to upgrade in a year or two. So maybe the 680i now... and a mobo +cpu upgrade in the far future if I need it.

I dunno, do you guys think my logic is skewed and I should just suck it up and wait for the 780i?
December 12, 2007 4:30:38 AM

Depending on your funds, it may not hurt to wait another week or two.

I suspect the 8800GTS 512mb is going to come down in price fairly soon. The 8800GT 512mb is already starting to settle down to even below $250 in sporadic places.

My guess is that the 8800GTS will be very low $300s within a week or so.

By that time we might have more reports on the 780i.
I'm really hoping that full support for all of the 45nm quads will come.

Honestly, I can't see what the problem is.
Most of them have a lower TDP than the older Q6600 B3, so it cant be all about power requirements.
December 12, 2007 4:35:35 AM

hmmm ok ya I agree. I am probably going to hold tight. I def agree that the new GTS 8800's are going to have an initial price spike... hopefully supply problems won't cause an increased price like with the GT's... that was obviously abit different because they were such a radical performance increase for a price lower than the old GTS, causing very little in substitute products at it's price range. The new GTS's will have some demand lifted from the people still going after the GT's.... hopefully.
December 12, 2007 4:37:24 AM

Originally the 680i was supposed to support all Penryn's with a BIOS update but I've read of a power struggle between Intel and Nvidia (Nvidia won't license Intel SLI) which has prevented, to this point, compatability. From what I've read 780i will be compatable with both dual and quad versions of Penryn but the 680i is only compatable with the dual core and may or may not eventually become compatable with the quad.

To answer the OP's question about 780i since it is the 680i chipset with a couple additions I would like to believe they learned from their previous mistakes and early adoptors shouldn't have the same issues 680i buyers had. As for Nvidia or AMD, in some benchmarks the 3870 is around the same performance as the 8800GTS and in other's it's close to the GTX and with a price of around $250 it's a better deal than the GT.

I would say that with all the uncertainty surrounding Nvidia's current and future chipsets that badge's suggestion of the X38 and 2x3870 in crossfire is the best way to go right now.
December 12, 2007 4:42:04 AM

hmmm you make good points.
Any known issues with the Crossfire setup? Or is it a pretty lock an load proceedure?
December 12, 2007 4:53:40 AM

What monitor do you have? Bear in mind that it will be pointless to go for all the gfx power of sli / xfire if you game at a resolution < 1920 x 1200!
December 12, 2007 5:13:46 AM

I'm gettin a BenQ FP241W... native res 1920x1200 ;) . This is what brought me down this road in the first place... once the new GTS came out and performed better at the higher res and was priced cheaper than the GTX I found my card. Problem is now I either grab a 680i and restrict my expansion possibilities, wait and see with the 780i (which may even be out of my price range once it is released), or do the x38 crossfire thing. choices choices
December 12, 2007 6:41:17 AM

I recommend the X38, it's a fantastic board. Dual HD3870s is a great choice if you're gaming at 1920x1200, i can't really recommend anything less. Any single card would choke at that resolution in any mildly demanding modern games.
December 12, 2007 7:14:02 AM

quantumsheep said:
I recommend the X38, it's a fantastic board. Dual HD3870s is a great choice if you're gaming at 1920x1200, i can't really recommend anything less. Any single card would choke at that resolution in any mildly demanding modern games.


I totally agree with quantumsheep, the Asus P5E (X38) is proving to be a reliable, stable very overclockable mobo! It has two PCI-E 2.0 full 16x 16x mode for upto 16GB of link speed between the PCI-Express bus. Remember PCI-E 1.0 has 8GB of PCI-E bandwidth. Not that any graphics card will be using all that much bandwidth... yet.
December 12, 2007 3:13:51 PM

Hmmm ok. I am under the impression though that two 8800's (new GTS, GT, or GTX) in sli outperform the dual HD3870s... is this a fair statement?

If that is true then wouldn't my performance dominate with an 8800 SLI setup on a 680i board? Any links would be helpful for performance stats, I have seen alot but may help if I haven't seen something.

p.s. thank you all for helping me work through this
December 12, 2007 3:46:13 PM

The 8800GT or 8800GTS 512mb would easily beat the 3870CF.

However, the 680i will have some issues with some Penryns.

Now, the Dual Core Penryns which should easily hit 4.5Ghz might be the way to go on these boards. (The Quads have hit 4.5Ghz so the Duels should definitely not have a problem.)


December 12, 2007 4:18:33 PM

ati does not hold a candle to nvidia peroid! there is no comparision! benchmarks speak for them selves.
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/12/12/geforce_8800_gts...

I would go with the x-38 build if it was me! and go with one nvidia 9800 gtx when they come out and wait until they do, it will be worth it! this is what I am doing. got everything but cpu and ram and some small stuff but am choosing to go one nvidia card instead of two ati in crossfire cards.
December 12, 2007 4:26:05 PM

lol. Any idea on the pricing/release date for those 9800's? i dunno if I can stand waiting longer than a month ;) 
December 12, 2007 4:40:34 PM

My personal opinion is that the 680i will be good for another 3 years if not 5.
December 12, 2007 5:32:55 PM

Really eh. Ya definitly know the 680i is a good piece. I am getting mixed responses from the crowed on the importance of cpu expandability...

i have my heart set on the Q6600 and I don't plan on expanding for atleast a year... basically I feel I need to decide SLI or no SLI. If not, X38 seems to be a good option. If SLI... i am leaning towards the 680i and not waiting for the 780i... unless it releases in the next 2 weeks
December 12, 2007 6:04:40 PM

The 780i is due in December.

There is a follow-on 780 board in January that will have Quad support and use DDR3. However, DDR3 is not a good buy at the moment.
December 12, 2007 6:08:39 PM

780i's big thing will be Tri-SLI, but that won't happen unless you have 3 GTX's, which makes it exorbitantly expensive. The X38 CF or 680i GTS/GT SLI solution seems best. It all depends on how much you're willing to spend. It appears the R680 cards in CF scale much better than Crossfire used to.
December 12, 2007 6:28:56 PM

Yes, an SLI setup with dual GTS (new), GT, or GTX would dominate a 3870 Crossfire setup. 3870 would be cheaper, and use less pw.

Also, SLI support is currently better than Crossfire in games (although X-fire is improving).

In my experience, the 680i is a great, tried mobo that can be had in different configurations for much less than X38s. The only drawbacks are it doesn't support Penryn Quad (rumored) or PCI-E 2.0. Supposedly, 780i is just a 680i with PCI-E 2.0 support... that will retail for a premium when available.
December 12, 2007 7:09:25 PM

you think that premium is worth it's weight? and the wait worth the wait? ;) 
December 12, 2007 11:11:51 PM

a2love said:
lol. Any idea on the pricing/release date for those 9800's? i dunno if I can stand waiting longer than a month ;) 


Your waiting for a rumor? There is no 9800, unless you know something that I don't. I waited for that rumor for three months, what a fringen waist of my time!!
December 12, 2007 11:23:47 PM

a2love said:
Really eh. Ya definitly know the 680i is a good piece. I am getting mixed responses from the crowed on the importance of cpu expandability...

i have my heart set on the Q6600 and I don't plan on expanding for atleast a year... basically I feel I need to decide SLI or no SLI. If not, X38 seems to be a good option. If SLI... i am leaning towards the 680i and not waiting for the 780i... unless it releases in the next 2 weeks


What resolution will you be playing at? SLI is only effective at high resolutions like 1680x1050 and 1920x1200, any lower than 1680x1050 and you'll get nothing more than a second card for looks. Don't get two low-end cards thinking that they'll = a big card like an 8800GTX, few months ago someone got two 8800GTS 320MB cards trying to beat one 8800GTX but could not = an 8800GTX because not all games support or utilise SLI properly like Crysis.

Intel mobo's are pretty good about supporting future processers, in fact my Asus P5B (P965) supports 45nm processers when Nvidia's do not. Don't get me wrong I love Nvidia's graphics cards and always will, but going SLI in the future probibly not.
December 13, 2007 12:32:23 AM

I got a link off these forums some where do not remember that feb they will be released[9800 gtx] so I'm waiting, what is so surprising, nvidia is due for new release of big card and in jan sp1 for vista will be released so this is good timing to release a 10.1 dx card!
December 13, 2007 1:17:39 AM

bel said:
I got a link off these forums some where do not remember that feb they will be released[9800 gtx] so I'm waiting, what is so surprising, nvidia is due for new release of big card and in jan sp1 for vista will be released so this is good timing to release a 10.1 dx card!


Just because some website says something does make it true, and if it were others would have followed with news of it. Don't believe everything you read or hear, how would you know if Nvidia is due for a new graphics card? Do you have some magic foresight that we don't. Come on back up your own claims, even if you were to back up what your saying doesn't make it true just because some foregotten website says it is so.

I tire of all these people that post dribble with not even ONE shread of proof! "Nvidia is going to release a newer card in mid summer". :sarcastic:  There my statement doesn't make it so does it.
December 13, 2007 1:49:15 AM

Alright, well all 'waiting' aside...

I will be running benQ fp241w 24" monitor (1920x1200 native resolution). This is why I am having the problem. I wan't to save some cash and secure the expandability of an X38 board over going 680i in SLI... but everyone is saying at that res sli may be my best bet. And to be honest I don't see myself waiting for the 9800 series just due to the fact when it does come out it will be premium... and I want my machine by mid january.

So... single card or dual is what my problem boils down too. And no the 3870 isn't on my list these days because of the 8800 dominance in every single rating I've seen.
December 13, 2007 1:58:00 AM

Yikes man, I try not get caught up in this but please note; "abit" is a motherboard manufacture. If you are "abit" excited, it's two words, like this: "a bit."

"Alot" is also two words, "a lot."


Ok, now that I have given you a hard time, I am in the same dilemma that you are in. I really like the 8800GTS G92 and may want to upgrade to SLI in the near future, but im not totally sold on the 780i and 790i chipsets. I don't think that the current G92 vid cards can make full use of the PCI-E 2.0 interface, so the PCI-E 1.0 should be just fine for either 8800 offering in SLI mode, meaning I dont really need the 780i; Im not to concerned about support for the new 45nm CPUs because they are going to be VERY expensive. More than I can afford.

So my plan? Get an X38 board, be happy with one 8800GTS G92 card, and upgrade to SLI down the road IF someone releases a good PCI-E SLI board.

Does that help alot or make it abit worse? ;) 
December 13, 2007 2:12:58 AM

worse lol.

But can I ask why you wouldn't grab a 680i?
December 13, 2007 2:20:42 AM

Actually another point: I do like the x38 option with a G92 GTS... just because if I ever do upgrade maybe I'll just grab a 9800 series when they arrive.

Only thing pushing me away from that was the drive for SLI to complement my high res of 1920x1200 on the 24" monitor
December 13, 2007 4:16:36 PM

well a 8800gtx will give you what you need
December 13, 2007 6:19:53 PM

ya... I figure if I go that route I will end up upgrading maybe late next year... if I pick up a GTS 8800 (G92) I don't think I will be worried about upgrading for abit :) . Ok I think I'm decided...

x38, Q6600 overclocked and a GTS8800 (G92). Upgrade to 9800 in future, once prices decrease. X38 will also allow me to upgrade my chipset. I lose SLI... but I may gain a seriously fast card in the future.
December 13, 2007 8:40:03 PM

A discussion for the ages... well, not really. What it boils down to is this: If you want SLI you're limited to a couple of nvidia chipset board with questionable processor support BUT you can get the baddest of graphics setups. with Crossfire, you get your choice of any board and processor but are left with ATI's cards.

Humbug...

I would go with the p35/x38 (x48 won't be worth it for a while). First, if you will be gaming @ 1920x1200 2x3870 is the cheapest and best option (3870's will out perform any single nvidia card at that res except the ultra) check out these benchmarks for the 3870 xfire http://www.legitreviews.com/article/605/1/ and the 8800gts 512 http://www.legitreviews.com/article/610/1/ (keep in mind the which resolution you will be running at and that the gts they use is the $380 version).

From looking at this, and the fact that i will have an x38 board soon, ATI looks like the way to go. Get one 3870 now and one later and I'll be pretty happy when playing on my 24' monitor. xfire support will only get better, these cards are still new and are the first reason ati has given people to work at xfire support. And the price? If the 3870 ever gets down to $220 that means that for $440 i can have a set up that will beat an ultra and cost less while still allowing me to use whatever Mobo i want.

Nvidia is really hurting themselves by not allowing anyone else to use SLI technology. Their cards are amazing on there own but it's too restrictive and expensive to go SLI. Crossfire works on a lot more platforms and is a cheap way to get 8800ultra performance if you have high res monitor. If you could get sli on an x38 chipset, ATI would go out of business tomorrow!!!!! but no... to use two 8800 gt's i have to buy the 680/780... forget that!
December 13, 2007 9:09:54 PM

bel said:
http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20071129PD216.html

this is where I got that info from , and ur right still not solid but I'll run with it!


I'll take that with a grain of salt, because remember when the world thought that Nvidia was going to release their G92/G98. As it turned out thoese were believed to be a 8900/9800GTX, boy were some wrong. Nvidia is not going to show its cards when they control the game/market.
December 13, 2007 9:13:10 PM

Thanks for the benchmarks, bel. However, if you read my whole post or followed the links you would realize I'm comparing 3870's in CROSSFIRE to single nvidia cards, particularly in high resolution gaming (as it's relevant to myself and the original poster, if i remember correctly). And yes it's two cards to one... but the prices are still in the same ballpark (roughly). Indeed my statement "3870's will out perform any single nvidia card at that res except the ultra" is fairly ambiguous as to whether i meant two 3870's, or 3870's as a model in general. Again, I'm sure the rest of my post would lend extra context to the quoted statement, but that would require reading it in it's entirety. Sorry for the confusion and my poor grammar.


December 13, 2007 9:17:16 PM

totenkopf said:
Nvidia is really hurting themselves by not allowing anyone else to use SLI technology. Their cards are amazing on there own but it's too restrictive and expensive to go SLI. Crossfire works on a lot more platforms and is a cheap way to get 8800ultra performance if you have high res monitor. If you could get sli on an x38 chipset, ATI would go out of business tomorrow!!!!! but no... to use two 8800 gt's i have to buy the 680/780... forget that!


Like I stated Nvidia controls where SLI will work, Intel wants the right for SLI on their chipset. Nvidia is in this to make money and nothing more, if Nvidia was to hand over SLI to Intel then who's going to buy NVidia mainboards anymore with their high prices? They could end up killing their mobo sales, If I were CEO of Nvidia I wouldn't allow SLI to be on any other platform but our mainboards.
December 13, 2007 9:33:16 PM

Go with the 680i board and go with the EVGA edition and use the step up program to upgrade when the new 780i board comes out in the next month or so.
December 13, 2007 10:08:20 PM

Interesting...

Totenkopf thanks for that view... I agree quite abit :) . I am still weary of the 3870's though... i guess just because of their single card performance versus all the others.... does anyone have an SLI / CF review I could take a peek at? because if I went with the 3870's I will definitely grab 2 for CF... otherwise single 8800 GTS would be my cup of tea. Tough to choose.
December 13, 2007 10:36:31 PM

coño!!! 780i!
December 13, 2007 11:20:33 PM

Very good point, systemlord. Indeed, few people would buy their boards if intel got a hold of the SLI rights. But this is my whole dilemma, I want good graphics and right now I'm thinking that two 3870's are the cheapest/best option for people who don't want the 680i. Of course, I'm not totally sold on ATI. with the eVGA step up program a gt or gts g92 now, and upgrade to something better within 3 months... if they have something new and better.

I'm wondering if I should just be looking at what gives you the FPS to play the game well and not what gives you the BEST FPS. Who knows, maybe ATI will come out with another good card soon since they appear to be getting better market share with the HD3000 series release. it's tough because with the x38 I'm stuck with ONE card if i go nvidia, that makes crossfire very appealing high resolution gaming.

...soooooo confused
December 14, 2007 1:51:09 AM

systemlord said:
Like I stated Nvidia controls where SLI wiil work, Intel wants right for SLI on their chipset. Nvidia is in this to make money and nothing more, if Nvidia was to hand over SLI to Intel then who's going to but NVidia mainboards anymore with their high prices? They could end up killing their mobo sales, If I were CEO of Nvidia I wouldn't allow SLI to be on any other platform but our mainboards.




I agree with what you wrote but they could always lower their board prices and make up the difference in licensing fees.
December 14, 2007 5:16:10 AM

ausch30 said:
I agree with what you wrote but they could always lower their board prices and make up the difference in licensing fees.


Never thought of it like that, O Intel just buy Nvidia outright so we are all happy.
December 14, 2007 3:57:51 PM

Quote:
Never thought of it like that, O Intel just buy Nvidia outright so we are all happy.


lol. in theory that's great for consumers. But in practice it just creates a monopolistic Intel mega monster with dominant rights on both xfire and sli.... atleast right now they have to compete and create upgrades to the technology that keeps them somewhat on par. Without a driving force behind developement, i.e. competition, development stagnates or takes some stupid stupid turns.

Anyways, enough economics, I am really happy with the constructive points you are all throwing down. With the EVGA trade in, it has to be within 3 months am I correct? Didn't realize you could do it with Mobo's... thought it was only GPUs... unless thats what you meant and then I'm just really confused.

And Totenkopf... I am also very very confused hahaha. But these trade in options may be the swaying point for me. Maybe buying a mobo/GPU combo that I can trade in when 780i and better GPU's are released is a very very good approach. Anyone have details on trade-ins etc? Sucks that this is what I am thinking about, I feel like I'm buying a system at the end of a generation and just before a new one.
December 15, 2007 4:29:14 PM

The ONLY problem with the step up thing is that you have to send in the device and once they receive it they send you the new one. Sucks to be outta operation for that long but hey, new gear! Nvidia GPUs are almost entirely the way to go. I went with ATI, however. First, I don't have an SLI capable board. Second, will be gaming at high res. My reasoning is that high res benefits a lot from multiple video cards, I'm just hoping that from now on games will be released with crossfire support. Also, for $440-$500 dollars I can get two 3870's for my x38 board, and they perform great in games that use crossfire (about the same as a $670 8800ultra). Hopefully I have made the right choice.

The real deal is that ATI AND Nvidias latest generation cards will play games well if you don't max out every setting. If you only plan on one card and don't have a big monitor that you want to take advantage of buy the new 8800gts 512MB, It's a 8800gt but with better cooling, probably comes with a game and gets a little bit more performance for only $30-$70 more than the 8800gt.

I still refuse to let GPU's dictate which Mobo I buy
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