Nvidia's 680i chipset has for several months established itself as the bad-boy of the performance industry Compare Prices on nForce 680i Motherboards. Flying in the face of convention, its reference-design motherboards have only recently reached expected levels of "maturity" as some alternative designs continue with pre-release final adjustments. On the software side, new Windows XP drivers seem like an empty promise with the only available version over 18-weeks old. Of course, this might not be the "bad boy attitude" Nvidia fans were looking for, but it certainly sets this particular product apart from the company's previous efforts.
The payoff for true enthusiasts is an extensive feature set including ultimate SLI compatibility. Nvidia 8800GTX remains king of the hill in gaming, and nobody wants to compromise x16 slot bandwidth by using x8 pathways when pairing two graphics monsters. When it comes to PCI-Express support, 680i is a super highway in a world of country roads.
Tom's Hardware Guide's first 680i motherboard comparison came in December, and the two months since have brought three new entries - or should we say entrées for the power-hungry? Whet your performance appetite with the soup of the day, settle in for a smorgasbord and finish off with something alluring but perhaps a little half-baked!