MSI Eclipse Plus: Does nForce 200 Boost 3-Way SLI?

Benchmark Results: 3DMark Vantage, Power Consumption

3DMark Vantage again shows a 3-way SLI performance issue in the P6T, and we expect it to be almost entirely due to GPU bandwidth.

Indeed, the GPU score suffers tremendously due to the P6T’s reduced-bandwidth third slot.

CPU performance is far less of a problem for the P6T, even though 3DMark uses GPU-based physics in its CPU calculations.

The P6T has the fewest onboard features among today’s three motherboards, while the Rampage II Extreme and Eclipse Plus are nearly equal. The P6T is also the most miserly, though the Eclipse Plus appears to have a slightly more efficient CPU voltage regulator.

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  • tri GTX295 that's a lot of power consumption.
    -1
  • Interesting results to be sure, but now I want to know how much performance difference there is with just a single card. I kind of feel there is a control lacking because we don't see how just the single X16 performs in each case.
    Still, the consistent performance of the top end boards make me a believer, I just would have liked that baseline to see if there were any other factors at work.
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  • ProximonInteresting results to be sure, but now I want to know how much performance difference there is with just a single card. I kind of feel there is a control lacking because we don't see how just the single X16 performs in each case.Still, the consistent performance of the top end boards make me a believer, I just would have liked that baseline to see if there were any other factors at work.


    By the data presented, we can pretty much gather that it'd be very close to the same. It's the same chipset controling the first slot on both boards, while the Nforce controler takes over the second and third on the msi. So there's really no point in benching a motherboard for something it wasnt designed for.
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  • Honestly I'm sick of Intel, I want them to allow NVidia to make core i7 chipsets so that we can see some kind of competition in chipsets.
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  • phatboeHonestly I'm sick of Intel, I want them to allow NVidia to make core i7 chipsets so that we can see some kind of competition in chipsets.


    Nvidia chipsets are no match to Intel chipsets (drivers, overclocking, stability, reliability), and with Intel having SLI support theres no point in an Nvidia chipset.

    As for MSI - i wouldnt even spend $50 on an MSI product let alone this product - they are RUBBISH cheap crap poorly designed products.
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  • This reminds me of an article waaaaaay back, actually 2 articles
    1. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-7800gs-confirms-agp-aint-dead,1213-2.html

    and

    2. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-scaling-analysis,1572.html

    I'd be grateful if you could revisit the second one, since GTX285/GTX295 + HD4890/HD4870X2 are with us now, and there's PCIe 2.0.
    I know that things probably wouldn't have changed much since that article since PCIe 2.0 goes 2xPCIe link speed so it is simple math to get some numbers but, still, it might be worth looking into since new chipsets and processors are available also.

    Anyways thanks for the good read.
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  • apache_livesAs for MSI - i wouldnt even spend $50 on an MSI product let alone this product - they are RUBBISH cheap crap poorly designed products.


    I've got several friends running MSI boards that they love and have been running for years. They don't look like much but I've never seen one pop a cap or anything.
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  • apache_livesAs for MSI - i wouldnt even spend $50 on an MSI product let alone this product - they are RUBBISH cheap crap poorly designed products.

    Really? Have you ever had one?

    I've used msi boards now and then at least since canterwood, but have yet to see a single board that is rubbish - or cheap. The designs are usually superior to asus, but then apart from support that is asus' single biggest weakness.

    Overall the ONLY bad thing I can say about msi is the lack of active cooling on their 790GX boards. They do run without active cooling, but they run so much cooler with it. I usually end up running a socket a fan @ 7v on the chipset heatsink on those boards just to be sure I won't have to look at them again in a few years because they died.
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  • Makes me glad to have bought a RIIE amisdt all the hype of the nForce 200.
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  • The nForce 200 is simply a marketing ploy by nvidia, that until today was working. This article exposes the shortcoming of it, you cant make something from nothing, you will still be limited by the original PCIe lanes off the northbridge. And sadly - for the extreme high end user, I don't see northbridges with 48+ PCIe 2.0 lanes coming any time soon.

    I really wish Intel had played nice with nvidia and gotten us SLI on x38/x48, or maybe try to retroactively garner that ability. I have always preferred Intel's chipsets to Nvidia's. The nforce chips just can't overclock worth a dam. I mean really, who better to make a chipset for a CPU than the CPU designer.

    After this article I am still pretty happy with my Rampage II GENE and its x16-x16 SLI (GTX 275s). I only play on a 24" screen, so I can't justify 3 way SLI at all.

    If Tom's gets some spare time, I would like to see a 1x vs. 2x. vs. 3x SLI comparison, to see just how well the drivers actually scale.
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  • phatboeHonestly I'm sick of Intel, I want them to allow NVidia to make core i7 chipsets so that we can see some kind of competition in chipsets.


    I agree. I went with the N680I and 790I because the benchmarks beat out Intel (Stock speeds). I'd go with an Nvidia chipset over Intel on the high end motherboards.
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  • i don't think its that bad knowing that it only lost seven frames per second on Crysis at the highest resolution.

    "The real revelation of today’s article is the level of handicap an x4 slot places on the third graphics card in a 3-way SLI configuration, even with PCIe 2.0 doubling its bandwidth. We knew it would be bad, but not this bad, "
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  • edit:
    overlooked the FarCry 2 benchmark and yes pretty big hit there at the highest resolution. 17 fps lost dropping to 52 fps.
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  • apache_livesAs for MSI - i wouldnt even spend $50 on an MSI product let alone this product - they are RUBBISH cheap crap poorly designed products.


    Wow, ignorance much? I've run several Asus and MSI boards. Asus boards are more often problematic. As a matter of fact the only boards I've ever had issues with were Asus. My MSIs have always had a good track record.
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  • apache_livesNvidia chipsets are no match to Intel chipsets (drivers, overclocking, stability, reliability), and with Intel having SLI support theres no point in an Nvidia chipset.As for MSI - i wouldnt even spend $50 on an MSI product let alone this product - they are RUBBISH cheap crap poorly designed products.

    Honestly, I'm sorry, MSI is a great company. They made a few great products. If I'm not wrong, I never had a MSI Motherboard fail on me, but with ASUS, I had like 2 dead boards from them. That's just my point of experience.
    Moving on, Nvidia's nForce 200 hub is just crap, it doesn't do any good. At least, not for now. Just an extra piece of silicon sitting there on the motherboard consuming extra power. :'(
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  • LOL no shit, I've also had several Asus and MSI boards and I have nothing bad to say about MSI. Not sure why the responses took such a path here, but I felt like adding because of my positive experience with MSI boards.
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  • thearmI agree. I went with the N680I and 790I because the benchmarks beat out Intel (Stock speeds). I'd go with an Nvidia chipset over Intel on the high end motherboards.

    Really? Because most reviews I've seen show that nVidia chipsets have inferior peripheral performance. Also, in the board you mentioned that is the only way to get SLI on a S775 platform, so your hands are tied if you want/prefer nVidia graphics cards.
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  • is there even much of a difference in performance of a single card, between a x8 and x16 slot?
    loading times might be shorter, but during gameplay there isnt huge bandwidth demands. i thought anyways. anyone got anything?
    -1
  • The n200 would make more sense on the P55 platform as it has fewer PCI-E lanes. It would take a board from two 8x slots, or an 8x and two 4x, to one 16x and two 8x. Even with the increased latency it would surely be better for SLI. On the X58 though it doesn't seem to make sense. We'll see if any board makers pair it with a P55 though.
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  • Well, this is one well written article. Congrats.

    Curnel_DBy the data presented, we can pretty much gather that it'd be very close to the same. It's the same chipset controling the first slot on both boards, while the Nforce controler takes over the second and third on the msi. So there's really no point in benching a motherboard for something it wasnt designed for.


    Yeah but also comparing the results of just one card and 2-way SLI would have shown if it's the drivers that need to be updated for the nForce 200. Plus since it's the nForce 200 that's controlling the 2nd slot, in 2-way SLI, we could have made a better comparison with the P6T as it's results would've been better than that of the Rampage.

    But either way, this was a very nice review.
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