High-End Chipset Battle

Overclocking Results

FSB1600 FSB1700 FSB1800 FSB1850 FSB1900
Intel X48 ok ok ok x x
Nvidia nForce 790i Ultra SLI ok ok ok x x
Voltage used 1.3 V 1.3 V 1.5V 1.5 V 1.7V

FSB1950 FSB2000 FSB2050 FSB2100 FSB2150
Intel X48 x x x x -
Nvidia nForce 790i Ultra SLI x x - - -
Voltage used 1.7 V 1.8 V 1.8 V 2.1 V 2.1 V

The X48 was able to reach 50 MHz more than the nForce 790i Ultra SLI. We reached a stable 525 MHz with the Intel solution (FSB2100), while the Nvidia chipset maxed out at 500 MHz (FSB2000). The difference certainly is small, and might vary from one motherboard design to another.

Power Consumption Results

The Nvidia chipset is clearly not the most efficient. Bear in mind that it offers many more PCI Express lanes, which should be the main reason for the increased power requirements. Whether idle or under full processor load (using Prime95), the Nvidia system requires roughly 10 watts more in exchange for three-way SLI.

x48 790i sli

x48 790i sli