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More Than Just a 'Paper Launch': 680i Motherboard Comparison, Part 1


It's manual overclocking all-the-way for BFG's nForce 680i SLI, but not that we mind. Clocked at a perfect 266.6 MHz at default settings, BIOS supports up to a 625 MHz FSB clock (FSB2500) speed, plus the full range of memory speeds and timings.

BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)
FSB Frequency 100 - 625 MHz (1 MHz)
Clock Multiplier Adjustment Yes
DRAM Frequency 400-1400 MHz Data Rate
PCIe Clock 100-200 MHz (1 MHz)
SPP-MCP HT Link Clock 200-500 MHz (1 MHz)
CPU Vcore 0.50000 - 1.80000V (0.00625V)
DRAM Voltage 1.800 - 2.500V (0.025V)
Northbridge (SPP) 1.20 - 1.455V (0.05V)
Southbridge (MCP) 1.500 - 1.750V (0.025V)
CAS Latency Range
tCAS: 1-6; tRCD: 1-7; tRP: 1-7; tRAS: 1-31; Command Rate: 1T/2T

Our Take

Other testers have found bus speeds in excess of 500 MHz using reference-design boards, but this was not possible using our hardware and Nvidia's recommended settings for everything except CPU core voltage, which we set at a hopefully-safe 1.50V. Perfectly stable at our CPU's max 3.46 GHz clock speed, it failed to go beyond 374 MHz FSB clock rate when we dropped to a low 6x multiplier. Chipset voltages beyond Nvidia's recommended settings did not help, and we even tried adding the active chipset fan and CPU fan draft together.

Documentation & SoftwareMotherboard ManualDriver CDUlead VideoStudio 9 SE DVDGame: Ghost Recon
Hardware1x SLI Bridge6x SATA Data Cable3x SATA Power Adapter (2-drive style)1x USB Slot Panel (2-ports)1x IEEE-1394 FireWire Slot Panel (2-ports)1x Serial Port Slot Panel1x 80-conductor ATA cable (round)1x Floppy Cable (round)1x I/O Panel Shield2x BFG Case Decals1x Chipset Cooling Fan

Special Features

BFG's greatest feature has to be its 24/7 toll free telephone and email tech support hotlines. The company also includes the Ulead VideoStudio 9 SE DVD authoring software, Nvidia's add-on chipset sink cooling fan and the game Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.

Most unique of the included components is the two-port FireWire break out cable, while the board only has one breakout connector!

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.