[H] 680i & Yorkfield Support Statement from NV

RaidalG

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One thing to remember about Intel, though. they have throughly bought into the "platform" approach to selling their products. Centrino, Viiv, VPro, etc. are all heavily pushed by Intel. I think adding discrete video cards to the platforms makes sense. AMD/ATi are heading that way and Intel does pay close attention to them.

I agree with Dan that Intel probably won't immediately threaten the high end market with a release, but if they come out with a midrange card and keep the cost down, they may well steal decent market share from ATI/Nvidia in the mainstream segments which is their bread and butter. This would gain them the experience needed to make a run on the high end segment. Intel certainly has the resources to do this and I think Nvidia is giving them a reason to want to.

I see only good things coming out of an Intel entry in the GC market. If Nvidia doesn't survive, it won't be the end of the world. Look at how we survived 3dfx demise!
 

Digital Viper-X-

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One thing to remember about Intel, though. they have throughly bought into the "platform" approach to selling their products. Centrino, Viiv, VPro, etc. are all heavily pushed by Intel. I think adding discrete video cards to the platforms makes sense. AMD/ATi are heading that way and Intel does pay close attention to them.

I agree with Dan that Intel probably won't immediately threaten the high end market with a release, but if they come out with a midrange card and keep the cost down, they may well steal decent market share from ATI/Nvidia in the mainstream segments which is their bread and butter. This would gain them the experience needed to make a run on the high end segment. Intel certainly has the resources to do this and I think Nvidia is giving them a reason to want to.

I see only good things coming out of an Intel entry in the GC market. If Nvidia doesn't survive, it won't be the end of the world. Look at how we survived 3dfx demise!
yea but when 3DFX went down, there were more then just NV around =p it was, NV, ATI,Matrox,Kyro?,
 

RaidalG

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yea but when 3DFX went down, there were more then just NV around =p it was, NV, ATI,Matrox,Kyro?,
True but if Nvidia goes bye bye, it will be because someone else (Intel) entered the market and spanked them giving us ATI/Intel still in the game. Two is better than one anyway :)
 

Dan_D

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yea but when 3DFX went down, there were more then just NV around =p it was, NV, ATI,Matrox,Kyro?,
Kyro wasn't around as I recall. It was NVIDIA, ATI, Matrox and 3DFX themselves. There were four, then three, now two. Sure Matrox is still around, but they aren't competitive in the consumer market. Samething with Kyro. They've never really been competitive.
 

sd11

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That's twice the industry standard if I remember my statistics correctly. Even if that is true, I would imagine that many of those boards that "die" are capable of being repaired by the installation of a new BIOS chip, or other means.
Except on the newer striker boards they solder the bios onto it so you can't just order a new one:mad:

The Gigabyte N680SLI-DQ6, ASUS Striker Extreme, and P5N32-E SLI were the only non-reference designed 680i SLI boards I can recall.
Toss in the abit and MSI to that.

I've always wondered how good the gigabyte option was as I've never used one or seen one.
 

Dan_D

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Except on the newer striker boards they solder the bios onto it so you can't just order a new one:mad:



Toss in the abit and MSI to that.

I've always wondered how good the gigabyte option was as I've never used one or seen one.
I've never worked with the abit or MSI boards. I don't know much about them. I actually reviewed a Gigabyte board. You can see that article here: http://hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTMxMCwxLCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA== The board is basically a good one, though it has an odd feature set. I've just always considered it to be roughly on par with the Striker Extreme overclocking wise, but it didn't come anywhere near the EVGA 680i SLI boards in terms of overclocking. Out of the three, the Striker has the best layout seconded by the EVGA. The Gigabyte has the worst layout, but it isn't that bad.
 

Menelmarar

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3DChipset

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The funny thing about all of this is that NVIDIA can enable SLI on Intel's motherboards that contain 2 PCIe slots today if they really wanted too. I don't think most people realize that Intel's X38, P35 are all capable of running SLI video cards. You can run right now if you wanted too SLI via 78xx series of video cards on X38 and P35. Of course it's like modding a PS2 to play burned ROM's.

What prevents SLI to run on Intel's motherboards has something to do with recognizing the PCI Bridge of 2 cards. All NVIDIA needs to do is enable it in their drivers to recognize the PCI Bridge on Intel's chipsets and you could run SLI.

I've seen two 78xx series running on an X38 board already. It's using a hacked patch to trick the drivers into thinking that the PCI Bridge is authorized which then enables the SLI configuration. No one has been able to get the hacked patch to work with the newer 88xx series.

I'm still waiting for that patch to get updated.
 

Dan_D

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The funny thing about all of this is that NVIDIA can enable SLI on Intel's motherboards that contain 2 PCIe slots today if they really wanted too. I don't think most people realize that Intel's X38, P35 are all capable of running SLI video cards. You can run right now if you wanted too SLI via 78xx series of video cards on X38 and P35. Of course it's like modding a PS2 to play burned ROM's.

What prevents SLI to run on Intel's motherboards has something to do with recognizing the PCI Bridge of 2 cards. All NVIDIA needs to do is enable it in their drivers to recognize the PCI Bridge on Intel's chipsets and you could run SLI.

I've seen two 78xx series running on an X38 board already. It's using a hacked patch to trick the drivers into thinking that the PCI Bridge is authorized which then enables the SLI configuration. No one has been able to get the hacked patch to work with the newer 88xx series.

I'm still waiting for that patch to get updated.
Actually both SLI and Crossfire only need a PCIe bus that supports peer to peer rights. All PCIe compliant motherboards I know of already do.
 

3DChipset

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Exactly. All NVIDIA has to do with their drivers is "see" Intel's PCI Bus. The hack patch does that (courtesy of ULi) ;) It just won't work yet with the 88xx series of cards.
 

darronk

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I hope Intel do come out with at least a Midrange and Highrange graphics card. For way too long there has been hardly any serious competition to Ati and Nvidia, and like everything else, no competition is bad. Look at the DX10 offerings from both companies, and you can see only a couple of highend solutions and 1 midrange solution. Everything else is just poor for what they tout them for.

Of course you could also blame DX10 for the amount of power it requires for the little graphical advantages you actually gain. It is in no way, shape or form anywhere near the leap from DX8 to DX9.
 

Dan_D

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Exactly. All NVIDIA has to do with their drivers is "see" Intel's PCI Bus. The hack patch does that (courtesy of ULi) ;) It just won't work yet with the 88xx series of cards.
No, it doesn't have to do that. Peer to peer rights are part of the PCIe 1.0/1.0a specification. The drivers actually have very little to nothing to do with it. NVIDIA drivers actually check the chipset type and if they don't match a specific list of supported chipsets, the SLI option is left disabled.
 

Dan_D

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I hope Intel do come out with at least a Midrange and Highrange graphics card. For way too long there has been hardly any serious competition to Ati and Nvidia, and like everything else, no competition is bad. Look at the DX10 offerings from both companies, and you can see only a couple of highend solutions and 1 midrange solution. Everything else is just poor for what they tout them for.

Of course you could also blame DX10 for the amount of power it requires for the little graphical advantages you actually gain. It is in no way, shape or form anywhere near the leap from DX8 to DX9.
Actually two companies competing for our money is fine. As long as we have at least two we are ok. The problem is ATI hasn't been very competitive over the last year or so.
 

Stoly

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people at nvidia must be debating whether to license SLI or not. Currently I think it would be a mistake, SLI is a major selling point for nvidia motherboards, it lets them put a price premium that consumers are willing to pay even if they don't use it. If they let SLI go they will be forced to compete on price only since there are really no other benefits of choosing a nvidia board over an intel.

BTW many people are taking for granted that nvidia is going down, I'd take a look at its latest financial results before putting a nail in the coffin. Financially, nvidia is stronger than ever, so strong that a buyout is virtually impossible, and even if they are forced out of the chipset business there are other markets besides video cards that they can exploit.
 

silent-circuit

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ahahaha

As an asus striker owner that is waiting for this 400$ 680i POS to die i'll answer this.

The 680i is a poorly designed , rushed to market chipset.It runs hot.It eats ram.the bios just dies.The mobo's just die.

From what I've heard from my local reseller ;The asus striker has a 6% failure rate inside 10 months.Thats outrageous.

Personally , I don't care even slightly what 680i boards are capable of supporting....I won't be using it anyways.
...you paid $400 for a Striker. Some might say you got what you deserved. Yes, they have an insanely high failure rate -- moreso than other 680is. I've yet to have a single issue with my eVGA board, and those that have have a much shorter turn-around. Yes, the early revision boards had issues. So did some of the earlier Gigabyte boards with Intel chipsets. It really hasn't been the best time for enthusiasts with regard to motherboard options... but far from the worst.
 

RaidalG

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people at nvidia must be debating whether to license SLI or not. Currently I think it would be a mistake, SLI is a major selling point for nvidia motherboards, it lets them put a price premium that consumers are willing to pay even if they don't use it. If they let SLI go they will be forced to compete on price only since there are really no other benefits of choosing a nvidia board over an intel.

BTW many people are taking for granted that nvidia is going down, I'd take a look at its latest financial results before putting a nail in the coffin. Financially, nvidia is stronger than ever, so strong that a buyout is virtually impossible, and even if they are forced out of the chipset business there are other markets besides video cards that they can exploit.
The only thing that keeps Intel from getting into the video card business, gaining experience, and eventually being a major player is their desire to do so. Not giving SLI to Intel could be the proverbial straw that makes Intel take the plunge. Nvidia would then not only be in danger of losing the chipset market, but substantial market share of their bread and butter video card market as well.

Also, I don't think Nvidia is going down now. Its only if Intel does enter this arena and create a competitive offering that they are in any danger.
 

3DChipset

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No, it doesn't have to do that. Peer to peer rights are part of the PCIe 1.0/1.0a specification. The drivers actually have very little to nothing to do with it. NVIDIA drivers actually check the chipset type and if they don't match a specific list of supported chipsets, the SLI option is left disabled.
Ah! Thanks for the 411, Someone kept telling me it was something else. Thanks.
 

Dan_D

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Everyone thinking that NVIDIA is going to die because Intel has intentions of getting into the graphics card market need to research the history of NVIDIA. NVIDIA maintains a product cycle that few companies can match. They release new architectures at least once a year. That's pretty damn aggressive.

Intel all ready entered the market once discreetly selling chipsets to another company that assembled the boards. Those cards were a dismal failure. They were really out less than a year before being pulled from the market.

Beyond that NVIDIA hasn't gotten to where they are today by not knowing what they are doing. I think Intel entering the graphics card market looks far worse for ATI/AMD than it does for NVIDIA.
 

sd11

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people at nvidia must be debating whether to license SLI or not. Currently I think it would be a mistake, SLI is a major selling point for nvidia motherboards, it lets them put a price premium that consumers are willing to pay even if they don't use it. If they let SLI go they will be forced to compete on price only since there are really no other benefits of choosing a nvidia board over an intel.

BTW many people are taking for granted that nvidia is going down, I'd take a look at its latest financial results before putting a nail in the coffin. Financially, nvidia is stronger than ever, so strong that a buyout is virtually impossible, and even if they are forced out of the chipset business there are other markets besides video cards that they can exploit.
Here's the issue though. How many people actually use SLI? A tiny fraction of the overall market. Yeah nvidia may sell a lot of SLI capable motherboards, but most of those are going to people that are using a single midrange GPU, or at best a single high end GPU.

If nforce continues to be a disaster on the intel side of things (and yes compared to intels offerings it is a disaster) they are going to drive away the people who purchased nforce and ended up with a single GPU the entire time.

If ATi get's their act together and offers a GPU with equal, or even a fraction worse, performance then nvidia then dual GPU becomes a viable option in crossfire or SLI flavor. Give near equal graphic performance and an option over a questionable chipset vs a great one how many people are going to keep buying nforce?

Not having SLI on an intel platform may keep their chipset sales strong, but it could also bite them in the ass for their GPU sales.
 

Big D.

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I honestly want Intel to make decent mid-range video cards and I want them to be integrated into motherboards.

Why? Because if EVERYONE who bought a PC had a decent video card, everyone would be able to play games, more games would sell on the PC and more games would be developped for the PC instead of just consoles. Now less and less people make games because they don't run on most systems so most people won't buy them. (because most people who buy PCs don't even know ABOUT video cards, let alone which is good, what's "expensive", "mid-range", etc.)
 

Dan_D

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Here's the issue though. How many people actually use SLI? A tiny fraction of the overall market. Yeah nvidia may sell a lot of SLI capable motherboards, but most of those are going to people that are using a single midrange GPU, or at best a single high end GPU.

If nforce continues to be a disaster on the intel side of things (and yes compared to intels offerings it is a disaster) they are going to drive away the people who purchased nforce and ended up with a single GPU the entire time.

If ATi get's their act together and offers a GPU with equal, or even a fraction worse, performance then nvidia then dual GPU becomes a viable option in crossfire or SLI flavor. Give near equal graphic performance and an option over a questionable chipset vs a great one how many people are going to keep buying nforce?

Not having SLI on an intel platform may keep their chipset sales strong, but it could also bite them in the ass for their GPU sales.
I agree completely.
 

Stoly

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Here's the issue though. How many people actually use SLI? A tiny fraction of the overall market. Yeah nvidia may sell a lot of SLI capable motherboards, but most of those are going to people that are using a single midrange GPU, or at best a single high end GPU.

If nforce continues to be a disaster on the intel side of things (and yes compared to intels offerings it is a disaster) they are going to drive away the people who purchased nforce and ended up with a single GPU the entire time.

If ATi get's their act together and offers a GPU with equal, or even a fraction worse, performance then nvidia then dual GPU becomes a viable option in crossfire or SLI flavor. Give near equal graphic performance and an option over a questionable chipset vs a great one how many people are going to keep buying nforce?

Not having SLI on an intel platform may keep their chipset sales strong, but it could also bite them in the ass for their GPU sales.
whether SLI gets used or not is irrelevant, its still a major feature and nvidia charges a premium because of it. If they license SLI they will loose its best if not only selling point. I agree that nvidia is not nearly as good as Intel on mobos. Which kinda proofs my point.

ATI lost the entire intel chipset market (not that they had a big chunk in the first place) because of the AMD buyout so the least they could do is license crossfire.
 

sd11

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whether SLI gets used or not is irrelevant, its still a major feature and nvidia charges a premium because of it. If they license SLI they will loose its best if not only selling point. I agree that nvidia is not nearly as good as Intel on mobos. Which kinda proofs my point.

ATI lost the entire intel chipset market (not that they had a big chunk in the first place) because of the AMD buyout so the least they could do is license crossfire.
I've run nvidia SLI since nforce4 and the 6800's, and faithfully upgraded each chance.

I'll say this. My next dual GPU build will be on an intel motherboard, SLI or not. So they have a choice of moving 2 gpus, or 0 gpus. But they sure as hell aren't selling me another chipset.
 

ro3dog

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For Intel to break into the midrange gpu market they would have alot of work to do ,nvidia has a real strong intigrated platform which they have coming that will be Dx10 compatible along with other advances that they are working on on the gpu front,so does AMD.AMD, again when mentioned is with undertones of death.There gpu engineers are making major leaps and bounds to where Nvidia is now playing a wait and see.For Intel to jump in the main stream gpu market a lot of money would have to be spent to come close.midrange market gpu are what? $180/300,in order for them to compete it would have to be real good or real cheap.AMD has already challenged Nvidia in that arena with both coming out with some solid performers.AMD has been talking about there multi-core R680(2 cores) and R700(2/4 cores).Nvidia has something that they are not talking about yet ,but we already know it will be serious.AMD/Nvidia is running at full tilt it will be tough for Intel,which I dought they can
 

Dan_D

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For Intel to break into the midrange gpu market they would have alot of work to do ,nvidia has a real strong intigrated platform which they have coming that will be Dx10 compatible along with other advances that they are working on on the gpu front,so does AMD.AMD, again when mentioned is with undertones of death.There gpu engineers are making major leaps and bounds to where Nvidia is now playing a wait and see.For Intel to jump in the main stream gpu market a lot of money would have to be spent to come close.midrange market gpu are what? $180/300,in order for them to compete it would have to be real good or real cheap.AMD has already challenged Nvidia in that arena with both coming out with some solid performers.AMD has been talking about there multi-core R680(2 cores) and R700(2/4 cores).Nvidia has something that they are not talking about yet ,but we already know it will be serious.AMD/Nvidia is running at full tilt it will be tough for Intel,which I dought they can
I don't think the NVIDIA integrated graphics platforms will be hard for Intel to beat.
 
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/shrug, all Intel has to do is not disclose to Nvidia the engineering data for Nehalem board development and I would think the Nvidia chipset business would be mortally wounded. Is there some existing agreement that Intel must honor and share Nehalem engineering ?





huh ? Skulltrail uses Nvidia chips embedded on the Intel board to provide SLI but are you talking about Intel coming up with their own proprietary video card "teaming" scheme ?

ALL INTEL INSIDE ! (Why does that make my wallet cringe in fear ? )
I guess I've been living under a rock - since when did Intel announce / someone leak information that Intel would be producing dedicated graphics cards? I can't find any info on the net either... Someone help me out here please.

Larabee
 
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Yep time to buy 1000 shares of Intel.


A wise very investment. :)


lol , a reworked 680i with a pci-e 2.0 add on chip, next gen HA !

And I feel for the recent 680i buyers but look at what Intel has done to Intel customers over the last 14 mounts,

Board after board with minimal performance increases, same cpu respun with new numbers but NO performance increase. It is not like the new ones are any faster than my OCed E6300 I bought the first day C2D's were available. OK more cache, /yawn. We (that hang around here and places like it ) are knowledable enough to avoid the major BS but the average consumer ?

Intel is clearly in the divers seat and within the 6 months has started acting that way, at least it seems that way to me. An you know, they are in business first and foremost to make money. But dear God no, we do not need another Microsoft on the hardware side.
Wait....people still buy IDE parts? You must be joking.

I feel for them to,and wonder when the lawsuits will start ? No really ! :eek:


The funny thing about all of this is that NVIDIA can enable SLI on Intel's motherboards that contain 2 PCIe slots today if they really wanted too. I don't think most people realize that Intel's X38, P35 are all capable of running SLI video cards. You can run right now if you wanted too SLI via 78xx series of video cards on X38 and P35. Of course it's like modding a PS2 to play burned ROM's.

What prevents SLI to run on Intel's motherboards has something to do with recognizing the PCI Bridge of 2 cards. All NVIDIA needs to do is enable it in their drivers to recognize the PCI Bridge on Intel's chipsets and you could run SLI.

I've seen two 78xx series running on an X38 board already. It's using a hacked patch to trick the drivers into thinking that the PCI Bridge is authorized which then enables the SLI configuration. No one has been able to get the hacked patch to work with the newer 88xx series.

I'm still waiting for that patch to get updated.

True,its all a software issue,and my hope is that Nvidia see's the light,and coperates with Intel on SLI.


The only thing that keeps Intel from getting into the video card business, gaining experience, and eventually being a major player is their desire to do so. Not giving SLI to Intel could be the proverbial straw that makes Intel take the plunge. Nvidia would then not only be in danger of losing the chipset market, but substantial market share of their bread and butter video card market as well.

Also, I don't think Nvidia is going down now. Its only if Intel does enter this arena and create a competitive offering that they are in any danger.


Theres way.way more to it then just a desire to get in.They need engineers with a lot of expeiriece (Many of the really talanted graphics engineers that worked for SGI,were swallowed by ATI and Nvidia,years ago...).And they need patents,Nvidia and ATI hold a lot of the important ones in 2D and 3D.Those two things and a mountian of others just may get in the way :D Nvidia has little to worry about in the next 2 to 3 years.

Intel have tried this before and lost,this time they are throwing far more cash and RND engineering at the problem.I get the feeling Intel feels they can spend there way in,and that cant be done in this industry.Brand and IP play a role.
 

BrainEater

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...you paid $400 for a Striker. Some might say you got what you deserved.
Nice.Really nice.

So it's my fault it's a pos ?

I waited on a special order list for what ' I thought' was a premium feature rich motherboard that would be top of the line.Yes , I certainly paid too much in hindsight .

What top end /overpriced components are in YOUR rig that makes you "deserve" to have them fail. ?

:rolleyes:
 

Cinge

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Sheesh, I just spent $250 on a new Evga A1 motherboard and it will not support the new chips. Friggin fraggin *)(*)(__+. I think it's time to say the heck with Nvidia. I could care less about SLI but the MB offered other things I wanted.

We were told the 680i would work with the 45nm chips, not just the dual core ones either.
 

Advil

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We're creating a tempest in a teapot here.

There are only a tiny percentage of performance enthusiast PC builders out there that even have 680i motherboards. Not even enough to create a PR problem for Nvidia. All Nvidia has to do is either make a v2 revision of the chipset or produce a new one that works with the new CPUs.

I build a lot of core chip systems and no one asks for 680i motherboards. I think they're limited to top end DIY builders who buy from Newegg. Even my own overclocked Q6600 is running on a P35 chipset motherboard.

There's just no big problem here, although I do sympathise with those of you who don't have as much upgrade path as you hoped.
 

HWF

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I've run nvidia SLI since nforce4 and the 6800's, and faithfully upgraded each chance.

I'll say this. My next dual GPU build will be on an intel motherboard, SLI or not. So they have a choice of moving 2 gpus, or 0 gpus. But they sure as hell aren't selling me another chipset.
Maybe Evga should be talking to Intel. Their support has been stellar for me.
 

BrainEater

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We're creating a tempest in a teapot here.
Good.

I'm stirring as fast as I can. :D


There are only a tiny percentage of performance enthusiast PC builders out there that even have 680i motherboards. Not even enough to create a PR problem for Nvidia. All Nvidia has to do is either make a v2 revision of the chipset or produce a new one that works with the new CPUs.

I build a lot of core chip systems and no one asks for 680i motherboards. I think they're limited to top end DIY builders who buy from Newegg. Even my own overclocked Q6600 is running on a P35 chipset motherboard.

I'd have to agree with this.

I did'nt buy from newegg , but the comment still stands , it's a very small minority of users that are actually running 680i's...the 'enthusiast/diy' crowd mostly.

-------------------

The whole issue basically sucks.There are 680i owners with no problems , and 680i owners with lots of problems.With the lack of support for newer processors , I'd say the 680i is not the platform to recommend to anyone.
 

BladeVenom

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But those enthusiast will not buy a high end Nvidia board next time. So Nvidia won't be able to sell high end, and it will diminish their reputation and technology. Soon they'll be in the category of Via and Sis.
 

Dan_D

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I did'nt buy from newegg , but the comment still stands , it's a very small minority of users that are actually running 680i's...the 'enthusiast/diy' crowd mostly.
Yes, the enthusiast crowd are probably the only ones running the 680i SLI chipset based boards. Even then, few of those enthusiasts even run SLI.

The whole issue basically sucks.There are 680i owners with no problems , and 680i owners with lots of problems.With the lack of support for newer processors , I'd say the 680i is not the platform to recommend to anyone.
I have had both. I've got 680i SLI boards that are rock solid and ones that are crap. As for not recommending it to anyone I can't agree. If you want SLI, you have to use a 600 series NVIDIA chipset whether you like it or not.
 

Jodiuh

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I'd say the 680i is not the platform to recommend to anyone.
Except for those of us that'd rather play Crysis than transcode video. :p

Nonetheless, mine will be RMAed shortly as it emits a "high powered electronic death whine" when stressing the ram. :(
 

McCartney

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I've abandoned any Nforce 6 or 7 series SLI boards. I'm buying a Skulltrail whenever I can and I'll pay up to 1k for one. I'm sick and tired of upgrading, I've downgraded my board and CPU to my spare Nforce4 A8N32-SLI and I popped my 2 8800 GTX's, X-Fi and my 3800+X2 clocked to 2.5ghz per core.

Fuck nForce 6/7
 
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I have had both. I've got 680i SLI boards that are rock solid and ones that are crap. As for not recommending it to anyone I can't agree. If you want SLI, you have to use a 600 series NVIDIA chipset whether you like it or not.
Not entirely true. You could always use an nForce4 or nForce 500-series with an AMD processor (after all, the GPU's are more important than the CPU for most games at most common resolutions, hence going SLI in the first place, right?). Or you could use the nForce 500-series for Intel, though those weren't very well received either for reasons I cannot recall.

Lastly, the person you were replying to said specifically the 680i. If I wanted to run a Core 2 with SLI today, I'd go with a 650i, no question about it, unless I had a PCI-E 4x+ expansion to worry about (and how many other people are running SLI and a raid controller or other PCI-E 4x expansion card?). Though 650i's have some issues too, I get the distinct impression that they have fewer issues than the 680i. The 680i LT is also a possibility, but those are only available in reference designs, and have (probably noisy) chipset fans.
 

Dan_D

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Not entirely true. You could always use an nForce4 or nForce 500-series with an AMD processor (after all, the GPU's are more important than the CPU for most games at most common resolutions, hence going SLI in the first place, right?). Or you could use the nForce 500-series for Intel, though those weren't very well received either for reasons I cannot recall.
The nForce 500 series were poor overclockers, and some of the boards weren't Core 2 Duo compatible if I am not mistaken. Quad core support is probably not even an option. As for the whole going AMD solution, well why not have a Core 2 Duo/Quad if I can afford it? I'd hate to be limited to just AMD processors at this point. Especially since not everyone just plays games. If you are into digital video editing and video encoding, then you may want the quad core option. Until now, Intel was your only choice for a real quad that was x86 compatible.

Lastly, the person you were replying to said specifically the 680i. If I wanted to run a Core 2 with SLI today, I'd go with a 650i, no question about it, unless I had a PCI-E 4x+ expansion to worry about (and how many other people are running SLI and a raid controller or other PCI-E 4x expansion card?). Though 650i's have some issues too, I get the distinct impression that they have fewer issues than the 680i. The 680i LT is also a possibility, but those are only available in reference designs, and have (probably noisy) chipset fans.
The 680i LT is available from DFI in a non-reference design solution. Additionally, the 680i LT is a higher end chipset, and more overclockable than the 650i SLI's are. Plus you can still keep the 16x16 PCIe graphics slot configuration on the 680i LT. You are correct in that not many people need an extra PCIe x16/x8/x4 slot, but there are a few that do. I have a RAID controller that requires a PCIe x4 slot. Additionally with triple SLI coming soon, I am sure there are others who will embrace the 700 series triple x16 slot configuration.
 
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