Nvidia nForce 700i in the test: three-way SLI and PCIe 2.0

Nvidia nForce 700i in the test: three-way SLI and PCIe 2.0


At the beginning of November 2006 Nvidia presented the new 600i product family for Intel processors . The line-up consisted of nForce 680i SLI, nForce 650i SLI and nForce 650i Ultra. Well, a good year later, the 700i series follows and what the nForce 680i was then as the top model is now the nForce 780i SLI: the flagship of the family. With the nForce 750i SLI, Nvidia is also showing a chipset with fewer features for the more price-conscious buyer.

In the run-up to today's product presentation, Nvidia provided us with a board with an nForce 780i SLI chipset. Unfortunately, since we didn't have enough time to deal with the motherboard provided by Nvidia in the usual detail, we will start our reporting on the 780i SLI today with an initial overview of the new nForce 700i series and a short preliminary test. We will of course deliver the usual detailed article shortly.

What exactly is the new chipset series about? ? A look at the block diagram reveals that much of the chipsets nForce 750i SLI and nForce 780i SLI have remained the same. The most important and practically the only innovation is a third chip that supplements the north and south bridges as they are known from the 600i. This chip, called nForce 200, provides 32 PCIe lanes of the second generation (PCI Express 2.0), which are the 16 PCIe lanes of the first generation previously offered by the Northbridgereplace. Both new chipsets offer this chip.

The nForce 780i SLI differs from the nForce 750i SLI in that it still has additional 16 PCI Express lanes (according to standard 1.1) via the Southbridge, with Nvidia also “Media and Communications Processor “(MCP) for connecting an additional graphics card slot. In total, the 780i SLI has 48 PCIe lanes for connecting graphics cards. This means that up to three graphics cards with full PCIe x16 bandwidth can be addressed on the nForce 780i SLI (3-way SLI). Further differences between the two chipsets can be found in the table.

Nvidia nForce 700i series
nForce 780i SLI nForce 750i SLI Segment Enthusiast Performance CPU (up to and including) Yorkfield , Wolfdale Yorkfield, Wolfdale FSB (effective) 1333 MHz 1333 MHz SLI modes SLI (2x16), 3-way SLI (3x16) SLI (2x8) ESA Yes No Memory type (up to) DDR2-1200 DDR2-800 PCI Express 2.0 32 Lanes2x16 24 lanes1x16, 1x8 PCI Express 1.1 30 lanes1x16, 1x8, 6x1 2 lanes2x1 SATA/PATA 6/2 4/4 Raid 0, 1, 0 + 1, 5 0, 1, 0 + 1, 5 Gigabit Ethernet 2x 1x DualNet Yes No USB 10x 8x PCI slots 5 5 Audio HDA ​​(Azalia) HDA (Azalia)

A thorough, second comparison between the 600i and 700i series also brings l Only one more innovation comes to light: The new series offers certification for Nvidia's hardware management system ESA . The FSB remains limited to an effective 1333 MHz for the time being, and there has been no change in the memory either. The nForce-700i family is manufactured by TSMC in the 90 nm process.

Nvidia nForce 780i SLI block diagram

On the next page: The test mainboard