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EVGA's nForce 780i SLI better than the reference - features hybrid cooling

by Tarinder Sandhu on 9 January 2008, 15:51

Tags: EVGA

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Showcasing its in-house-designed version of the recently-released nForce 780i SLI chipset for Intel processors, EVGA was keen to point out that it had improved on the NVIDIA reference design in a number of ways.

Supporting quad-core 45nm processors and providing PCIe 2.0 via the NF200 ASIC that's hidden under the large northbridge heatsink, we know that the nForce DDR2-supporting 780i adds x16 PCIe 2.0 for both the primary (top) and secondary (bottom) slots. The middle slot, used for three-way SLI, is run off the southbridge.

EVGA has an eight-phase PWM on its nForce 780i SLI FTW model. It also adds a further couple of SATA ports when compared to the reference design and caters for the enthusiast with a proper clear-CMOS button rather than a jumper. The board is equipped with all-solid capacitors, too.

It will also feature hybrid cooling that augments the traditional air cooling with the waterblock you see. The design isn't finished, and we expect to see different-sized barbs on the final revision.

EVGA has recently expanded its BIOS team by hiring a bunch of ex-EPoX enginners. As such, one of the first fruits of their labours will be a slew of enthusiast-friendly BIOS-related options not present in the reference design, we were told. The 'FTW is coming in late February. No word on pricing, though.

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HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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“780i SLI FTW”

Haha, is that the actual name ? Sli For The Win :D
They (EVGA) emailed recently giving me the chance to exchange my 680i board for one of these (not for free of course.) I'm still half and half because it's the old,original board that I've got (which fried one set of OCZ sticks) but it's a pain to be without the mobo, I may be inheriting a load of new problems and the set up I have works well and has done for many months. :D
pollaxe
They (EVGA) emailed recently giving me the chance to exchange my 680i board for one of these (not for free of course.) I'm still half and half because it's the old,original board that I've got (which fried one set of OCZ sticks) but it's a pain to be without the mobo, I may be inheriting a load of new problems and the set up I have works well and has done for many months. :D
That's commendable. EVGA obviously rely heavily on a keeping fans through great customer service (their graphics upgrade too), which is excellent stuff.

But regarding this product I'm confused. Why does it have a waterblock and air-cooling? We all know how poor active northbridge cooling generally is. nV-600-based boards have invariably been condemned as being loud and hot (compared to the Intel ones) so why hasn't this been addressed? Surely water-cooling alone would easily be sufficient to cool it?

I don't like nVIDIAs or AMDs insistence on releasing new northbridges with outdated southbridges. All they're pushing is multi-GPU solutions. I'd be far more interested in having 8+ SATA devices and bordering on infinite USB ports on a motherboard frankly. How many are going to go for graphics solutions which use more than 2 cards? The use of 2 cards in Crossfire or SLi is rare enough as it is.
We all know that the 700 series chipset is nothing earthshatteringly new. It's essentially the same chipset as 600 series. They didn't even shrink the die size.

They should have renamed it 680i rev B or something instead of taking the 700 moniker and reserved that for something new.

To the poster above me, why would you need 8 SATA ports? I can see an add-in card with 8 SATA ports, storage that can be moved from motherboard to motherboard. But installing 8 hard drives, I'm assuming in some array configuration, onto the chipset's ports seems counterproductive to me.

I invested in a PCIe RAID card so that I could move my storage from build to build without having to worry about recreating arrays, losing data, etc.