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Thread: eVGA Nforce 680i SLI Mainboard on Vapochill LS

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    Xtreme Owner Charles Wirth's Avatar
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    eVGA Nforce 680i SLI Mainboard on Vapochill LS

    Machine specs

    Asetek Vapochill LS R507 Modded -50 in bios
    Intel 6300 Retail
    Intel X6800 ES
    Intel QX6700 ES
    Nvidia Nforce 680i SLI mainboard
    Nvidia 8800GTX Stock heat sink
    Corsair Dominator 9136 C5D
    4x Western Digital 150GB Raptors 10K RPM
    I-ram OCZ 4GB



    Installing

    There is plenty of clearance for aftermarket coolers that mount from topside, I installed a Asetek Vapochill LS that is capable of more than -50c with current modifications. The gasket fits nicely on the top side, the Vapochill head clears all parts no problem at all. No changes were made for clearance on the front side.
    On the back side there are a few surface mounted parts, they are low profile so you will need extra foam insulation so there is no contact with the metal back plate of the Vapochill. I can see other aftermarket coolers that require the back plate also having problems with those surface parts. Normal clearing of metal pins is needed to prevent shorting out.



    All three PCIE slots have full board clearance for video cards, all connectors are up next to the ram slots with the exception to the USB pin header next to the battery. There is also a serial pin header at the edge of the board. I did not install this option.

    I installed the Iram in the lower PCI slot, no clearance problem with bottom of case. I connected the I-ram to SATA port one and the raid drives to SATA ports three four five and six. I also connected a Seagate 7200.9 for single drive tests.

    The board does get hot around the chipset and PCIE slot so dont skip the optional chipset fan, it is needed.

    BIOS

    Lots of bios shots can be found around the net so I will skip those and give some settings that I use instead.
    The bios is geared for the overclocker and has plenty of options to overclock every aspect of the board. The droop is pretty bad from our standards. At 1.70v set in bios it will ride between 1.61v and 1.64v I was able to get all benches done with a max of 1.70 set in bios even though the max setting in bios was 1.8v. I wanted to keep benches consistant to compare against the Abit AW9D-Max I ran at 4.2Ghz.

    The bios reads beyond -50c but in windows it reads error.



    Linkboost is enabled when it detects an Nvidia video card and it will bring the clock speed of the PCIE to 125Mhz.

    QX6700 I left the FSB at stock 1066Mhz and all the voltages stock with the exception of the vcore and vmem, the 6300 and the X6800 I cranked up the voltages a bit to reach a healthy 530FSB, I did quite a few 3D benches on the X6800 at 520FSB.

    Vcore set to 1.70v
    Vmem set to 2.50v
    FSBV set for 6300 set to 1.4v
    FSBV set for X6800 set to 1.5v
    MCPV set to 1.50v
    SPPV set to 1.50v

    There are quite a few FSB holes between 1066 and 2090, it seems the HT bus is locked in ratios. To best explain it at 1690Mhz bus speed I will lose PCIE and it will boot in VGA mode, at 1700 it will start to caugh up HD errors in windows. Once you get to 1710 all is fine again till the next hole.

    When a failed overclock happens the bios will reset itself to the default FSB speed to let you fix the problem. No need to use the cmos reset jumper. Worst possible case is where you push too far without enough vcore and it will display -- on the post LED diagnostic built into the mainboard. If this happens a cycle of power is needed to get proper reset.

    All bios options are nicely labeled with clearer detail to what functions they do.

    RAID

    It does not matter what SATA connector you plug the raid drives into but you will need to enable that port in bios for raid. You can set each port individualy and run non-rain drives on the same controller. It is possible to scramble the raid with bad memory timing.

    Here is a screen shot of the storage control panel



    Drivers

    Drivers seem solid for the motherboard, everything is working as expected with the exception of an audio glitch where playback is fed back into mic. So if you were in a chat program the other parties would hear anything playing on your PC speakers. In games it will hold the audio channel open and annoy. The mic record quality and volume is superb.

    Overclocking tools

    Ntune is the main program used to overclock the motherboard and it can also be used to overclock the Nvidia GPU as well. Nvidia has gone the extra mile to label the options in bios as well as in Ntune.

    You have PLL access as well as voltages on this screen.



    Here is what the GPU screen looks like.



    Dynamic Bios access screen.



    Tune system screen.



    View system information. Notice the Corsair Dominator 9136 Memory
    available



    Stability control panel.



    Memory timing

    In bios there is quite a few timing settings and I was very surprised that this memory will do very tight timing of 2-2-2-2 timing at stock 266FSB speed in sync mode DDR speed of 533Mhz. I had no problems running 3-2-2-x, 3-3-2-x, 3-2-3-x as well. This memory was very flexable compared to other DDR2 I have tested. The motherboard booted!!



    I will post more tight timing stuff with 3D results.

    Ok, onto the good stuff.

    This is the oddball screen shot with the Retail E6300 processor. I was dialing it in on air to get this bandwidth. this was sync 3-2-2-4 1T. I dont trust Ultimate too much but it is an impressive score. I setup the hard drive and stuff with this processor and then switched the motherboard over to Vapochill and X6800 processor.



    Here is the X6800 at 524FSB CPUID screen shot w/validation
    http://valid.x86-secret.com/show_oc?id=136435



    I managed a 4.5Ghz screen shot with validation from the X6800 but I was not able to get benches off at this speed.
    http://valid.x86-secret.com/show_oc?id=136439

    Here is the Kentsfield at 4.2Ghz validation
    http://valid.x86-secret.com/show_oc?id=136436



    My results are overclocked and not to everyones stability standards. At 4.2Ghz on both processors I am 24/7 stable and benched at or around that speed for these tests. The kentsfield processor had problems at high bus speeds, near stock were used.

    Super Pi 1.5 XS



    Cinebench



    Crystalmark



    Nbench



    Everest Home with low FSB







    Sandra 2007 X6800











    Sandra 2007 QX6800









    Single Seagate 7200.9 160GB


    RAID 0 Raptor 150's


    HDTach

    RAID 0 Raptor 150's


    Single Seagate 7200.9 160GB


    I-Ram



    Many thanks to Nvidia for the editors day invite and toys to go home with. It has been most enjoyable. 8800GTX 3D benches will be up later today.
    Last edited by Charles Wirth; 11-09-2006 at 05:30 PM.
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  2. #2
    Xtreme Owner Charles Wirth's Avatar
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    I just got in a new bios that might resolve the FSB problem with my Kentsfield, the chip will not boot into windows above 300 if not I would need to switch back to the X6800 for high FSB.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the review Charles.

    The FSB speed is like chalk and cheese when compared to 590.

    How does the chipset compare to 975 clock for clock ..is it speedy?

    Regards

    Andy

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    I have been looking forward for your review FUGGER. Looks great, thanks.
    Is the RAID 0 performance on the 680i chipset really so much worse than the one provided by Intel Matrix RAID. I saw fhpchris post som crazy RAID results in this thread: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...i+overclocking.
    Do you know if there is a significant difference in the performance of the eVGA 680i and the Nvidia reference board (as far as I understand this should not be the case). This "official" review http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/chi...80i-sli_2.html is not particularly in favour of the 680i chipset as compared to the 975/965 with respect to performance and overclockability (it must be noted that the guys at Xbit labs IMHO are not the most skillfull - at least compared to people like you from Xs).
    Last edited by Holmer; 11-08-2006 at 12:00 PM.
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    Could it be? An Nforce board for intel that doensnt COMPLETELY suck asses?
    COOL!
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    any word if the new bios has fixed kentsfield FSB support. If it is still low seems like that is the only problem with the board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yoxxy
    any word if the new bios has fixed kentsfield FSB support. If it is still low seems like that is the only problem with the board.
    I would also like to know

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    Nice review

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    man you are crazy... Congrats!!

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    wow, thats nice! Would like to see this baby modded and hitting higher fsb.

    thanks for the info fugger

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    raid performance:
    my p5w dh has a sequential read of around 130Mb/s and a burst of 240Mb/s with 4x raptor 74 adfd drives.
    So the evga 680i is not much worse, especially considering i'm running mature drivers on my p5w dh and the evga has just been released.

    So i don't think raid performance is worse on the 680i and i'm going to replace my p5w d with a 680i, not sure if it'll be the evga one though (like the looks, caps and vrm of the abit!)

    (hi extera, tweakers is going XS!)
    Last edited by catscit; 11-09-2006 at 12:31 PM.
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    Thanks for the info concerning RAID performance catscit!
    CPU: QX9650 @4.25.
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    raid performance:
    my p5w dh has a sequential read of around 130Mb/s and a burst of 240Mb/s with 4x raptor 74 afdf drives.
    So the evga 680i is not much worse, especially considering i'm running mature drivers on my p5w dh and the evga has just been released.

    So i don't think raid performance is worse on the 680i and i'm going to replace my p5w d with a 680i, not sure if it'll be the evga one though (like the looks, caps and vrm of the abit!)
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    Fugger is that 4x 150 raptor in raid 0? The result looks pretty low, you should be in the +200/Mb sustain read. I remember nvraid wasnt that bad, it cant possibly got worst. I have this board here but I havent try yet, but I was hoping that is not the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by catscit
    raid performance:
    my p5w dh has a sequential read of around 130Mb/s and a burst of 240Mb/s with 4x raptor 74 afdf drives.
    So the evga 680i is not much worse, especially considering i'm running mature drivers on my p5w dh and the evga has just been released.
    something is wrong with your setup too if your only getting 130 sustain read. I get 212/Mb just from 3x Raptor ADFD.
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    Xtreme Owner Charles Wirth's Avatar
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    I added 2-2-2-2 timing screen shot above in Ntune, cpuid does not show timing on 680i.



    Here are a few from 975x chipset to show tight timing on Dominator 8888 validation.

    3-2-2-x

    http://valid.x86-secret.com/show_oc?id=132695

    3-2-3-x

    http://valid.x86-secret.com/show_oc?id=132701

    3-3-2-x

    http://valid.x86-secret.com/show_oc?id=132696

    3-4-3-x (1Ghz)

    http://valid.x86-secret.com/show_oc?id=132692
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    nice

    hope we will see DFI.. nice board.. i probably get this..
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    Quote Originally Posted by erwinz
    nice

    hope we will see DFI.. nice board.. i probably get this..
    Me too

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    me three!

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    Good writeup, Charles

    There are few things I'd like to see from anyone testing this mainboard, apart from what we know, that 680i is naturally SLI capable... This board is a lot different from Intel chipset-based ones in those two areas. So, those are:

    - what are the advantages of asynchronous vs linked to FSB memory overclocking and how well it works;
    - advantages of 1T vs 2T on this mainboard, measured with anything else besides synthetic benchmarks;
    - how far will board allow to go with 1T Command Rate before having to drop to 2T and what exactly is FSB and memory clock it happens at;

    Some good benchmark would be nice to show that, e.g. SuperPi 32M will do, as 1M will be to hard to see differences with. Not asking for anything like games or encoding, to save the time

    Can you try that, Charles?
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    Nice thread FUGGER, i just got one myself.
    I need some help and i wonder if you can help me.
    I dont have the board CD and I cant find the raid drivers anywhere, and if you dont mind can you give the links to download it and if you can the link to the new bios.
    Tks
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    It s stable @ FSB 450mhz.

    I m going to try higher


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    try orthos blend test and why does orthos read 4050 but cpuz read 3599? is this unlinked?
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    Orthos and Coretemp use the multiplier 9 and cpu-z uses the real multipiler 8.

    449*8 ~ 3592
    449*9 ~ 4050

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeLecT
    Orthos and Coretemp use the multiplier 9 and cpu-z uses the real multipiler 8.

    449*8 ~ 3592
    449*9 ~ 4050
    yes and nvmonitor also

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