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NVIDIA Partners Turn to Intel Chipsets?

The tier-one partners of NVIDIA, namely EVGA, XFX and BFG, sell motherboards based on NVIDIA nForce chipsets, with motherboards designed by NVIDIA itself, with a few exceptions where EVGA improvised their designs. With NVIDIA licensing SLI to Intel, allowing their upcoming Bloomfield-supportive X58 chipset to support the SLI multi-GPU technology, and for $5 per supportive board, it took less than guess work to think NVIDIA's partners would start using Intel X58 chipsets to grab their share of Core i7 motherboard market as quickly as they can.

In a recent press release, NVIDIA counted EVGA in the partial list of motherboard vendors who are working on motherboards based on the X58 platform, and offer SLI support. In the same press release, Joe Darwin, Director of Technical Marketing at EVGA was quoted saying “By licensing NVIDIA SLI technology, the EVGA X58 motherboard will deliver the ultimate 2-way and 3-way SLI platform to, once again, meet the enthusiast’s demand.” So we beg to ask: Will NVIDIA actually work on a LGA-1366 chipset, or will the new found love with selling high performance chipsets for the mainstream, such as MCP7A, replace it? Only time will tell. In the mean time, and on a rather comic note, get ready for the first EVGA motherboard to support ATI Crossfire X.

NVIDIA Slates nForce 700 (AMD) Series Successors for 2009

NVIDIA had been a little behind AMD for releasing high-performance chipsets supporting HyperTransport 3.0 interface for the Phenom series processors. The green giant managed to release the nForce 780a and 750a chipsets. It was recently, that AMD released a new overclocking algorithm call Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC), that basically puts clock-generators into the chipset for fine-tuning clock speeds. The companion SB750 southbridge by AMD handled this feature, on some of the newer 790 FX and 790 GX motherboards. As for NVIDIA, the 780a isn't really a SPP + MCP design. The so called northbridge here is the MCP itself (MCP78A), and the so called southbridge on 780a motherboards, is actually an nForce 200 chip that handles PCI-Express lanes and broadcasts data to multiple graphics cards, so the MCP had to be equipped with the feature.

EVGA Announces the nForce 730i Motherboard with Integrated GeForce 9300 GPU

Following a news article about the launch of the 730i which we covered here, EVGA has launched its first motherboard based on the Nvidia 730i Chipset with onboard graphics. You can find out more information on EVGA's Product Page, and a video overview is available here.
EVGA is proud to announce the latest product to the EVGA Motherboard family; the EVGA nForce 730i. With support for DirectX 10 and NVIDIA GeForce Boost Technology, the EVGA nForce 730i represents the latest in graphics technology and can provide up to a 70% increase in overall visual performance! All of these innovations are combined to make the EVGA nForce 730i the best single GeForce Graphics platform available.

Get it all with from The Force Within: With support for NVIDIA PhysX and CUDA Technology, the EVGA nForce 730i will provide you a full spectrum of visual nirvana and unsurpassed graphics processing power.

XFX Unleashes the ''Mother'' of all nForce 750i Motherboards

Mom may have been able to help you with your algebra, but all the homemade cookies in the world can’t compare with the performance features you get with ultimate “mother,” the XFX nForce 750i SLI motherboard.

Our motherboard delivers performance straight out of the box, for the ultimate gaming experience. And, the 750i SLI comes with exceptional game support and bar none the fastest multi-GPU gaming platform available in the performance category.

AMD 45nm Quad-Core Opteron Lineup for 2009 Detailed

AMD would be releasing 45nm silicon fabricated series of the quad-core Opteron processor based on the newer Shanghai core. Like its desktop PC counterpart, the Deneb core, it features 6 MB of L3 cache along with some enterprise-specific features. They will be designed for high-uptime and energy efficiency. AMD banks heavily on the performance efficiency and virtualization capabilities of these processors. There are primarily two types of these processors based on the multi-processor capabilities: the 2000 series 2-way processors and the 8000 series 8-way processors. The former supports two-socket systems while the latter is designed for dense 2+ socket environments, where up to 8 Opteron processors could work in tandem. The processors continue to have Socket-F (s1207) interfaces, hence the entire lineup retains its DDR2 memory standard.

Interestingly, AMD did not rework the system interface for all its newer chips. Across the vast lineup of 20 models, only four support the newer HyperTransport 3.0 interface with 4400 MT/s interconnects. The rest continue to use the 2000 MT/s interconnects. It could be mid-2009 by the time AMD launches its own enterprise-segment chipsets, which could also be the time when the current leading player, NVIDIA launches its newer nForce Professional lineup for the Opteron. Since current chipsets from both NVIDIA and Broadcom feature only the older HyperTransport 2000 MT/s interfaces, it could explain why most of these chips feature it.

Source: HKEPC

ASUS X58-based ROG Implementation will Support both SLI and Crossfire

The functionality of NVIDIA SLI and ATI Crossfire on the same motherboard isn't something new, we saw Intel's high-end D5400XS "Skulltrail" support it, where it used BR-04 chips made by NVIDIA to support the SLI functionality. Not much has changed with NVIDIA's plans on cashing in on the first wave of Nehalem LGA-1366 processor even though it's not ready with a native chipset for the new Intel chip, the nForce 200 (BR-04) chips will be used on some motherboards based on the Intel X58 chipset, thereby making the motherboard support both NVIDIA SLI technology. ASUS will release a high-end motherboard targeted at the gaming and overclocking community branded under the Republic of Gamers (ROG) banner. This board, according to a recent presentation by ASUS supports SLI and Crossfire.

Derek Yu, responsible for the R.O.G. series, told NordicHardware that the new NF200 is already performing adequately in most cases, and above expectations in other. He also revealed that the NF200 (BR-04) chip is hot (temperature-wise), like so many other chips form NVIDIA, and that ASUS has had to look at a variety of cooling solutions to keep the temperatures at bay.

Source: NordicHardware

NVIDIA Plans to Take on AMD 790, Intel P45 DDR3

The NVIDIA chipset division has decided to take on chipsets (core-logic) from both AMD and Intel in their respective platforms. To begin with, the nForce 780a SLI has been given a major update. The Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC) feature has been added to this chipset that allows overclocking competitive to the latest chipset from AMD, the SB 750 southbridge which is used on high-end motherboards based on the 790 GX or 790 FX northbridges. NVIDIA will connect the southbridge to the JTAG interface and then update the BIOS to support ACC for up to 10% better Phenom overclocks.

On to the Intel platform, and NVIDIA plans to release a new chipset called the nForce 770i SLI. Think of it as NVIDIA's answer to the P45 DDR3 chipset which provides Crossfire support (Dual PCI-Express slots with PCI-E 2.0 x8 bandwidth each in Crossfire mode). The nForce 770i will use a DDR3 memory controller, this is what differentiates it from the nForce 750i SLI, the chipset will support the 2-way SLI in the electrical PCI-E 2.0 x8 format.

It is known that existing motherboards in the market cannot be updated with this feature by means of a BIOS update, addition of this feature requires a hardware-level modification. Provided is a company slide from NVIDIA.(Source: Expreview)

Source: NordicHardware

Goodbye NVIDIA nForce?

If the report from Taiwanese industry observer DigiTimes holds ground, NVIDIA could be wrapping up its chipset division. This was revealed by sources at top motherboard manufacturers who have attended a meeting with NVIDIA where the company sought support from them to continue the chipset business. The manufacturers didn't show obvious or in other words, positive support.

Here's how the exit of nForce could affect the industry and you :

NVIDIA Slates nForce 730i MCP for August

This August, NVIDIA plans to release its latest desktop core-logic (chipset) for the current Intel platform processors, the nForce 730i MCP, also known as MCP7A. The MCP7A features a GeForce 9-series mGPU dubbed IGP. Two variants, the MCP7A-U with a GeForce 9400 graphics core and the MCP7A-S with GeForce 9300 are known so far. Both IGPs carry 16 stream processors, they differ in specifications such as the GeForce 9400 featuring a core frequency of 580MHz and shader frequency of 1500MHz, while the GeForce 9300 to be clocked at 450MHz and 1200MHz core and shader respectively. The MCP7A supports a FSB up to 1333MHz, dual-channel DDR2 or DDR3 memory, and PCI Express 2.0. The GPU is based on NVIDIA G86 graphics core, which supports DirectX 10 and Shader Model 4.0, supports HDMI, dual-link DVI, DisplayPort and D-sub connections. It will also support Hybrid SLI, PureVideo and CUDA technology.

Following the August launch, motherboard vendors could start shipping boards come September.Source: DigiTimes

NVIDIA Delays nForce 780/750/790 and GeForce 9800 GX2 ?

Some bad news coming from the NVIDIA corner, if true. Expreview reports that almost all of NVIDIA’s upcoming products will be delay till March. That includes: nForce 780a, 750a, 790i, 790i and Ultra chipsets, as well as the GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics. There's no official reason for the delay, neither new release dates. The delay will probably make ATI's Radeon HD 3870 X2 video card, the fastest available graphics in the market for a while. Only GeForce 8200 will make it in time and stick to its original February launch schedule.Source: Expreview

NVIDIA Officially Launches nForce 780i and 750i

NVIDIA Corporation today introduced the Company's next-generation NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI media and communications processor (MCP), designed specifically for 1333FSB Intel QX9650 (Yorkfield) processors. The new nForce 780i SLI MCP brings a multitude of new functionality to Intel platforms, including support for the new Enthusiast System Architecture specification and PCI Express Gen 2.0. It is also the first motherboard solution to support the Company's new 3-way SLI technology, the industry's preeminent multi-GPU platform solution based on NVIDIA GeForce graphics processing units.

NVIDIA Triple SLI: the “Ultimate Gaming Platform”

It looks like NVIDIA could be readying its new triple SLI platform if a slide published by Expreview is to be believed. The new three-way SLI will allow users to use three NVIDIA graphics cards simultaneously to run demanding 3D applications, although there are still very few details about it at present. The technology is being branded as “The new Ultimate Gaming Platform” by NVIDIA, and will work using a new three-way SLI bridge connector, with NVIDIA’s nForce 680i and 780i being the first chipsets to support it. If this slide is for real, then the GeForce 8800 Ultra and GTX will be the only cards capable of triple SLI to start with, but presumaby more will follow soon after – if triple SLI is more successful than quad SLI that is (which was largely let down by poor drivers). ATI is also planning to use three graphics cards with its CrossFire technology in the near future, where one card is expected to be dedicated to physics processing.

Source: X-bit labs

MSI Announces Motherboards and Server Barebones Supporting AMD Quad-Core Opteron™

MSI Announces Motherboards and Server Barebones Supporting AMD Quad-Core Opteron

Along with the new generation AMD Opteron processors (code-named Barcelona), MSI has launched its new server products – K9NU Speedster server board and K1-106 rack server.

Based around the nForce 3400 chipset, K9NU-Speedster Series motherboards and K1-106 Series server barebones support single AMD Opteron 2200 series quad-core processors. K9NU-Speedster Series also provide memory bandwidth up to 8.5GB/s (DDR2-533) or 10.5GB/s (DDR2-667). XGI Volari Z7 graphic processor with 16MB video memory can meet users’ needs without adding a graphics adapter. However, both motherboards have two PCI-E x16 slot supporting NVIDIA SLI technology for future expansion.

Source: MSI

NVIDIA nForce 650i Ultra Reference Board Details

Though the NVIDIA nForce 650i Ultra MCP was launched at the end of last year it took NVIDIA some time to come up with an actual reference design. Again ChileHardware were the first in the business to show some facts. The 650i ultra is the least feature-packed chipset out of the 600i family, with the absence of SLI being the biggest drawback. But if you don't intend to go for a SLI setup then the board will please you with full Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad support. Furthermore we are talking about dual-channel DDR2-800 (four DIMM sockets), a single PCIe x16, two PCIe x1 and three PCI (32bit/33MHz) slots, four SATA II ports and a single PATA port (HDD or optical drive).
The ATX I/O panel is not that crowded either, besides the obligatory PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports there are four USB 2.0 ports, the Gigabit Ethernet connector and the eight-channel audio connectors.
The mentioned Gigabit port supports NVIDIAs FirstPacket prioritizing technology in order to deliver the lowest pings possible while gaming. The SATA ports support Raid arrays (Raid 0, 1, 0+1 and 5) and onboard you will find four additional USB2.0 pinouts to be used with a USB bracket. Its price will be in the 50-100 US$ range, companies like EVGA, XFX, ECS, Biostar will soon adopt this design to their product family. All in all very nice budget solution mainboard that has its strengths.

Source: ChileHardware

nForce 680i LT SLI for Hardcore Gamers on March 12

As CeBIT is approaching, more and more new products are being finalized for launch. Along with MCP68 chipset, NVIDIA is going to launch the nForce 680i LT SLI chipset at the event, primarily targeted at hardcore gamers, whereras the current 680i SLI chipset is targeted at hardcore enthusiasts. nForce 680i LT SLI boards will be some US$50 cheaper than the 680i SLI boards, where the MSRP is around US$199 compared to US$249+.

The main changes are that nForce 680i LT SLI reference boards will come with active cooling instead of the heat-pipe design currently used on the 680i SLI reference board, a green PCB instead of a black PCB, will support DDR2-800 instead of DDR2-1200 SLI memory, 8 USB 2.0 ports instead of 10, one Gigabit Ethernet instead of two, two PCIe x16 slots instead of 3, and without all the neat stuff like LED POST codes, Power/Reset buttons and Speaker.

NVIDIA mentioned that overclocking on 680i LT SLI won't be as good as the 680i SLI, but there are strong reasons to believe that the chipset is basically the same unless the company has done some sort of sorting/binning on the chipsets. Will this be the budget OC king?

Source: VR-Zone

nForce Drivers for Vista

NVIDIA has released its chipset drivers for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista. The drivers are for all nForce 4, 5 and 6 based motherboards, with WHQL certification. There aren’t any chipset drivers for nForce 1, 2 or 3 boards, and with only alpha versions of the audio and networking driver for the nForce 3 it seems unlikely that NVIDIA will be releasing any Vista drivers for these chipsets.

You can download the drivers here.

NVIDIA nForce 680i Chipset Problems

Hard|OCP has published an article that discusses NVIDIA's nForce 680i chipset. While this chipset is known to most as the best clocking Intel chipset on the market, some have grown to hate it because of frequent BSODs and errors.
To be succinct, some nForce 680i motherboards have SATA issues. Data seems to get corrupted for no reason causing BSODs and corrupted hard drive errors. Obviously there is a reason, but the problem to the end user may seem very sporadic. The problems are severe enough that they can render a new system build useless. Talking to NVIDIA about this, we came up with the answers to a few questions, but no solutions.

Yes, NVIDIA is aware of the 680i issue and has been able to recreate it in their test labs.

Yes, NVIDIA is working to fix this.

Yes, NVIDIA states it is not a hardware issue, but rather a driver issue so we are all hoping for a fix.
Source: Hard|OCP
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