Friday, March 27th 2009

NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI Reference Platform Motherboard Pictured

Pursuing legal action against Intel for bringing its Intel-compatible platform development to a grinding halt due to legal complications, NVIDIA has kept its platform development for AMD on track. The company has made the nForce 980a SLI platform official, that supports the latest Phenom II series processors from AMD. The company published the product page on its website, and has pictured its reference design motherboard based on the chipset. The motherboard carries the "designed by NVIDIA" marking, which makes it a design that several of its AIC partners such as EVGA, XFX, Zotac, etc., can use simultaneously.

The motherboard sports the nForce 980a SLI chipset, paired with the nForce 200 PCI-Express bridge chip. The motherboard features a GeForce 8300-class IGP, with DVI-D and D-Sub outputs. It supports NVIDIA 3-way SLI and Quad-SLI. As an AMD platform, the chipset supports AM2, AM2+ and AM3 socket processors, with DDR3 and DDR2 memory support (depending on the processor). A 5-phase digital PWM circuit powers the processor. The nForce 980a SLI and nForce 200 chips are located adjacent to each other, and are cooled actively by a fan-heatsink. The product design looks production-grade and may attract partners to sell it.
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85 Comments on NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI Reference Platform Motherboard Pictured

#51
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
erocker
Lets not forget P31, G31, G35, P41, P43.... There are plenty of Intel options that directly compete with AMD and do it in the same price bracket.
thats only on C2D's side though it has nothig to do with the single chipset available for i7. oh and from the way things are looking intel will be the only company making a chipset for i5 as well
Posted on Reply
#52
erocker
*
cdawall
thats only on C2D's side though it has nothig to do with the single chipset available for i7. oh and from the way things are looking intel will be the only company making a chipset for i5 as well
C2D competes with AMD processors with comparable performance and a wide range of chipsets/motherboards to use. Comparing PII to Core i7 just doesn't make sense to me. It looks to me like i5 is going to be fail.
Posted on Reply
#53
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
erocker
C2D competes with AMD processors with comparable performance and a wide range of chipsets/motherboards to use. Comparing PII to Core i7 just doesn't make sense to me. It looks to me like i5 is going to be fail.
that is true but the original post i was comparing to was intel only needs X58 which is utter BS and you and me both know that intel chipsets clock well but they do not offer the best of really anything else.
Posted on Reply
#54
erocker
*
Their chipsets look cool and have awesome heatpipes and stuff though!:( I agree with ya.
Posted on Reply
#55
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
erocker
Their chipsets look cool and have awesome heatpipes and stuff though!:( I agree with ya.
oh well maybe AMD will have some i7 beating chips soon i have a feeling that the 6 core's server chips will hold an advantage in true multitasking over the i7 server chips since HT is not the same as another core....now if those 6 core chips hit the mainstream we might have an i7 beater 3.8-4.2ghz (air clocked) on the unlocked chips with 6 cores would be pretty BA :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#56
PP Mguire
Somebody was saying something about Asus boards?

Asus already has their 980a pictured on their site.
Posted on Reply
#57
Wile E
Power User
cdawall
it doesn't "support" it but go on AMD game forums and several users have old 480X boards with phenom II's on them. just about any board that supports phenom's will boot and run a phenom II it will just not take advantage of the added benifits of the chip IE unlocked chips wont give the full range of multi's




only issue i have is that the X58 chipset is still not all that great AMD chips show better scaling on there chipsets than i7 does on X58. this is true when you look at just about any multi card setup, there was a thread on XS with about 100 examples of this. same clocks on the cards and comparable clocks on the chips the single card was all X58 but as soon as they put a second card on the board AMD gained 20-30% intel may gain 15% max. AMD caught up in performance to i7 as soon as another card was added. tell how even x8/x8 790GX can scale multi card better than X58?

and 780i wasn't all bad with quads several people got good clocks out of it. not the best but good clocks for sure. 6xi supported all of the 65nm quads it may not have clocked them to a 1600mhz FSB but it supported them it however did not support even the same clocked 45nm quads which is what i was trying to say.
Links please. And are these tests done with the same OS, with the same exact tweaks?
Posted on Reply
#58
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Wile E
Links please. And are these tests done with the same OS, with the same exact tweaks?
no idea they were links on XS i would assume no but me and freaksavior are going to do the same tests i have a 9800GX2, 2x2600pros and he has 2xGTX285's we are going to test with. hopefully my 780a board will play nice with my phenom but if not we will run the ati cards and 9800GX2 only
Posted on Reply
#59
Wile E
Power User
cdawall
no idea they were links on XS i would assume no but me and freaksavior are going to do the same tests i have a 9800GX2, 2x2600pros and he has 2xGTX285's we are going to test with. hopefully my 780a board will play nice with my phenom but if not we will run the ati cards and 9800GX2 only
That's what I want to see. The same exact card at the same exact clocks, with the same exact OS tweaks on both platforms. There's just too much left to chance doing it any other way.
Posted on Reply
#60
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Wile E
That's what I want to see. The same exact card at the same exact clocks, with the same exact OS tweaks on both platforms. There's just too much left to chance doing it any other way.
i'll have XP Pro and windows 7 scores. :cool: with max oc's on phase rofl :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#61
Kronos
Realy?

ShadowFold
The AsRock 780A does that
Does it? I don't see any specs for that anywhere. Pls post link.
Posted on Reply
#63
p_o_s_pc
F@H&WCG addict
@cdawall you want to send me the PII 955 to put it on my Nvidia 6150/430? thats what is running my 5kBE ATM and it sucks compared to the 790GX (has nothing to do with the subject i know)
Posted on Reply
#64
jalyst
BackSlash
Interesting, I just want to see how this perform agains 790FX/750 :) and what about temps
Don't you mean against a 790GX?
That's it's more direct competitor isn't it?
Posted on Reply
#67
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
They're not measuring IGP performance. 980a SLI is a high-end chipset, which can spare at least 32 PCI-E lanes for graphics cards, while 790GX only provides 16, hence this chipset compares to 790FX (which has 32 lanes to spare for graphics). The ASUS M4N82 Deluxe has the IGP permanently disabled.
Posted on Reply
#68
jalyst
okay so the 980a SLI and 790FX are the two top-notch mobo chip-sets for AMD market atm.
Do either of these have motherboard implementations which happen to also include IGP?
Posted on Reply
#69
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
AMD 790FX (ATI RD790) physically lacks an IGP. NVIDIA nForce 980a has a GeForce 8300 IGP. If you want this chipset with an IGP, buy any motherboard with the nForce 780a SLI. It's the same exact chip physically.
Posted on Reply
#70
jalyst
Sorry not quite getting you...

Why would I get the 780 SLI when the 980a SLI with IGP is now available?
Is there no motherboards yet taking advatage of 980a SLI IGP?

Surely there must be some differences between 780a SLI and 980a SLI?

Why would one looking for on-board GPU (infrastructure for 2 or more x16 cards, would still be nice) choose the 980/780a SLI over the 790GX?

Which is best from CPU/Mem subsys standpoint?
(I "may" be able to ascertain that from article you provided)

And which is best from an on-board GPU standpoint?

Would you prefer I be posting these questions in a separate thread?

Cheers,
Jed
Posted on Reply
#71
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
jalyst
Sorry not quite getting you...

Why would I get the 780 SLI when the 980a SLI with IGP is now available?
Is there no motherboards yet taking advatage of 980a SLI IGP?
They're the same thing. Just like GeForce 8800 GT -> 9800 GT. There is no motherboard that uses 980a SLI that comes with its IGP enabled. In fact, the ASUS M4N82 Deluxe is the only 980a SLI motherboard in the market. The one in the news post is the NVIDIA reference design, which we then believed someone like EVGA or Zotac would sell, sadly that didn't happen.

jalyst
Surely there must be some differences between 780a SLI and 980a SLI?
There are no differences. It's a rebranding. It is basically 780a, albeit "qualified" to support AM3 CPUs. There are no 980a + DDR3 boards around, nor are there any 780a SLI boards that don't support AM3 CPUs.

jalyst
Why would one looking for on-board GPU (infrastructure for 2 or more x16 cards, would still be nice) choose the 980/780a SLI over the 790GX?
They don't. Nobody buys a >$150 motherboard over a simpler ≤$100 one, only to end up using its IGP. If you want the IGP the 980a comes with, at a lower price, buy a motherboard with the GeForce 8300 MCP chipset instead.

jalyst
Which is best from CPU/Mem subsys standpoint?
(I "may" be able to ascertain that from article you provided)
The chipset technically has no role to play with the memory subsystem. It's care of the IMC that's packed into the AMD CPU.

jalyst
And which is best from an on-board GPU standpoint?
Between GeForce 8300 and AMD 790GX, the 790GX is better as far as IGP performance goes. It's the fastest IGP you get for the AMD platform.

jalyst
Would you prefer I be posting these questions in a separate thread?
I have no problems answering you here. They're in line with the topic.
Posted on Reply
#72
jalyst
btarunr
They're the same thing. Just like GeForce 8800 GT -> 9800 GT. There is no motherboard that uses 980a SLI that comes with its IGP enabled. In fact, the ASUS M4N82 Deluxe is the only 980a SLI motherboard in the market. The one in the news post is the NVIDIA reference design, which we then believed someone like EVGA or Zotac would sell, sadly that didn't happen.
It's only early days though... surely someone will implement a 980a SLI w/IGP?

Do these chip-sets get 'crippled' (compromised in performance) when the IGP enters the picture? E.g...
Would the 790GX and 980/780aSLI+IGP merely have less PCI-e lines because some are used by the MGPU, or is there more to it than that?

If there is, can you detail the compromises for both platforms? Assuming there's none or the compromises have the same hit 'performance-wise'......
Which is the better performer all-round, once GPU performance advantages are 'masked'...
There are no differences. It's a rebranding. It is basically 780a, albeit "qualified" to support AM3 CPUs. There are no 980a + DDR3 boards around, nor are there any 780a SLI boards that don't support AM3 CPUs.
OMG that's just plain bizarre....
They don't. Nobody buys a >$150 motherboard over a simpler ≤$100 one, only to end up using its IGP. If you want the IGP the 980a comes with, at a lower price, buy a motherboard with the GeForce 8300 MCP chipset instead.
That's precisely what I want; top-notch IGP for HTPC/PVR, but the 'potential' for top-notch workstation/gaming machine down-the-track....
Between GeForce 8300 and AMD 790GX, the 790GX is better as far as IGP performance goes. It's the fastest IGP you get for the AMD platform.
By "GeForce 8300" you're referring to the actual on-board GPU, not the chip-set? So the 790GX's MGPU has been verified as better 'all-round', k thanks...
I wonder if AMD/ATi software is still pretty shite` in GNU/Linux? I always had less problems with nVidia....
Posted on Reply
#73
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
it is not still the early days of 980A its been out what a month now. 780A is still the same exact chipset. GF8300 should be pretty close HD3300 in everything
Posted on Reply
#74
jalyst
Yeah I've been filled in a little more here, excellent forum, very well informed answers!
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1160285

btarunr, some of my questions remain unanswered...
It'd be really appreciated if you could address them, but I understand if you grow weary ;-)

all the best
Posted on Reply
#75
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
jalyst
It's only early days though... surely someone will implement a 980a SLI w/IGP?
It's already there like I said, you have a number of 780a SLI boards that have the IGP available, and these motherboards support every AM2/2+/3 processor you can think of. So there's no point in waiting for a 980a with IGP.

jalyst
Do these chip-sets get 'crippled' (compromised in performance) when the IGP enters the picture? E.g...
Would the 790GX and 980/780aSLI+IGP merely have less PCI-e lines because some are used by the MGPU, or is there more to it than that?

if there is, can you detail the compromises for both platforms? Assuming there's none or the compromises have the same hit 'performance-wise'......
Which is the better performer all-round, once GPU performance advantages are 'masked'..
Reduced number of PCI-E lanes don't necessarily cripple the IGPs. These IGPs don't need an x16 link to work to their full-potential, not even x8 for that matter.

jalyst
OMG that's just plain bizarre....
But true, and NVIDIA is good at doing it. Rebranding worked very well in selling GeForce 9800 GT and GeForce GTS 250.


jalyst
That's precisely what I want; top-notch IGP for HTPC/PVR, but the 'potential' for top-notch workstation/gaming machine down-the-track....

By "GeForce 8300" you're referring to the actual on-board GPU, not the chip-set? So the 790GX's MGPU has been verified as better 'all-round', k thanks...
I wonder if AMD/ATi software is still pretty shite` in GNU/Linux? I always had less problems with nVidia....
I'm talking about GeForce 8300 MCP (the chipset), not GeForce 8300 (the IGP). NVIDIA chooses to call it an "mGPU", which abbreviates "motherboard GPU", not "mobile GPU". It's a monolithic chipset. If you don't need to use discrete graphics, you don't need a 780a SLI or 980a SLI. This chipset packs the same IGP.

With Linux, I recommend sticking to NVIDIA. Their Linux driver support is outstanding. A slightly faster IGP won't mean much in Linux anyway.
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