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EVGA nForce 680i LT SLI Review - Page 2 of 6

FEATURES/MOTHERBOARD OVERVIEW

The following chart outlines the features of the 680i LT SLI motherboard and compares it to its bigger brother, the 680i SLI. As one might think, the differences aren't many, nor are they very significant. This board is the 680i bare essentials basically.

680i SLI Comparison Chart

They share the same core chipset, the same front-side bus frequency and support for SLI-ready memory, although the LT only "officially" supports up to 800MHz DDR2. The biggest differences between the two would have to be the lacking third x16 PCIe slot for a physics processor and the noted degradation in overclockability.

The following images map out the various parts of the motherboard. On the whole, the board layout is very convenient.

nForce 680i LT SLI Layout
Motherboard Layout

My only complaints are minor and involve the placement of one of the 3-pin case fan connectors which is right along the bottom edge of the board beneath the second PCIe slot. It was near impossible to hook up the fan once the motherboard was in my case and the second EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS was in place.

Other headaches involved the front panel connections being in the tight area along the right-hand side of the board next to the ATX power connector, IDE channel and other various connections.

nForce 680i LT SLI Back Panel
Motherboard Back Panel Connectors

I understand there isn't a lot of room on motherboards and I'm sympathetic to that, especially because the rest of the board layout was great apart from the annoyance of losing a PCI slot due to placement directly underneath a PCIe slot. Because of the size of the 8800 GTS heatsink, the bottom-most PCI slot is wasted. I had to again put my X-Fi Elite Pro between the two GTSs and that makes me nervous due to heat.

I have yet to experience any problems, but still. It would be great to come up with an alternate board layout that kept both graphics cards next to each other and all the PCI slots open for use.

The remainder images are just high-res shots of the board to allow for a closer, more in-depth look.

CPU Socket and Surrounding Area
Click to enlarge

CPU Socket and Surrounding Area (Top)
Click to enlarge

Back Panel
Click to enlarge

RAM DIMMs and Southbridge
Click to enlarge

PCIe and PCI Slots
Click to enlarge

Southbridge
Click to enlarge

The pictures of the Southbridge and RAM DIMMs highlight what was mentioned earlier regarding the tightness of that area of the board. It's nice that everything is close by and not sprawling, but at the same time...the whole area is just a bit too tight.

INSTALLATION AND TEST SYSTEM

Apart from a few frustrating minutes trying to get my clumsy fingers into areas too tight, I had no problem getting the board together and ready to go. Once together, the system was sporting the following:

  • EVGA nForce 680i LT SLI motherboard
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.4GHz (before overclocking)
  • Super Talent DDR2 800MHz PC2 6400 RAM CAS 4-4-3-8 1T (before overclocking)
  • EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS SLI
  • Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Elite Pro
  • Western Digital Raptor WD740GD 74GB Raptor 10,000RPM HDD
  • ForceWare 97.28
  • nForce 9.53

Now onto the heart and soul of this board - it's powerful and user-oriented BIOS.

Next Page: BIOS and Overclocking

Last Updated on March 26, 2007


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