XFX 780i SLI Motherboard

Introduction and Specification

Introduction
 
XFX are best known for their excellent top-end Nvidia cards. As one of Nvidia's premium AIB's we're used to seeing large boxes come though the doors in readyment for a graphics card review.
 
Recently, however, XFX have been coming out with some boards based around...you guessed it...Nvidia's chipset range. Today is no exception as we bring in an Nvidia 780i based board.
 
So far we've seen the Asus Striker II Formula and the not so good Asus P5N-T Deluxe. Both of these come with coolers that differ from the stock cooling. However, XFX have gone with the so-called Nvidia stock cooler...but this time it's quite so bad as the word "stock" is usually associated with.
 
XFX logo
 
Specification
 
Let's grab some specs off XFX's website to see how they look:
 
SATA/PATA Drives
6/2
Supported CPUs
Intel Penryn, Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Pentium
PCI Slot
PCI-E 2.0 x16 (2), PCI-E 1.0 (1), PCI-E x1 (1), PCI (2)
Native Gigabit Ethernet Connections
Dual
JEDEC DDR2 Memory
800 MHz (up to 1200MHz with EPP 1.0)
Audio
8-Channel High Definition Audio
SATA Speed
3.0 Gb/s
RAID
0,1,0+1,5
Chipset
NVIDIA nForce 780i MCP
Front Side Bus
1333 MHz with supporting CPU
IEEE 1394 (Firewire)
(2) 1394a @ 400 Mb/s (1 Rear + 1 Onboard)
Socket
Intel Socket 775
LAN
Dual Onboard LAN Supports 10/100/1000 Mb/s
SLI Techonology
3 x16 (3-Way SLI)
System Memory
Dual Channel DDR2 533/667/800
USB
(10) USB 2.0 ports (6 Rear + 2x2 Onboard)
PCI-E
(2) PCI Express 2.0, (1) PCI Express 1.0
Highlighted Features
Windows Vista Ready , SLI-Ready Memory with EPP , TCP/IP Acceleration , NVIDIA MediaShield Storage Technology , NVIDIA FirstPacket Technology



Features
Designed for NVIDIA SLI technology
NVIDIA SLI technology is a revolutionary platform innovation that allows users to intelligently scale graphics performance by combining multiple NVIDIA graphics solutions in a single system with an nForce SLI MCP. Available on nForce 680i SLI and nForce 650i SLI MCPs

DualDDR2 Memory Architecture
A state-of-the-art DualDDR2 memory controller allows high bandwidth and low latency data access to the CPU and GPU. Ensures data and information are relayed through the system as quickly as possible for incredible performance.

High Definition Audio (HDA)
High definition audio brings consumer electronics quality sound to the PC delivering high quality sound from multiple channels. Using HDA, systems can deliver 192kHz/32-bit quality for eight channels, supporting new audio formats.

Networking with NVIDIA nForce
NVIDIA networking delivers the highest network throughput at the lowest CPU utilization. The manageable and stable NVIDIA networking solution results in better networking management and a lower total cost of ownership. Only NVIDIA integrates this level of networking features to allow you to take your online experience to the next level.

NVIDIA FirstPacket technology
Be the 'King of Ping' with NVIDIA FirstPacket technology. Get the crystal-clear phone conversations and online gaming performance you expect. NVIDIA FirstPacket technology assures your game data, VoIP conversations, and large file transfers are delivered according to preferences set by you in an intuitive wizard.

NVIDIA MediaShield™ Storage
Suite of features that safeguards your most important digital media assets; always reliable, scalable, and accessible. Includes RAID and SATA drive support.

NVIDIA Native Gigabit Ethernet
The industry's fastest Gigabit Ethernet performance eliminates network bottlenecks and improves overall system efficiency and performance.

NVIDIA SLI Certified Components
Look for other components including select NVIDIA GeForce GPUs and system memory that automatically increase system bus speeds when paired with NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI motherboards.

PCI Express
Designed to run with PCI Express bus architecture. This bus doubles the bandwidth of AGP 8X, delivering 4GB/s of upstream data transfer and 4GB/s of downstream data transfer.

USB 2.0
A standard plug-and-play interface that provides easy-to-use connectivity for USB devices.

Windows Vista™ Capable
NVIDIA nForce®-based motherboards are perfect for Microsoft® Windows Vista™ when coupled with an NVIDIA® GeForce® GPU and 512MB of system memory.
 
The 780i spec sheet is a packed out one which we're already familiar with, so let's see the board.
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Most Recent Comments

31-01-2008, 16:15:34

FarFarAway
XFX are really getting serious in the motherboard market.

But how does their latest board compare?

Check it out!

31-01-2008, 16:25:23

Brooksie
XFX always do have lovely bundles..

Looks like the 780i isn't what was expected with the overclocking..

31-01-2008, 16:26:10

FarFarAway
Well 3600ish is OK, remember it is chip and cooling dependent

31-01-2008, 16:59:51

brad81
Hi guys!

First visit to the website to read your review was pretty informative!

I know that the P35 chipsets work well with the new (not so new now I guess) Intel Quads and the ATI/AMD Radeon cards. You stated earlier that for the sake of uniformity that you'd use the Radeon card. I personally believe that because of this the board wasn't shown in fairness to the other boards. Being an Nvidia chipset, would it have not been wiser to use a similar performing card to the Radeon?

Cheers,

Brad

31-01-2008, 17:07:36

FarFarAway
A graphics card should not perform any differently in theory under different chipsets. We don't use an Intel card

A "similar performing" card wouldn't perform the same and numbers wouldn't be comparable I'm afraid. Plus using an Nvidia card could also be construed as bias too so we use the same card for all boards.

I do understand your point but we try to make sure every review item is looked at as fairly as possible so we have to decide on one card to use, and this time around we went for an ATI X1950 Pro

EDIT: And welcome

31-01-2008, 18:05:40

Rastalovich
A great read tbh. It is very true that XFX spend time on their packaging for all their products. (I have an XFX badged raid card, as well as the obvious, and it`s evident there too)

I know Kemp has something up his sleeve regarding a sli testing, I can sense it in the air

The sli has to be a big deciding factor in leaning towards these 780i boards (not to state the obvious).

So will it`s `good` to `nearly as good as` performances in other departments stand it in good stead.

Since I`m not a convinced SLI supporter, it`d be easy for me to not suggest these 780i boards to people - however, if their SLI performance is as good as proposed, u`d have to take them seriously and not just for the benchmark chasers.

Dissapointed with the audio outputs, would like to have seen eSata ports, but can understand why they were omitted.

10-02-2008, 08:24:59

karl_eller
Just out of curiosity, you listed one of the motherboards you were testing it against as the Asus P5E3, however under your memory list, you only showed DDR2 RAM. So were you using a P5E or a P5E3? And if you were using the P5E3, what RAM was used with it?

Eller

10-02-2008, 08:35:58

FarFarAway
The P5E3 used Kingston PC11000, which is why it scores higher in general RAM tests

21-02-2008, 10:36:48

LoveDuckie
I was quite suprised by this review, I honestly thought that this chipset/motherboard was going to blow everything out of the water.

One thing I do detest about immediately when I saw that motherboard was that ugly SB heatsink.
Reply
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