XFX 780i SLI Motherboard

Close up - Board layout

The board - a close up
 
The XFX 780i SLI is a good looking board by motherboard standards. With a black PCB and some pretty funky colours the board will really stand out in a case with a window.
 
Looking at the board  from a layout perspective the only small niggle I have spotted is the USB ports that sit right in the middle of the board. If you're buying this board for Tri-SLI then you will no doubt lose these ports which may or may not bother you.
 
Most other connectors are on the edge of the board as they should be which is great and shows some thought on layout has gone into the board.
 
board layout
 
The cooler on the XFX 780i SLI is an interesting number made for Nvidia by Coolermaster, one of the giants of the case and cooling industry. This has resulted in an interesting and fairly effective cooler that keeps the very very hot Nvidia chipset at a bit below boiling point (which is pretty low for an Nvidia chipset!).
 
cpu area  cooler
 
One of the best features of this oddly shaped cooler is that the CPU area is very free of obstacles. I installed a large Noctua NH-U12P on the board and there seemed to be plenty of room for manoeuvre. Speaking of the CPU area, you can see where XFX and Nvidia have put the money as there are solid state caps all around the CPU area showing the boards quality in this here.
 
PCI-e area  SB area
 
The PCI-E area is an important one on this board, being a Tri-SLI board. XFX have gone with a PCI-E 16x (2.0), PCI-E 1x, PCI-E 16x(1.0), PCI, PCI-E 16x(2.0), PCI configuration which gives you two full PCI-E 2.0 16x slots and one PCI-E 1.0 x16 slot. Normal SLI is achieved via the 1st and 3rd PCI-e 2.0 slots with the extra-long SLI connector included in the box.
 
reset, power etc  RAM slots
 
As you can see, there's power and reset switches on the board itself, along with a POST LED readout which is fantastic. This is certainly what enthusiasts want to see on their boards and it's good to see this catered for.
 
caps pic
 
One thing that is a slight let-down is that solid state capacitors aren't used throughout the board, which is a bit of a downer, but as the caps are still high quality Japanese capacitors, I'll let XFX off with that one.
 
Overall the layout and build quality of the board is pretty decent. The layout niggles are just that, niggles and the boards colour scheme is striking and easy to understand.
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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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