NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI
by Marc Prieur
Published on April 8, 2008
While the nForce 780i was disappointing, this isn’t the case for the nForce 790i which has excellent results. The integration of a new SPP with native PCI-Express 2.0 support proves its worth. Moreover, DDR3 memory management is a plus for the future even if we have to admit that it is having some trouble imposing itself on the market. We did find the lack of DDR2 disappointing, contrary to the X38 and P35, which support both generations of memory.
The new SPP enables NVIDIA to catch up and even surpass Intel in terms of performances while at the same time offering SLI support with 2, 3 and 4 GPUs. Overclocking results are also up to par besides the problem with FSB increases with the Q6600. In theory, this is more involves the bios than the chipset given the results obtained with the QX9770. The chipset and bios are new and so we have to wait for them to mature a little in order to take advantage of their full potential.
Note that the ASUSTeK motherboard based on the nForce 790i Ultra SLI is significantly better in overclocking than the reference model based on the nForce 790i SLI ; however, it’s currently difficult to determine the reason. Is this related to the chipset which is announced as being better for overclocking or quite simply the motherboard and/or bios ?
In the end the nForce 790i Ultra/SLI is very likely to be the chipset of choice for those wanting to compose a ultra high end configuration. However, this is a niche in which this product will probably be confined given the price of DDR3 and that of the first nF790i Ultra SLI motherboards at 300 to 350 €. We can only hope that with time and the arrival of nF790i SLI motherboards in April the price drop under the 200 € mark.