Articles: Mainboards

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I do not consider myself a person who would be very skeptical about everything new out there, although I have often noticed that I am being kind of conservative every now and then. For example, I am quite certain that at this time Nvidia chipsets are the best choice for AMD platform, while Intel chipsets are definitely the best choice for Intel platform. Of course, there are some exceptions to every rule. If, for instance, you have to put together a CrossFire system with two VGA cards and an AMD processor, you will need to go for an ATI/AMD chipset. The same way two graphics cards in SLI mode and Intel processor will require an Nvidia chipset. But these are very specific cases, which we do not have to take into account all the time.

I believe that healthy conservatism implies checking regularly if the assumptions are correct and if they correspond to the given moment of time. I am not used to taking someone else’s opinion for granted, so I do my best to check out things on my own, whenever possible, and my experience suggests that the combination of the AMD processor with an Nvidia chipset works best of all.

As for the mainboards on Nvidia chipsets for Intel platform, I have been pretty skeptical about this combination until recently. Some time ago we tested the whole bunch of mainboards on Nvidia nForce 4 SLI chipset (for details see our article called NVIDIA nForce4 SLI (Intel Edition) Platform Review). The mainboards we tested were pretty interesting solutions, with good accessories bundles, and a number of great engineering and design solutions onboard, however, unfortunately, they couldn’t boast anything remarkable in terms of overclocking-friendly options. It was then that I got pretty convinced that Nvidia chipsets for Intel processors didn’t really offer anything special, and I didn’t even check out nForce 570 SLI and nForce 590 SLI based solutions at that time. It is only now when I was working on this article that I paid due attention to them.

After the launch of nForce 600 chipset family the situation turned completely different. We have already managed to get closely acquainted with the reference mainboard on Nvidia nForce 680i SLI and took a close look at Asus Striker Extreme on the same chipset. Moreover, we have also tested Asus P5N-E SLI and MSI P6N SLI Platinum on Nvidia nForce 650i SLI chipset. These solutions aren’t the killer ones, but they definitely look much more interesting than the mainboards on the previous generation chipsets. At least, the testers as well as users report that they really know to overclock CPUs.

Well, I suggest that we take a closer look at one of those mainboards to check things out on our own. Please meet abit IN9 32X-MAX Wi-Fi mainboard on Nvidia nForce 680i SLI chipset.

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