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Nvidia Corp., a leading designer of graphics processor and core-logic sets, is about to face criticism from enthusiasts for the problems that occur with the company’s latest premium-class chipset. Apparently, the core-logic’s I/O controller has issues with Serial ATA and RAID (redundant array of independent disks) capabilities.

Users in several forums, particularly, in EVGA and Nvidia tech support forums, report about “lock up” and “disk error” issues with Serial ATA hard disk drives and RAID capabilities of the Nvidia nForce 680i SLI core-logic that sells for $120 per two chips alone. Some end users even cannot install Windows XP operating system, whereas others could not use their systems flawlessly for long and some even report data corruption.

Even though the majority of users have stable mainboards, the number of those, who purchased mainboards based on Nvidia nForce 680i chipset and now report instabilities seems to be significant and the problem – widespread. The issues do not seem to have relation to overclocking or Serial ATA working modes. In fact, users reported problems with RAID in case of previous-generation Nvidia nForce chipsets as well, but, perhaps, earlier the problems were not faced by a significant number of users.

Nvidia Corp.’s specialists confirmed in an interview with [H]ard|OCP web-site that the company was “aware of the nForce 680i SLI issue”, had been able to recreate it in their test labs and was working to fix this. However, the company states that this was “not a hardware issue, but rather a driver issue”, which is strange, as Nvidia's Serial ATA drivers cannot affect installation procedures of Windows XP. Still, the company may resolve the issues by releasing certain firmware.

This is the third time that Nvidia faces scandals with its high-end hardware this year. Back in May it transpired that certain GeForce 7900-series graphics cards may become malfunction and in early November the company had to recall the yet-unreleased GeForce 8800 GTX graphics boards due to manufacturing flaw, nevertheless, some of such boards were then acquired by end-users.

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