The 680i NVidia motherboard, which was released a little over a year ago, was released as NVidia’s flagship motherboard. With 3 PCIe, PCI, and PCIe x1 slots, and its potential for graphics-based computers, the 680i SLI motherboard was one of the top motherboards indeed. For example, we will take the EVGA 680i SLI motherboard. It was extremely overclockable, same general features as the other 680i motherboards, and with a pretty nice price tag, the EVGA 680i SLI was one of the top motherboards on the list in its time. However, its ultimate downfall came when news was released that it is not compatible with Penryn Quad CPU’s. Ultimately, that ended its age.
After the “death” of the 680i SLI motherboard, NVidia released the new 780i SLI motherboard. This motherboard still utilized the older DDR2 RAM slots rather than the DDR3 RAM slots, and had the basic features of its predecessor, the 680i motherboard. However, the added advantage of the 780i motherboard was that it was more overclockable, and it officially supported all of the Penryn CPU’s, both dual- and quad-core CPU’s. The 780i is also the first NVidia motherboard to officially offer Tri-SLI options. This is the same thing as SLI, except now you can connect 3 GPU’s with a single bridge to maximize performance. However, there were still 2 mistakes that NVidia made: no official support for 1600MHz CPU’s and the fact that it still utilized DDR2 RAM. If NVidia released this motherboard as an enthusiast product, I believe that the 780i should be compatible with more enthusiast components.
Now comes the 790i Ultra motherboard. Released a couple weeks ago by NVidia, this was truly an enthusiast motherboard: basic features of the 780i motherboard, now with even more overclockability, more performance efficiency, added heatsinks around the CPU for the user to push the motherboard to its very edge, official support of DDR3 RAM, and last but not least, official support for 1600MHz FSB CPU’s. This motherboard was also built under NVidia’s ESA standard… put simply, it’s basically saying that all parts of the motherboard are made of the highest-class quality components so that motherboards last longer, and lets the user push the motherboard to its edge. But again, this is an ENTHUSIAST MOTHERBOARD. This is not meant for most mid-budget computer builders. It will not be worth it.