Gigabyte GA-N680SLI-DQ6 - HotHardware

Gigabyte GA-N680SLI-DQ6

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Gigabyte has almost always been a well respected brand amongst PC enthusiasts, but it seems the company has come on very strong in the last year or so.  Gigabyte has released a number of highly praised motherboards is recent months, like the GA-P35T-DQ6 and GA-965P-DQ6 2.0 that were all lauded for their feature sets, performance, and overclockability.

In this article, we're going to showcase yet another Gigabyte-built mobo - the GA-N680SLI-DQ6 - that seemingly out does every other current desktop motherboard in a number of key areas.  How do four Gigabit LAN controllers, 10 SATA ports, 100% solid capacitors, and a unique wrap-around, passive, cooling apparatus strike you?  And did we mention the board is based on NVIDIA's nForce 680i SLI chipset and has three full length, PCI Express x16 slots for multi-GPU action?

As you'll see on the pages ahead, Gigabyte has gone all out with the GA-N680SLI-DQ6.  If you're a fan of Intel processors and also want to run a pair of GeForce cards in SLI mode, you're going to want to flip through the next few pages to see just what the GA-N680SLI-DQ6 is made of...

    

Gigabyte GA-N680SLI-DQ6
Specifications and Features

BIOS

  • 2 4Mbit flash ROM
  • Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
  • PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.3, ACPI 1.0b

Chipset

  • NVIDIA NFORCE 680i SLI MCP (Northbridge: C55XE, Southbridge: MCP55PXE)
  • Marvell 88E8052/88E8056 chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
  • Marvell 88E1116 phy (10/100/1000 Mbit)
  • Realtek ALC888 DD audio codec
  • T.I. TSB43AB23 1394 chip

Processor

  • LGA775
  • Support Intel Core 2 Quad/Core 2 Duo/Pentium D/Pentium 4 Processor
  • Supports 1333/1066/800/533 MHz FSB

Internal I/O Connectors

  • 1 24-pin ATX power connector
  • 1 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 1 4-pin PCIe 12V power connector
  • 1 floppy connector
  • 1 IDE connector
  • 10 SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  • 1 CPU fan connector
  • 1 system fan connector
  • 1 power fan connector
  • 1 front panel connector
  • 1 front audio connector
  • 1 CD In connector
  • 1 S/PDIF In connector
  • 3 USB 2.0/1.1 connectors for additional 6 ports by cables
  • 2 IEEE 1394a connectors for additional 2 ports by cables
  • 1 TPM connector
  • 1 LPT connector
  • 1 Power LED connector
  • 1 Chassis Intrusion connector

Form Factor

  • ATX
  • 30.5cm x 24.4cm

Rear Panel I/O

  • 1 PS/2 keyboard port
  • 1 PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 serial port
  • 1 IEEE 1394a port
  • 1 S/PDIF out port (optical)
  • 4 RJ-45 port
  • 4 USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 6 audio jacks

Expansion Slots

  • 2 PCI Express x16 slots
  • 1 PCI Express x8 slot
  • 1 PCI Express x1 slot
  • 3 PCI slots

H/W Monitoring

  • System voltage detection
  • CPU / System temperature detection
  • CPU / System / Power fan speed detection
  • CPU warning temperature
  • CPU / System / Power fan failure warning
  • CPU / System smart fan control

Other Features

  • Supports @BIOS
  • Supports Download Center
  • Supports Q-Flash
  • Supports EasyTune (Note 2)
  • Supports Xpress Install
  • Supports Xpress Recovery2
  • Supports Xpress BIOS Rescue

Memory

  • 4 DDR2 DIMM memory slots
  • Supports up to 8 GB memory
  • Support Dual Channel DDR2 800/667/533 unbuffered DIMMs
  • Supports 1.8V DDR2 DIMM
  • Supports DDR2 667/533/400 DIMM
  • Supports ECC type DRAM

    

Gigabyte offers a wide arrary of accessories with the GA-N680SLI-DQ6.  Included in the package, users will fine a detailed user's manual and quick setup guide that explain all of the board's features and clearly illustrated the various steps necessary to install and configure the board.  In addition, a driver / utility CD is included, along with a hard SLI bridge connector and reinforcement bracket, a Gigabyte case badge, and a custom, color coded I/O shield.  There was also a plethora a brightly colored SATA cables included, and 80-wire IDE and floppy cables included too.  Perhaps the best accessories included with the GA-N680SLI-DQ6, however, are a pair of slot-mounted brackets that house eSATA ports.  These brackets bring eSATA and power connectors to any open slot location, and data and power cables are included.  If you're sick of the pokey transfer speeds of your external USB hard drive, you can connect basically any standard hard drive to one of these ports and get the same performance as if it was connected internally to one of the board's SATA connectors.

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