Nvidia nForce 650i Ultra Chipset Launch
Manufacturer's Pitch and Specifications
"For everyday users, EVGA nForce 650i Ultra offers built-in RAID to store and backup priceless images and data. For budget-minded gamers, nForce 650i Ultra delivers best-in-class overclocking ability supporting 1333MHz FSB and a solid, all-around gaming experience when pairing with EVGA’s excellent graphic solutions. The cost-effective design provides asynchronous memory capability allowing users to push the FSB using the existing cost-effective DDR2."
The nForce 650i Ultra chipset is nearly identical to that of the 650i SLI we've come to know over the past several months. The 650i SLI and 650i Ultra are, more or less, the same product. The core differentiator is a board level implementation, in that the 650i SLI has 16 of chipset's 18 PCI Express lanes cut up into two PCI Express slots for 8 x 8 SLI, whereas the 650i Ultra has the majority of its PCI Express lanes dedicated to a single, non-SLI graphics card slot.
For a budget level chipset, the 650i Ultra and eVGA's implementation of it seem to have all of its bases covered. The board supports today's 1066 and tomorrow's future 1333 MHz FSB dual/quad-core Intel Core 2 processors, up to 8 GB of memory, quad-port SATA-II w/ RAID-5, HD audio and Gigabit Ethernet.
In comparison to a higher-end 680i SLI board, the 650i Ultra is a decidedly different approach, so we'll cover some of the core features that were removed. The board features no SLI connectivity, so you can only use one PCI Express x16 graphics card at any given time. The board also has no Firewire ports, and no Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. This effectively removes Nvidia's DualNet feature from the mix as well. Nvidia's higher-end boards also support six Serial ATA-II/300 ports, as opposed to four for the 650i Ultra and also typically support ten USB 2.0 ports, as opposed to eight with this new chipset. We feel Nvidia has made the cuts in more or less the right areas, in order to get costs down and the feature set of this board is right in line with Intel 965-based boards with similar price tags.