Nula, like the rest of us, likes a bargain!
NVIDIA is set to release a new budget 680i SLI chipset with cut down features branded the 680i LT SLI
. It still offers the majority of the 680i SLI features including dual PCI-Express x16 SLI and links to what seems to be a restricted MCP55 southbridge: only supporting a single Gigabit Ethernet and eight USB 2.0 ports.
The memory support is also restricted to DDR2-800, rather than DDR2-1200, although front side bus (FSB) support for future 1333MHz Intel CPUs remains intact.
Considering the success for many in overclocking of the 650i and with regards to the recent Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus review we published
recently which pairs the ever capable 650i northbridge and connectivity filled MCP55 southbridge for a reasonable price, it brings into question what possible benefit this could bring to the consumer. It will
give more choice from more NVIDIA partners, and the motherboard should still have six SATA ports over that of the 650i/430-southbrige's four.
If the memory bus support has been limited or if NVIDIA is clearing some inventory and these are working but "inferior" chipsets, in that they won't overclock like you expect a normal 680i northbrige to, then this might not be an enthusiast product worth considering.
However, we will have to reserve judgement until we see the final retail boards and their prices. It might become a fantastic bargain for those who don't need oodles of USB and networking, but have predominantly SATA and SLI systems.