NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI - FAIL

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My home PC has been using an nForce 680i SLI motherboard since I built it in 2007. In fact it has used two due to reliability issues.

The first board, an abit IN9 32X-MAX Wi-Fi (which incidentally was the source of the Airpace wireless card I've had driver trouble with) was rock solid until we went on holiday to Australia last October and on return it simply refused to power up at all. A little light on the motherboard claimed that the power supply for the CPU wasn't connected, but trying two different power supplies didn't bring it back to life. I sent it back to Scan for a warranty replacement (after spending ages trying to persuade them that the board was actually broken and I wasn't just being stupid), who then spent several weeks before sending me a replacement.

The abit board wasn't available so instead I received an EVGA nForce 680i SLI (this board is no longer produced now so I can't provide a direct link on their site).

This board has utterly infuriated me. I'm convinced it wasn't new when they sent it to me as there was dust build up on the chipset heatsink, but mostly what's annoying me is that it has been a fairly unstable board. I've tried two different BIOS updates, all kinds of different settings and drivers for various components and every trick I can find on the internet, but nothing seems to make this board settle down. It's utterly inconsistent too, sometimes it will work fine for hours, other times it will last only a few minutes before a BSOD, random reboot or a lock up. Looking at the minidumps that Windows saves when it endures a BSOD show no recurring pattern, so I can only assume it is a hardware problem.

So, I've decided to dump the nForce for the time being and buy a cheap Intel X48 Express based board which hopefully will be rock steady. I bought it from eBuyer rather than Scan after the way they treated me over the RMA of the first board. I was half tempted to upgrade to a Core i7 processor, but buying a new CPU and DDR 3 memory as well as a top of the line motherboard was going to cost silly money that I can't afford at the moment.

Here's hoping I finally get a stable PC at the end of this - it's 'pooter building time tomorrow evening!

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In my previous post, I explained that I'd decided to dump the NVIDIA nForce 680i chipset due to the frustrating reliability problems I had been experiencing. I purchased a new Intel X48 Express based board instead - a Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by KeefJudge published on May 19, 2009 4:11 PM.

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Motherboard Change != Reinstall Windows? is the next entry in this blog.

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