They succeeded, too. Nvidia's nForce 680i SLI reference design was rebadged and sold essentially as-is by the likes of Biostar, BFG, ECS, and EVGA. We were impressed by the board, particularly its ability to hit extremely high front-side bus speeds and to fully exploit the features and extras inherent to the nForce 680i SLI chipset.
The nForce 680i SLI's only lingering problem has been the cost of the platform—boards based on Nvidia's reference design typically run about $250, and custom boards from other partners can cost upwards of $300. Today, Nvidia is lowering the cost of entry into the 680i fraternity with the launch of the nForce 680i LT SLI chipset. Like its older brother, the LT arrives on an Nvidia-designed retail motherboard. This time, though, boards are expected to sell for $200 or less.
What has Nvidia cut from the 680i SLI to slide this latest LT design under the $200 mark? How does the board fare as a result? Is this Nvidia's homage to Lawrence Taylor? Read on to find out.