JUST LIKE its 680i and 780i predecessors, Nvidia's Nforce 790i Ultra (and non-Ultra, too) had its share of data corruption plagues. The same story of corrupted - or even downright murdered - SATA hard disk drives was heard from both Taiwanese and US OEMs, not to mention quite a few user forum rants.
I was one of the victims as well - one of my old WD 80GB drives, the old trusty test buddy which survived a dozen Windoze, Linux and even Solaris installations, now lies in a coma, unable to be recognised by any OS install. Its last breath of life was spent running Vista 64 on the 790i Ultra - after a crash there running 3Dmark 06, it could never wake up again. Vista CD recovery, XP re-install, Linux - nothing worked.
Most of the current 790i mobo designs - reference or not - just got the new BIOS releases last week. In the case of Asus Striker II Extreme flavour, this was the BIOS version 0704. I haven't yet got home to install it, but those who I spoke to state that the problem hasn't reappeared during these few past days after the new BIOS upgrade.
Now, how do we solve this once for all? Nvidia chipsets generally have high memory and I/O performance - watch their USB performance vs older Intel South Bridges - however there is this really annoying reliability failure "track record".
What is happening - it the BIOS fixed enough? Sources say that Nforce heat dissipation did have problems - not just the chip itself, but also the mainboard PCB under it, were being affected. And that is for both North and South Bridge - the later one having all those SATA ports where the corruption occurred after all. Asus and Foxconn provide liquid cooling options on their 790i Ultra mobos for the North Bridge anyway.
At this moment, it's not clear how much high-end Intel platform focus will be there for Nvidia once Nehalem surfaces later in the year. No more memory controllers on North Bridge means simpler North Bridge but, on the other hand, QPI link is much faster than the FSB - or HyperTransport, for that matter. Still, there should be less heat issues there, I guess?
If Nvidia wants to see continued SLI support on its own terms for the Nehalems, it has to have a chipset to answer to the X58 TylersburgDT - or extend SLI license to the X58. I'd prefer them to do both, actually - a good competitive chipset to keep Intel platform guys on their toes, and extending the SLI across.
It wouldn't look too good for them if the ATI 4870X2 is a kind of launch partner GPU for the Nehalems, I feel. µ
Under pressure, pushing down on me, pushing down on my screen
Keep an eye on that neighbour who's been talking about making a killer drone...
WiFi, why Delilah
We've only been waiting two years