The Nvidia Nforce 680i chipset is well and truly out there now, and that's exactly what this board from Asus sports. Given the 680's legendary overclocking potential, as evidenced by its original outing in the EVGA 680i, we were intrigued to see what Asus' version could manage. We're pleased to report that it doesn't disappoint.
Performance out of the box gives you the best of what your components are designed to do. Using a Core 2 Quad 2.66, 2GB of 1066 memory and an altogether midrange Radeon X1950 Pro, we found Oblivion barrelling along at a very healthy 34FPS (bearing in mind that anything over 30FPS is a bonus with Bethesda's cycle- munching classic).
But then we delved into the BIOS for a brief spot of overclocking and, notching the CPU multiplier up a couple of stops to x12, our Core 2 Quad was suddenly, and very stably, running at 3.2GHz, which bumped the framerate to 39FPS. We haven't tried full memory and 3D card overclocking with the board yet, but you can bet your bottom dollar it'll hike performance well up in the 40s.
And the best thing about this thing? It's a snip at £140. That nets you Core 2 Duo and Quad support, superb overclocking potential, and it even comes with its own PCI-E soundcard. Very hard to resist, I'm sure you'll agree.