SATA, USB and FireWire Speeds
Using HDTach 22.214.171.124 and a few handy peripherals, we were able to get some benchmark numbers off of both the SATA controllers on the boards as well as the USB and FireWire connections.
SATA Performance — South Bridge
Here we tested the two south bridge based SATA controllers. We used a new Raptor 150 GB 10k RPM hard drive for the test drive.
Taking a 7200 RPM IDE external hard drive from Western Digital we use HDTach to find the top transfer speeds on both motherboards.
This external drive has both USB 2.0 and FireWire support so these results are from the same drive with the FireWire connection.
The NVIDIA nForce 680i chipset does very well compared to the 975X chipset in terms of USB and Firewire performance, though the SATA performance is just about the same across the two chipsets.