Features and Layout (cont’d)
Looking at the bottom right corner of the motherboard we see a section that is largely empty from what we are used to seeing. Here is the LED POST display, BIOS battery and reset jumper as well as headers for additional USB ports. Fan headers are not in short supply for the bottom part of your chassis either.
I’ve mentioned this beast of a heatsink several times but here it is in all its glory. The large piece in the center is the main heatpipe cooler with connections to the south bridge and power regulators near the CPU.
Just as with the 680i chipsets, the 780i SLI has an optional fan you can install, though we’d recommend it to everyone but the most anally-retentive noise freaks. The 780i SLI chipsets get hotter than their 680i SLI brethren…
And these are the culprits to that heat. The 780i SLI north bridge (or SPP) and the 780i SLI south bridge (essentially unchanged since the nForce 590 days) are joined by the new comer: nForce 200 chip seen close to the primary GPU slot. The combination of these chips gets very, very hot and during overclocking this is much more obvious. I didn’t have any stability issues and was still able to push the chipset pretty far but cooling will be a concern for most. Use that fan!!
The connections on the rear of the motherboard are pretty standard in today’s motherboard market and include six USB 2.0 connections, analog and optical 8-channel audio output, dual Gigabit network connections, a single Firewire port and dual PS2 connections for legacy keyboards and mice.