Polywell Poly i680SLI - Core 2 Extreme QX6700 2.66 GHz review: Polywell Poly i680SLI - Core 2 Extreme QX6700 2.66 GHz

3D gaming performance (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
F.E.A.R. 1,600x1,200  
F.E.A.R. 1,280x1,024  
Quake 4 1,600x1,200  
Quake 4 1,280x1,024  
Dell XPS 710
97 
115.3 
109 
107.9 
Polywell Poly i680SLI (quad-core)
89 
119.3 
123.5 
126 
Gateway FX530XL
72.3 
88.7 
123.2 
132.1 
ABS Ultimate X9 III
67 
82 
139 
150.9 

If you're wondering why we might argue against the Poly i680SLI, you have to look a little deeper. Due to its Nforce i680SLI motherboard, this PC can, in theory, support two GeForce 8800 GTX cards in full, dual-x16-bandwidth SLI mode. That would clearly be overkill for any game available today, but we expect that cranking up a next-gen game, such as Crysis, on a large LCD would probably put that extra horsepower to use. But with the Poly i680SLI's 700-watt power supply, we wouldn't recommend it. Neither would Nvidia. For two GeForce 8800 GTX cards in SLI mode, Nvidia suggests at least a 750-watt power supply. The configuration Polywell sent us is about 50 watts short. Polywell will offer a 1,000-watt power supply, which should do the job, but it will also add to the cost.

That actually leads us to a point that's in the Polywell's favor. Because its 3D performance is so strong with just a single card, you have lots of room for upgrades. The Nforce i680SLI motherboard has two spare PCI slots, as well as another x8 PCI Express slot. That means you can add a sound card, a TV tuner, and a physics card, either after the fact or on Polywell's configurator, if you wanted to make this system as fully loaded as you can. There's also room for two more memory sticks, as well as one more hard drive.

The Poly i680SLI comes with Polywell's standard one year of parts-and-labor coverage, as well as 24/7 phone support. Polywell's Web site remains a jumble of links and poorly organized help documents. You can find some of what you're looking for if you squint hard enough. Polywell maintains a serial number-based tracking system, however, which presumably will help expedite over-the-phone issues.

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System configurations:

ABS Ultimate X9 III
Windows XP Professional SP2; 3.38GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 920MHz; (2) 512MB ATI X1900 CrossFire; (2) 150GB Western Digital 10,000rpm SATA/150; Intel 8201GR/GH SATA RAID controller (RAID 0) Apple Mac Pro
OS X 10.4.8; 2x 3.0GHz Xeon 5160; 1,024MB DDR2 FB-SDRAM 667MHz; 512MB ATI Radeon X1900; 500GB Seagate 7,200rpm SATA/150

Dell XPS 710
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo X6800; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; (2) 512MB Nvidia GeForce 7950 GX2 (Quad SLI); (2) 150GB Western Digital 10,000rpm Serial ATA/150 hard drives (RAID 0); 750GB Seagate 7,200rpm Serial ATA hard drive

Gateway FX530XL
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 overclocked to 3.2GHz; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; (2) 512MB ATI Radeon X1950 XT (CrossFire Mode); (2) 150GB Western Digital 10,000rpm serial ATA/150 hard drives (RAID 0)

Polywell Poly i680SLI (quad-core)
Windows XP Professional SP2; 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 768MB Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX; (2) 150GB Western Digital 10,000rpm Serial ATA/150 hard drives (RAID 0);

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

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    Where to Buy

    Polywell Poly i680SLI - Core 2 Extreme QX6700 2.66 GHz

    Part Number: CNETPolywellPolyi680SLUQuadCore Released: Nov. 14, 2006
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Release date Nov. 14, 2006
    • Video Memory 768 MB GDDR3 SDRAM
    • Graphics Processor NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
    • Capacity 2 x 150 GB
    • Color Bay black
    • OS Provided Microsoft Windows XP Professional