Nvidia Enthusiast System Architecture

So How Do I Get It?
Of course, to get started you have to use a motherboard with an nForce chipset. To be honest, it is a little unclear just which nForce chipsets support ESA and which don’t. Looking at the nVidia website, the only chipsets shown are the 790i Ultra SLI, and the 780i Ultra SLI. I know that the 780a also fully supports ESA, I downloaded the software and was able to use the very cool ESA 3D dashboard that you may have seen if you were at CES 2008 and stopped by nVidia’s booth Everyone I talked to that was there saw it. The 790i SLI motherboard that I will be using today also fully supports ESA.

Likewise, it is also unclear just which geForce graphics cards support ESA. Since the nVidia Control Panel is a part of ESA, I’m assuming that at least all GTX series, “9” series, and probably “8” series support ESA. The 9800GTX I am using today does.

If you want the full enchilada, you will need other ESA compliant hardware. Today I will be using three ESA-compliant items, a Thermaltake Armor+ ESA full tower, a Thermaltake BigWater 780e Liquid Cooling System, and a Thermaltake ToughPower Cable Management 850 watt PSU.

Finally, you will need to download and install the latest version of nVidia System Tools with ESA Support. I’d probably get the latest motherboard drivers at the same time if you don’t have them.

So let’s get started.

Test Rig:

nVidia Enthusiast System Architecture

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 45nm
Asus Striker II NSE nForce 790i SLI
Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1333 4GB Kit
Asus EN9800GTX Top
Thermaltake ToughPower Cable Management 850 ESA-Compliant power supply
Thermaltake Armor+ ESA Full Tower
Thermaltake BigWater 780e ESA-Compliant Liquid Cooling System
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

I started out making sure I had the latest motherboard and GPU drivers. Then I downloaded the latest version of nVidia System tools with ESA support, and installed that. There are a few applications installed during the installation of system tools.