Those of you with very good memories remember the day nVidia’s nForce4 SLI board docked on AMD’s shores. It was a glorious day, but nevertheless it was waaaaay back in October. Well, nVidia has decided it wants to be Intel’s friend too now, so it’s finally got around to launching one for the Pentium processor.
Shush! I can hear you AMD owners giggling in the background, but for Intel this is quite a big deal. Besides, AMD had 64bit a long time in advance of Intel as well and a fat lot of good that did it.
So quiet please while I run through the details one more time. The obvious point to make it that the nForce4 chipset now supports all socket 775 Pentiums, that includes the dual core Pentium Extreme Edition which we reviewed on Monday and the new Pentium D processors we previewed from San Fran during our coverage of IDF last month. The other clear differences are the support for an FSB up to 1066MHz and 667MHz DDR2 RAM, both specifications used by Intel’s benchmark processors.
Other than that, as you would expect, the features are pretty much identical. That means gigabit Ethernet, Nvidia’s ActiveArmor hardware firewall, TCP/IP processing, 10 USB2.0 ports, support for up to four SATA/SATA II and four ATA hard drives along with RAID 5. Naturally, PCI Express is also central to the nForce4 with SLI very much the flavour of the month.
It will be no surprise to you if I say mobo manufacturers are snapping nVidia’s hand off to develop their own solutions based around this. Amongst a very long list are Abit, Acer, Alienware, ASUSTeK, Biostar, Chaintech, ECS, Epox, Gigabyte, MPC, MSI, PC Club, Scan, Systemax, Velocity, Vobis and Voodoo.
A veritable downpour of solutions will be splashing shelfwards between the end of April and May. Best bring an umbrella.
In related news, Cosair has been announced as nVidia's memory development partner for the nForce4 Intel edition. Corsair has strong links with Intel, so conspiracy theorists begins your cogitations now...