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Hardware maker EVGA, formerly known as, is showcasing a number of innovative products at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Apart from other products, the company is demonstrating what it claims to be a mainboard powered by NVIDIA’s upcoming nForce5 core-logic. However, a brief look at the product causes doubts about its core-logic’s origin.

EVGA Shows Off Mysterious Mainboard

The Inquirer and HotHardware web-sites, who have been to EVGA booth at CES, have published pictures of a mainboard with Socket T for Intel’s processors in LGA775 form-factor, 4 slots for DDR2 SDRAM, two PCI Express slots that looked like PEG x16 slots, PCI slots, Serial ATA-150 ports and some additional controllers. While the company does not mark the mainboard and does not allow journalists to have a look at the North Bridge, the main chip on any mainboard that handles processor system bus, graphics bus and operations with memory, the firm’s officials imply the product is powered by an NVIDIA nForce chipset.

“We weren’t able to pull the heatsink off the Northbridge but we are fairly certain (and it was noted to us by rep we met with) that this is an nForce based motherboards in pre-production status,” HotHardware web-site wrote.

But the mainboard could be not what it is claimed to be, e.g., NVIDIA nForce5 platform. The mainboard features ICH6 I/O controller from Intel Corp., by contrast, NVIDIA’s nForce5 includes NVIDIA’s own North Bridge (which may also be referred to as MCH, memory controller hub) as well as I/O controller that are connected to each other using HyperTransport bus, whereas Intel uses a flavour of PCI Express bus to connect MCH to ICH in its latest chipsets. HyperTransport is not drop-in compatible with PCI Express. The EVGA’s platform also has PCI Express x16 and PCI Express x4 slots, whereas NVIDIA’s nForce5 is expected to provide two PCI Express x8 lanes that are compatible with PCI Express slots for graphics on electrical level.

It is unclear which chipsets powers the mainboard.

Too Early to Show nForce5, Says NVIDIA

NVIDIA Corp. told The Inquirer web-site it was too early to demonstrate its NVIDIA nForce5 mainboards at CES.

“We asked NVIDIA about nForce5 and NVIDIA said that it isn’t showing it off here. NVIDIA said that we will see such boards sometimes later this quarter as it’s too early to show them,” The Inquirer web-site, who also published a picture of the mentioned EVGA mainboard, reported.

Crush 19 to Bring SLI Enhancements to Intel Platforms

The Crush 19, which is also called nForce5, chipset from NVIDIA is currently expected to support various Intel processors, including the most powerful and innovative in LGA775 form-factor with 1066MHz processor system bus as well as EM64T, XDB and EIST technologies. Unofficial sources state that the only memory configuration to be supported will be dual-channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz or 667MHz, but no dual-channel DDR memory. NVIDIA is also expected to incorporate special enhancements for Multi-GPU SLI configurations, which will allow installing two PCI Express x16 graphics slots and cards.

Due to external memory controller on Intel-based platforms, NVIDIA is expected to bring dual-chip core-logic for mainboards intended for Intel chips. The MCP04 I/O controller that is proclaimed to be paired with Crush 19 MCH is projected to inherit many features from the nForce4 core-logic, NVIDIA RAID, NVIDIA ActiveArmor firewall, NVIDIA Gigabit Ethernet, Serial ATA-300 and other important technologies, like USB 2.0, FireWire, 8-channel AC’97 audio and so on.

Currently it is unclear, how many versions of the Crush 19 chipset NVIDIA may offer. The Santa Clara, California-based NVIDIA usually preps a number of flavours of its chipsets seeking to target various markets with various demands for functionality and pricing.

NVIDIA said it would formally launch its first core-logic for Intel processors in the first quarter, 2005.


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