NVIDIA Corp. has formally launched its first chipset designed to power platforms featuring processors from Intel Corp. The core-logic products enable platforms running Pentium or Celeron processors with an array of capabilities never before seen on Intel Inside PCs, including NVIDIA' multi-GPU technology, hardware-based firewall security, advanced storage solutions and Gigabit Ethernet networking.
NVIDIA’s nForce4 SLI Intel Edition Launched
The first product in the family of NVIDIA's chipsets, which will eventually include a broad lineup of media and communication processors (MCPs) for desktops, laptops and servers, is NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition that consists of two chips: nForce4 SLI SPP and nForce4 MCP.
NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition SPP supports various Intel Pentium 4, Pentium D, Pentium Extreme Edition and Celeron D processors with up to 1066MHz processor system bus, dual-channel DDR2 SDRAM controller supporting memory at up to 667MHz as well as re-programmable PCI Express x16 lane that can operate in normal – 16x – mode as well as in multi-GPU – dual 8x – mode supporting up to two graphics cards. The nForce4 SLI Intel Edition SPP features some performance enhancements to improve speed of memory controller, such as DASP 3.0. The nForce4 SLI Intel Edition connects to I/O controller using HyperTransport bus.
NVIDIA’s I/O controller, the nForce4 MCP previously code-named the MCP04, that is proclaimed to be paired with the nForce4 SLI Intel Edition MCP, sports many innovative features, such as 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. The chip does not support high definition audio known as Azalia.
Designed for Performance
One of the key selling points for NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition platforms is expected to be performance that leaves Intel’s top current platform solutions – such as 925X and 925XE – behind. NVIDIA’s newly designed memory controller not only allows to run DDR2 at 667MHz, but to operate the memory with low latencies or overclock towards 800MHz.
“NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition MCPs have been designed for performance, and we are thrilled to be bringing out a new line of very high speed, low latency DDR2 memory modules that will help deliver out-of-this- world performance for enthusiasts and gamers,” said John Beekley, Vice President of Application Engineering at Corsair.
NVIDIA also launched a new marketing program that will assist consumers in finding and purchasing the fastest DDR2 memory modules specifically tuned and tested for use with NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition-based PCs or motherboards. As part of this program, memory manufacturers -- including Corsair -- who develop special, high-performance DDR2 memory modules can have them validated and tested on the new NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition media and communications processor (MCP) platform. If certified, vendors can use a special “recommended” badge in their retail packaging, advertisements, and other promotional collateral. Corsair's XMS2 high-performance DDR2 DIMMs are the first to earn this designation and as a result, Corsair will roll out a new marketing campaign along with new product packaging adorned with the special "Recommended for NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition" badge which will be available later this month in the retail channel.
Memory modules submitted for validation and testing must surpass commodity JEDEC memory requirements and comply with minimal targeted performance levels, including 667MHz clock speeds with memory timings of 4-4-4-12-2T. Memory modules with more aggressive timings such as 3-2-2-8-1T are heartily encouraged.
NVIDIA said it had supplied production silicon to the world's leading PC OEMs, system builders and motherboard manufacturers, all of whom are readying products for channel and retail availability, including Abit, ABS, Acer, Alienware, Amax, ASUSTeK, Atelco, Axcelerate Computers, Biostar, Bow.it, Chaintech, Colfax International, CyberPower, DFI, ECS, EID, Epox, Falcon Northwest, Foxconn, Gigabyte, Hypersonic PC, Ibuypower, IHDE, ISM Captain Flint, McKinnon Micro, Microstandard, Milwaukee PC, Monarch Computer, MPC, MSI, Network Technical, Olidata, PC Club, Polywell, Scan, Seanix, Systemax, Topnotch, Tuxon, Velocity Micro, Vicious PC, Vobis, Voodoo PC, and more.
NVIDIA Corp. said mainboards featuring NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition core-logic will be available in April, 2005. Pricing depends on the actual product.