The next move of NVidia? Who knows...
NVIDIA Corp. has announced its new breed of platform processors that feature more PCI Express lanes, which may theoretically boost performance of gaming computers that feature two graphics cards. The new chipsets are to be available for both AMD64 and Intel Pentium microprocessors later this year, but Dell’s XPS 600 gaming PC already feature NVIDIA’s nForce4 SLI x16 Intel Edition.
“The introduction of the new Dell XPS 600 with our new NVIDIA SLI X16 MCP validates SLI technology as a new gaming standard for enthusiasts,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO at NVIDIA.
NVIDIA nForce4 SLI 16x platforms utilize the company’s new system platform processors (the company refers its memory controller hubs as SPPs) and media and communication processors (MCPs), each of which sports 16 or more PCI Express lanes and connects to each other using high-speed “dedicated proprietary connection”. The new nForce4 SLI 16x inherited I/O capabilities of the first-generation nForce4 chipsets, which are among the world’s most feature-rich platform logic.
NVIDIA nForce4 SLI x16 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 PCI Express x16 lane in addition to 4 PCI Express x1 lanes.
NVIDIA nForce4 SLI x16 SPP for AMD processors supports various AMD Athlon 64 chips with 1000MHz hyper-transport bus, including dual-core microprocessors; a PCI Express x16 lane as well as two PCI Express x1 lanes.
The new nForce4 MCP sports typical capabilities for modern NVIDIA platform logic, including RAID, NVIDIA ActiveArmor firewall, NVIDIA Gigabit Ethernet, Serial ATA-300 and other important technologies, like USB 2.0, FireWire, 8-channel AC’97 audio, PCI bus and so on. The chip does not support high definition audio known as Azalia.
The NVIDIA nForce4 SLI x16 MCP supports all current and future PCI Express graphics cards. The dual 16-lane PCI Express slots provides a gaming platform that will be primed to handle the next-generation games that will saturate the PCI Express bus with increased textures and high-resolution images, NVIDIA said. Alternatively, the second x16 PCI Express slot can also be used with other PCI Express-based products, such as dual tuner cards and networking communication devices that can take advantage of the additional bandwidth provided by the dedicated PCI Express x16 bus.
It is yet unclear when the new nForce4 SLI x16 platform hit the mass market, but currently Intel Pentium-based machine featuring the technology may be bought only from Dell.