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A recent poll at X-bit labs web-site identified NVIDIA’s nForce4-series of core-logic as the most popular among PC enthusiasts among all chipsets for AMD Athlon 64 breed of processors that support PCI Express bus. The poll also indicated that competing VIA’s PCI Express core-logic was to be accepted by a very small margin of enthusiasts.

According to the results of a recent survey, roughly 77% of respondents would choose a mainboard based on NVIDIA’s nForce4 chipsets if they had to pick up a PCI Express-supporting platform for AMD64 processors just now. Approximately 12% of surveyed would choose ATI RADEON XPRESS 200-series mainboard, whereas VIA K8T890-based solution would be chosen by 6% of hobbyists, which is well below the company’s historical share in the AMD market in general and acceptance among enthusiast market in particular. Platform solutions from SiS and ULi are also not popular among X-bit labs readers and only about 3% and 2% of those participated in the survey respectively would buy them or something similar.

The success of NVIDIA’s nForce4 series chipsets is conditioned by multiple factors, among which are high performance, rich feature-set, wide availability, sufficient stability and support for installation of multi-GPU graphics solutions, a capability popular among gamers and enthusiasts and currently available only on the nForce4 SLI chipset. At the same competing products from companies like ATI Technologies, VIA Technologies and others are either not presented on the market widely, or do not match feature-set or performance of comparable NVIDIA nForce4 offerings, especially in the high-end segment.

Sources close to mainboard makers indicated that ATI’s RADEON XPRESS 200-series of chipsets have everything to be popular among OEMs, but at least a number of manufacturers were reluctant to offer such products to end-users and system integrators. Meanwhile NVIDIA’s nForce4 are suitable for channel sales due to high performance and wide recognition. At least one mainboard maker blamed VIA Technologies for insufficient supplies of products and late time-to-market with new chipsets.

Generally, readers of X-bit labs are up-to-date with current technologies and look through many articles and test results before making purchase decisions. The poll in which about 2.5 thousand respondents participated was conducted in mid-March, 2005.

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