nForce4: PCI Express and SLI for Athlon 64

By Derek Sooman on
Its been the subject of speculation for a while now that Nvidia would release a chipset that supported both PCI Express and Dual Video cards for the Athlon 64. nForce4 offers just that. Features of this new chipset include support for 20-lane PCI Express, native Gigabit Ethernet (on-chip), full nVidia RAID features, 10 USB 2.0 ports, nVidia Firewall 2.0, and the new nTune Performance utility. There will be three members in the new nForce4 family, those being:

nForce4, the basic value chipset for 939 and 754, should be found in Socket 754 and low-end Socket 939 boards. Although this is the budget member of the family, still expect to see the RAID and gigabyte Ethernet features mentioned above, as well as much more.

nForce4 Ultra, will sell in the $100 to $150 price range, and has the additional benefits of an unlocked 1000 Hyper Transport, support for 3Gb/s SATA drives, and nVidia's secure networking engine, which is called ActiveArmor.

Finally, nForce4 SLI, is the high end version, and will sell for $150 or more. This member of the family is the only version to support programmable PCI Express lanes, which makes dual video cards a possibility.

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