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nVidia nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA Chipsets in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Apr 17, 2005 4:00 am

Summary of the Chipset

 

- The Motherboard

 

As you would expect the reference board isn't anything to be excited about and does look quite plain as you can see in the pictures below. Reference motherboards usually means nothing but headaches when it comes to getting your results as quite often there are little bugs that make it difficult to setup. Apart from a few minor hiccups in the beginning, once the board was up and running it ran like an absolute breeze - we were that confident in the reference motherboard that we even decided to overclock, which we will look at later on.

 

 

 

As you can see in the specification page you receive everything we have come to expect from nVidia - 1066 FSB support, Native Gigabit Networking, Active Armor, Media Shield, SATA2 support for upcoming drives, 16x PCI Express configurable for SLI and a brand new memory controller which we are going to examine shortly.

 

- Media Shield

 

Media Shield offers a lot of the same technologies we see on the AMD version of the nForce 4. With it Intel users receive NCQ or Native Command Queuing, SATA2 which offers twice as much bandwidth (300MB/s), RAID 5, 0, 1 and 0+1 and one of my personal favorite technologies Disk Alert System.

 

Disk Alert System is great if you have multiple hard drives running on the nVidia controller and one happens to die, it tells you which SATA port the drive is connected to making this an EXCELLENT feature for servers as this can really help with the time it takes to fault find.

 

- Active Armor

 

Active Armor is also present in the NF4 IE which is a hardware firewall built into the core logic of the chipset. Using less CPU power you are able to get the same advantages that a hardware solution would offer like a router without the extra cost.

 

- New Software for Intel

 

While some manufacturers do make overclocking software for some Intel chipsets, there has never been any decent Windows overclocking software.

 

When nTune hit the streets, nVidia made a big song and dance about it for a very good reason - it was what people wanted and can be ran across the line of nVidia. Intel now has the exact same software thanks to the NF4 IE chipset. You now have the ability to adjust FSB, GPU core and memory speeds as well as monitor system temperatures all at the touch of a button.

 

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