nVidia is certainly the hottest name in computer technologies today. Rated as the under dog of the 3D kingdom when 3DFX ruled the roost, nVidia has not only silenced the 3DFX fans by buying out the company, is has moved beyond 3D graphics cards into the motherboard integration segment, with chipsets for motherboards.
Beginning with the original nForce chipset for the AMD Athlon chipsets, nVidia had a very rocky start with extremely poor chipset and memory controller performance as well as a poor MCP - it simply was avoided like the plague.
Rather than bow out nVidia took its nForce chipset and made some serious changes to the memory controller, upgraded MCP with Firewire support, Dolby Digital decoding and a GeForce 4 MX graphics core integrated into the original IGP series of Northbridge. This chipset brought nVidia into the high point of chipset production, with greater support and performance than anything that SiS or VIA was able to produce.
nForce 3 was the first chipset that nVidia introduced into the AMD K8 architecture. The nForce 3 150 and the nForce 3 Pro came out supporting the Socket 754 and 940 pin packages respectively. The nForce 3 150 series was not as popular as nVidia had hoped simply due to a lack of working APG/PCI ratio locks as well as a unstable 4x LDT link speed, the nForce 3 150 was not a big a hit as expected. The nForce 3 250 series came out just after the introduction of the Socket 939 Athlon 64 came to market. The nForce 3 250 series added support for four Serial ATA ports, Gigabit Ethernet as well as a working AGP/PCI divider.
Now with the introduction of the PCI-Express standards, nVidia has updated the nForce 3 250 series to add in SATA-II support, PCI Express support as well as a newer and more refined unit. This new chipset has been dubbed the nForce 4 series and currently there are three versions - nForce 4, nForce 4 Ultra and nForce 4 SLI.
Each of the chipsets in the nForce 4 series share a similar set of features - common to all is support for PCI Express x16 graphics card as well as support for PCI Express x1 peripherals, four Serial ATA ports, Gigabit Ethernet integrated and AC\97 8 Channel audio. The main differences between the three are as follows, the nForce 4 is the only chipset that officially supports the Socket 754 AMD CPU's and only has Serial ATA 1 standard. The nForce 4 Ultra supports the Socket 939 CPU's and adds Serial ATA-II standards. The nForce 4 SLI adds in nVidia's Scalable Link Interface for Dual Graphics cards by allowing the PCI-E x16 slot to be split into two PCI-E x8 slots.
Today we are taking a look at EPoX's nForce 4 Ultra based 9NPA+ Ultra motherboard and seeing it compared up against the SLI series to find out if you really need an SLI capable motherboard.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
Recommended for You
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- Ion Maiden delayed to 2019
- Hello Games on No Man's Sky launch: we shared too much info
- Shazam's first trailer injects fun, and color into the DCEU
- DC unleashes first Aquaman trailer during SDCC 2018
- GeForce GTX 1170 benchmark surfaces, faster than GTX 1080 Ti
- HELP With a Sniper.2 Z68 bios U1C, won't boot with discrete VGA
- Z97X-SLI doesn't recognize NVME-SSD
- Design a Colorful SSD contest
- NZXT Kraken M22 CPU Cooler Review
- Question about ASROCK 970 Extreme3 1.0
- Micron Launches Industry's First Enterprise SATA Solid State Drives Built on Leading 64-layer 3D NAND Technology
- Micron, Rambus, Northwest Logic and Avery Design to Deliver a Comprehensive GDDR6 Solution for Next-Generation Applications
- Toshiba Memory America Unveils UFS Devices Utilizing 64-Layer, 3D Flash Memory
- ASUS Announces GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Series Gaming Graphics Cards
- ASUS Announces ASUS Hangouts Meet Hardware Kit