Nvidia's nForce chipset for AMD Athlon and Duron processors is about to take its first steps in motherboards and desktop PC's this coming week.
Many believe the nForce chipset will give AMD the much needed boost in order to overcome issues raised by AMD'S ailing homegrown 760 chipset for desktop PC's. The graphics and audio improvements offered by nForce have been measured by various benchmark tests to be up to 20%. "The graphics performance on nForce is quite strong," said Dean McCarron, principal at Mercury Research. "It's basically on par with the GeForce2 MX product," he concluded.
The nForce graphics chipset with integrated media communications processor and embedded memory is said to deliver 4.2Gbyte/s throughput and what Nvidia claimed is the fastest I/O south bridge in the industry.
The expected price of PC's using the chipset will be $900 and above and motherboards will cost anything from $100 to $200. The nForce will be available in two versions, the high end he 420, and the more accessible 220. The 420 differs from the 220 primarily with its groundbreaking dual channel (128-bit) DDR SDRAM interface.
It is obvious, from the use of the chipset on the X-Box, that it has been manipulated in order to work with Intel Pentium 3 procesors but it is widely believed that nVidia has further developed nForce to work with Pentium 4's as well. For the time being however, nVidia claims that there is no liscence agreement with Intel.
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