NVIDIA nForce2: new era of Athlon XP chipsets
As I´ve already reported today, NVIDIA has officially announced the next-generation integrated chipset for Athlon XP/ Duron nForce2 (former Crush17/18).
Let me describe some of its features.
Of course, the new nForce2 is interesting with DDR SDRAM support, including still non-standardized DDR400. Another pleasant component is the MCP (Media Communication Processor) featuring IEEE 1394, USB 2.0, Ultra ATA/133 support, and unusual dual Ethernet controllers.
Currently nForce2 family features two Northbridges: discrete nForce2-ST or nForce2-GT with integrated GeForce4 MX GPU. I must admit that IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) of new nForce-GT has been considerably improved to provide better perofrmance than GeForce2 of the previous nForce. The new built-in GeForce4 MX GPU operates at 250 MHz and supports DirectX 8. During the presentation NVIDIA announced some impressive test results of new nForce2 boards. Here´s a couple of them, and more detailed performance results is to be available from our test lab.
The motherboards based on this chipset also feature AGP 8È slot that can be used not only for an add-in card, but also for DVI/TV Riser Card promoted by NVIDIA, that enables DVI and TV jacks, respectively.
Besides, the Southbridge or MCP (Media Communication Processor) will also have two modifications:
|IEEE 1394|| + ||
|USB 2.0|| + || +
|MAC||NVIDIA + 3Com||NVIDIA
|APU|| + ||
|IDE||Ultra ATA/133||Ultra ATA/133
|AC´97|| + || +
So, there are four variants of nForce 2 South/Northbridge configurations.
The following nForce2 motherboards were presented at the press conference:
- A7N8X from ASUSTeK nForce2-ST solution
- NV7II-8x from ABIT nForce2-ST solution, RAID controller,
- EP-8RDA+ from EPoX nForce2-ST solution
- EP-8RGA+ from EPoX nForce2-GT solution
- Apogee 7NJS from Chaintech nForce-GT solution
- 7NIF1 from Chaintech Micro ATX, nForce2-GT solution
- K7N2 from MSI nForce2-GT solution
Shuttle Computer has not only shown its nForce2 board, but also presented a complete barebone solution.
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