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Gigabit Ethernet

New and Improved: NVIDIA nForce3 250 Gb Chipset

The nForce3 250 Gb is the first desktop chipset to have a Gigabit Ethernet controller integrated into the Northbridge component. Data communication flows directly to the main memory while eliminating the extra chipset bus data path. This does away with correspondingly longer wait times that hamper the performances of MuTIOL from SiS and V-Link from VIA.

The connection of a network controller through the PCI bus remains common. That also makes absolute sense with 100 Mbit/s, but the PCI bus with 32 bits and 33 MHz is still far from being enough to meet the bandwidth requirements in full duplex operation with Gigabit Ethernet at a peak speed of 266 Mbit/s.

One possible solution that VIA offers is to create an interface within the Southbridge, so that the PCI bus is not unnecessarily burdened with data traffic.

More elegant still is the CSA (communications streaming architecture) interface used by Intel, because the route between Northbridge and Southbridge is eliminated.

NVIDIA offers a brilliant solution for the signal path issue problem by incorporating all chipset components into a single device. The signal paths are thus shortened and timings see large increases. NVIDIA claims the chipset offers the best network performance on the market because the network controller works isochronously (in real time).

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