Nvidia expands nForce chipset lineup for Intel systems

Santa Clara (CA) - Nvidia continues its strategy to drive its products into the high-volume mainstream and entry-level segment. The company today announced two new nForce4 variants that compete with Intel's 945P and 975X chipsets and aim at motherboards that are priced below $100.

It is the AMD core logic business Nvidia is dominating today, but it is the Intel space where the volume is. While competitor ATI recently convinced Intel into a partnership and use its Radeon Xpress200 chipsets in Intel-branded entry level motherboards - at least as long as Intel is not ramping its 90 nm chipset lines - Nvidia goes head to head with Intel.

The company has been offering its nForec4 SLI X16 and SLI versions for Intel, which aim at enthusiast motherboards in price ranges of around and more than $200 and around $150, respectively. The new SLI XE variant offers one x16 or two x8 ports and, according to Nvidia, will appear on motherboards priced slightly below $100. Additionally, Nvidia now also offers an nForce4 Ultra in the entry level, single GPU motherboard segment, with prices expected to be coming in at less than $90.

Both new nForce4 chipsets support all currently available Intel dual-core CPU's of the 800 and 900 series, the manufacturer said. Compared to its rivals - mainly the i945P - Nvidia said that it does not only want to compete on a performance level, but also offer more features at a comparable price. On the high-end, Nvidia also claims that the performance of the SLI X16 will outpace Intel's 975X chipset.

Within the nForce SLI family, the new SLI XE is similar to the regular SLI version; however, lacks hardware accelerated firewall support of its more expensive sibling. Nvidia said that motherboards with the new chipsets are available in Asia at this time and will hit the North American market within two weeks.