Nvidia unleashes nForce 4 SLI for Intel platform

Santa Clara (CA) - Nvidia today announced availability of the SLI capable nForce 4 chipset for Intel's current Pentium 4 and upcoming dual-core Smithfield processors. The new chipset also adds new features - such as support for DualDDR2 and RAID5.

Intel PCs just got more attractive for gamers with the introduction of the nForce4 chipset for Intel processors. For the first time, users have the opportunity to take advantage of a standard technology integration that allows the use of dual-graphics cards within one PC that is based on Socket 775 Intel processors.

Officially called the "nForce4 SLI Intel Edition media and communications processors," the chipset represents the equivalent of a chipset that has been offered so far exclusively for AMD's Athlon 64, FX and Sempron processors.

However, besides the features available for the AMD versions (nForce 4, nForce 4 SLI, nForce 4 Ultra) - such as SATA drive support, the manufacturer's storage tech, hardware-based firewall and native Gbit networking support, the new chipset introduces features unique to the Intel version: New are support for DualDDR2-667 memory (and higher) as well as RAID5, which can accelerate smaller write processes in multiprocessing systems as a result of parity distribution between multiple drives. The nForce4 SLI Intel Edition also includes support for a 1066 MHz FSB and will work together with current Pentium 4 as well as the upcoming dual-cores Pentium D and Pentium Extreme Edition.

The nForce 4 SLI is will not remain the only chipset that supports dual-graphics cards for Intel systems as Intel announced at its most recent developer forum to integrate such technology also in the upcoming 955X chipset for the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 840 processor. However, the chipset will require a bridge chip in order to enable dual-graphics chip capability, which we expect to come from Nvidia as a result of a cross-licensing agreement between the two firms.

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