The AMD and Intel Energy Crisis

AMD Platforms

NVIDIA nForce3 250 (AGP)

Without a doubt nForce is the most coveted chipset family for Athlon 64 machines. nForce3 is the AGP version while nForce4 supports PCI Express. Although PCIe offers much higher graphics bandwidth than AGP, there is hardly an application scenario that would make use of it. As a result, AGP can still be considered fast enough. If graphics is less interesting for you, there should be hardly any difference between the nForce3 and nForce4 chipsets although the latter supports faster SATA devices.

However, future graphics cards and neat features such as NVIDIA's SLI or ATI's CrossFire require a dual graphics slot PCI Express machine, causing AGP systems to vanish on the long term. From an energy efficiency point of view (performance per Watt), nForce3 does always better than nForce4. The system did never consume more than 150 W while it required 96 W in idle.

Read New and Improved: NVIDIA nForce3 250 Gb Chipset for more information.