Conclusion: More Flexibility For NVIDIA
NVIDIA's modernization of this chipset was a necessary step in keeping up with the changing requirements of motherboard producers and, ultimately, the market.
While a Gigabit Ethernet controller continues to be used by only a small percentage of customers, its integration represents an important investment which should be at the top of users' wish lists.
With Serial ATA controllers, the situation is similar - a Serial ATA hard drive in a low-priced PC system looks good in the advertisements, particularly now that prices for the drives have gradually adjusted themselves, as opposed to UltraATA.
In terms of performance, it is as we expected - the nForce2 Ultra 400 Gb offers nothing new. We wouldn't necessarily consider the Athlon XP architecture to be used to its full potential. However, AMD's contribution to the Athlon 64 and Socket 754, as well as the upcoming Socket 939, make the investment in performance-enhancing features with Socket A seem less sensible.
However, we can clearly conclude that Socket A systems are very attractive in terms of price, and that those who still want to go with the Athlon XP will currently be best served with the nForce 2 Ultra 400 Gb.