Conclusion: nForce4 Intel Edition Takes The Crown
We did not spend much time running comprehensive SLI benchmarks on the nForce4 Intel Edition system, since the 3D performance benefit due to SLI was already evaluated on Athlon64-based nForce4 systems. In other words: software that benefits from SLI will run faster on both AMD and Intel SLI systems.
It is difficult to recall just how many times chipset manufacturers have launched new core logic products to try to raise the bar a notch over Intel's standard. VIA once beat the 440BX with the Apollo Pro 133A , but it required faster memory to do so. 845, 865/875 or 915/925 were sometimes matched, but never beat.
Today, NVIDIA is in the lucky position of being able to offer a product with both more appealing features and greater performance than any Intel chipset available today. We compared the nForce4 Intel Edition with a large set of benchmark results acquired on a 925XE test system, and the results were amazing. When using DDR2-667 memory, the nForce4 Intel Edition system is clearly faster than the 925XE. However, even when running only DDR2-533, nForce4 Intel Edition is still ahead of 925XE in all benchmarks.
From a feature point of view, NVIDIA's chipset is ahead of Intel as well. It offers native command queuing, 3 Gbit/s operation, RAID 5 support and a very comfortable storage management software package called NVRAID. In addition, there is the GbE controller with integrated hardware firewall. Finally, nForce4 Intel Edition is the first chipset to officially support dual core processors.
Oh, and of course, there is SLI support. Well, whether you are interested in the benefits of SLI dual graphics or not, this chipset currently is the best Pentium core logic product out there. And it is sure to be one of the more expensive solutions, too.