The Pentium Elite, Part 2: 955X versus nForce4 IE

nForce4 IE Vs. 955X

Even if the synthesized benchmark results for nForce4 IE and Intel 955X diverge from each other, both chipsets offer very similar performance. Still, the more the requirements go in the direction of graphics, especially 3D graphics, the more we lean towards the NVIDIA chipset.

In terms of functional equipment, both products are about the same. Intel permits the use of the firm's Active Management Technology, which enables convenient and efficient maintenance or system management in a business environment, in some cases without turning the computer on. On the other hand, NVIDIA has a more fully-developed networking model, which scores points with an integrated hardware firewall. The packet filtering (stateful packet inspection) takes place without intervention of the CPU, so that in the case of high network traffic, more CPU time is available for important computing tasks. However the ActiveArmor software has made headlines, since the current version seems to mangle part of the data in active FTP transfers. A remedy will be provided soon through a new software version.

In the final analysis, in our opinion, SLI is the principal criterion on which to base your decision. In the future, greatly increased 3D performance through SLI graphics cards will remain something for real gaming fans. However, SLI also enables the use of two GeForce graphics cards when performance is not the sole criterion. Scenarios exist where two graphics cards in SLI mode could offer a better price/performance ratio than using a single graphics card.

In any case, when 3D performance is a major concern for you, then go for the nForce4 Intel Edition chipset. This not only offers the necessary foundation for maximal 3D performance, it offers an upgrade option - even if only theoretically - to add a second graphics card to your existing one.