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

Summary: There Is No Perfect Premium Board

This bottom line may seem too sober, but taking into consideration the levels of performance and functionality reached by these boards, it is the only reasonable conclusion.

Abit and Asus have equipped their 955X motherboards with a multitude of additional functions, which a few years ago could only have been obtained by adding three to four additional plug-in cards. For genuine enthusiasts, Abit, with the AW8-MAX 3rd Eye II, genuinely offers the most functionality today; the µGuru clock is a nice piece of supplementary hardware that can now be considered fully mature and useful. Asus, on the other hand, has connectivity as its priority, and has equipped the P5WD2 Premium with an antenna-equipped WLAN system, a second x16 PCIe slot via ICH7-Southbridge, as well as a DVB-T TV card. The verdict for both is thumbs up.

Still, the three other competitors should not go unmentioned. For genuine tech fans, the motherboards from Intel and Foxconn are perhaps "only" a second choice compared to the quite attractive competition, but are by no means technically inferior to the better-equipped products from Abit, Asus and Gigabyte.

Again, we should emphasize that for a high-end gaming PC, the 955X motherboards should be bypassed in favor of the nForce4 IE SLI chipset, even if it means losing a bit of equipment as a result.