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

955X Or nForce4 IE?

In the first part of our big socket 775 Premium comparison test, we presented several products based on the nForce4 Intel Edition chipsets. These clearly showed that NVIDIA's Pentium chipset can also compete in practice with the until-now unrivalled market leader, Intel. Which products, however, are best in the final analysis? And is it the chipset or the motherboard manufacturer that is the real winner?

Those interested in a motherboard for a gaming PC would in most cases be content with the NVIDIA. The reason for this is the firm's own Scalable Line Interleave (SLI) technology, which enables the parallel operation of two graphics cards in the GeForce 6 or 7 series. In the ideal case, this almost doubles 3D performance.

It is true that Intel also plans to enable two graphically compatible x16 PCI Express slots rather than just one in the next chipset generation, each running at PCIe x8. Still, the question of compatibility with regard to dual graphics - CrossFire from ATI or SLI from NVIDIA - has not yet been settled.

We'll now take a look at five current 955X motherboards, and finally clear up which manufacturer offers the best product in the Premium class.