Market Overview - The Latest nForce2 Boards Put To The Test
These days, AMD is starting what will be perhaps the last renewal of the Athlon XP processor. For the top-of-the-range models, the system clock rate is set to increase from the current rate of 333 MHz to 400 MHz in a bid to offer the same performance as the latest Pentium 4.
Needless to say, for this to be possible, a new chipset is also required, which can handle the increase in speed. In view of NVIDIA's claim to being the technological leader in this field, it was therefore to be expected that this would come in the form of a new version of the nForce2 chipset; and so it was - namely, the nForce2 Ultra 400.
Whereas the new Athlon XP was only launched on May 13, NVIDIA's new chipset was already available much earlier and, consequently, is now being installed and sold by numerous manufacturers. Despite getting off to an early start, thus far it has not been possible to use the image-laden name of nForce2 Ultra 400 prematurely, meaning that many boards have merely included a note regarding suitability for a 400 MHz FSB clock rate.
To date, however, not all the big-name manufacturers have reached this stage, so this time we have tested all the boards with both the "old" and the "new" nForce2, and compared them with each other.