NVIDIA's nForce2 Performance Reviewby Anand Lal Shimpi on October 1, 2002 8:18 AM EST
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In looking out for their best interests, AMD picked the most stable, complete and highest performing nForce2 board that was ready in time and sent it out to all reviewers as a part of the Athlon XP 2800+ launch kit (see our review here). The board they chose was ASUS' A7N8X; the board that was sent out is still not final production, although it does use the final production stepping of the nForce2 chipset itself.
The A7N8X is based on the nForce2 SPP (meaning it has no integrated graphics) and uses the MCP-T (dual LAN + Firewire support).
We'll have a review of the board itself shortly but we'll highlight a couple of its features here today.
ASUS implemented 6-channel analog and digital outputs without relying on NVIDIA's SoundStorm reference design for an add-in card.
The BIOS was modified by AMD to provide support for the Athlon XP 2800+ but it's still not final; there are a number of options missing as well as a few glitches (e.g. the system will not bypass extended memory tests even if quickboot is enabled).
NVIDIA also provided their reference board, which boasts a combination of the nForce2 IGP (with integrated graphics) and the MCP-T as well.
The most unique feature of this board is NVIDIA's decision to get rid of all serial ports on the board and replace the headers with two VGA connectors to enable on-board multimonitor support through the IGP.