NVIDIA's nForce2 Part II: Diving Deeperby Anand Lal Shimpi on October 21, 2002 4:05 PM EST
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When we first looked at NVIDIA's nForce2 platform it was alongside AMD's Athlon XP 2800+ at the beginning of this month. The only motherboard available was a hand picked ASUS A7N8X using pre-production nForce2 silicon.
We were disappointed in NVIDIA's launch of a product that has only recently begun mass production but we saw a great deal of potential in nForce2 as a platform. One of the biggest drawbacks of the original nForce was that it could not outperform VIA's cheaper KT333, which kept its incredible feature set out of the hands of most enthusiasts.
With the highly anticipated successor to NVIDIA's nForce, there were a number of technologies at work that nullified the performance debate. NVIDIA had finally produced a platform that could not only deliver an outstanding feature set but also perform just as well as its closest competitor from VIA.
In the weeks since our original nForce2 review we've been hard at work on a follow-up to Part I of our coverage. We left a number of loose ends with the first review, including the performance of the integrated graphics and a thorough comparison of 64 and 128-bit memory configurations; with this follow-up we're able to provide those data points as well as answer a number of questions that remained a mystery from the first review.
The timing of Part II couldn't have been better; both the nForce2 IGP and SPP are both in mass production and motherboards are starting to make their way into our West Coast Motherboard Evaluation labs. So before you start seeing reviews of the motherboards you'll be able to purchase soon let's delve deeper into the nForce2 chasm. There's a lot about this chipset that you don't know