When nVidia launched the nForce3-250Gb chipset last month, we were very impressed with the feature set that nVidia had built into the chipset. The nForce3 basically went from the worst feature set for Athlon 64 (nForce3-150) to a leading edge checklist of unique features like on-chip Gigabit LAN, on-chip Firewall, and "Any-Drive" RAID that could combine SATA and IDE drives. You can see those details in our 2-part article on the nForce3-250:

nForce3-250 - Part 1: Taking Athlon 64 to the Next Level
nForce3-250 - Part 2: Taking Athlon 64 to the Next Level

nVidia told us at the nF3-250 launch that we would also see an update to the nForce2 chipset for the Athlon XP. This sounded good, but we were skeptical whether or not nVidia would really invest in updating the nF2 to the nF3-250 feature-set with all of the future movements aimed at Athlon 64. Perhaps the impetus was VIA's recent launch of their dual-channel KT880 chipset. nVidia has dominated the Athlon XP chipset market since the launch of nForce2, and it is clear that both VIA and nVidia believe that there will still be many sales of Socket A motherboards.

Whatever the push, nVidia has done exactly what they promised. The new nVidia Socket A chipset is called nForce 2 Ultra 400Gb, and it incorporates all of the major features first introduced with the nForce3-250Gb chipset. For Socket A lovers, this is very good news. It means that the very reasonable Socket A Athlons can now find a home in a motherboard that gives up very little to the top Athlon 64 chipsets.

A Closer Look at nForce2 Ultra 400Gb


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  • Myrandex - Thursday, May 13, 2004 - link

    It woudl still be kinda disappointing to go out and purchase a brand new AthlonXP 3200+ system with this nvidia motherboard and later realize that there will be no further upgrades CPU wise. I have been pushing peopel to go to Athlon64 CPUs for that reason really, unless its an extreme budget situation. Reply
  • segagenesis - Thursday, May 13, 2004 - link

    Extra features like SATA + Raid + Gigabit LAN on the chipset are a nice bonus. Kudos to nVidia for continuing to improve on features. Reply
  • psiu - Thursday, May 13, 2004 - link

    Under final words it begins, "The Socket A Athlon 64 has not received the attention that the newer Athlon 64 chips have gotten in recent months, but the motherboards still sell in very large numbers for nVidia."

    That's supposed to be Socket A Athlon * XP *, right?

    Anyway, neato! Happy to see that socket-A won't just up and disappear overnight, and features and performance are still being worked on for it.

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