The Motherboards

For this comparison, we used production boards. From Intel, we have the Intel D955XBK and representing NVIDIA, we have the ASUS P5ND2-SLI Deluxe. 

While NVIDIA's nForce4 reference board still doesn't seem to have dual core support, ASUS' board does, so it looks like the chipset will have no problem supporting the Pentium D.  One problem that we have seen, however, is that neither NVIDIA's reference board nor ASUS' board support Intel's Thermal Monitor 2 specification at this time.  While NVIDIA insists that support for TM2 is coming, we are hearing from motherboard manufacturers that support for TM2 will only be there for single core processors.  If that ends up being true, that will be a huge downside for the nForce4 platform - TM2 significantly reduces heat output as well as fan noise on Intel platforms, both features that are much appreciated. 

Despite having numerous problems with their AMD SLI motherboard, the ASUS P5ND2-SLI Deluxe was flawless during our testing.  We had one problem with the system not POSTing, but a later BIOS revision fixed that issue. 

The Test

Note that this is a comparison of Intel platform chipsets. For a comparison of AMD and Intel CPUs, have a look at our latest CPU reviews.

Intel Pentium 4 Configuration
LGA-775 Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840
2 x 512MB Crucial DDR-II 667 Dual Channel DIMMs 4-4-4-15
Intel D955XBK 955X Motherboard
ASUS P5ND2-SLI nForce4 SLI Intel Edition Motherboard
ATI Radeon X800 XL PCI Express
NVIDIA GeForce 6800GT PCI Express
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 Plus (with NCQ)
Maxtor MaXLine III (with NCQ) for NCQ tests

NVIDIA’s nForce4 SLI Intel Edition Chipset Memory Performance


View All Comments

  • stevty2889 - Saturday, April 16, 2005 - link

  • PeteRoy - Saturday, April 16, 2005 - link

    Stevty, if you really work for Intel you would know that Intel has a specification for what case to use with 3ghz/90nm processors.

    Here's a link:
  • stevty2889 - Saturday, April 16, 2005 - link

    I think Questar is cramitpals nemisis..
    Quester I work for Intel, even Intel knows that the prescott has heat issues, and that for most applications right now, AMD is winning in price/performance...having to use water cooling to get a chip to run at stock speed without throttling is a pretty major heat issue if you ask me..even a thermalright XP-120 couldn't keep my 3.4 prescott from throttling at stock speeds, my 3.2 ES, and 2.8 didn't have as much of an issue, but some of the prescotts are running WAY too hot..
  • stephenbrooks - Friday, April 15, 2005 - link

    ^^ I was just searching all the previous 81 comments for the word "Soviet" in disbelief. Guess we've spoiled it now though. Reply
  • Houdani - Friday, April 15, 2005 - link

    Anyone else miss the days of only bickering about:
    "The message is clear..."
    "In Soviet Russia..."
    Ah, memories. Feels like only yesterday.
  • fitten - Friday, April 15, 2005 - link

    Well... it would be pretty stupid of a company to not roll with the punches. I'd rather see them shape their direction as they have that be rigid (which means they wouldn't compete anymore).

    The reason no one jumped at 64bits in x86 land is because the volume of 64bit processors out there wasn't worth the effort. So... 100,000 64bit systems are out there... compare that with over 1000X that number of 32bit only systems. Which would you target if you were developing software? Now that 64bit will be mainstream, the market will move that way.

    In addition, mom/pop won't see any real benefit from 64bit. There will be marginal speed benefits to having more general purpose registers, but that would have been the case in 32bit land. I doubt they are doing things that require more than 4G of memory, either. The only other real speed benefits are when you are manipulating 64bit integers and there just aren't that many apps that mom/pop use that need that kind of range.

    I like AMD as well (all 5 of my personal desktops have them) but I'm not a blind follower. It's nice to be excited about technology but don't let it become a religion. If Intel released a better processor than AMD, I wouldn't hesitate to buy those instead.
  • Questar - Friday, April 15, 2005 - link

    Jeez, how many times do I have to repeat myself?

    We don't qualify processors, we qualify systems!

    Let me provide you with some links:

    Do you see any AMD based business computer lines from these vendors?

    I'll stop you from having to post a link to Gateway, or somebody even smaller. They don't provide the services we contract for when we buy systems. Again, it's about the entire system, and everything that is wrapped around it.
  • mlittl3 - Friday, April 15, 2005 - link


    And I assume that means that in your companies infinite wisdom that AMD processors could never be qualified in such a way and even though AMD has tried to convince your company otherwise, you don't think it is the right time to stop kissing Intel's ass.

    You don't by any chance work for a little company called Dell do you?
  • Questar - Friday, April 15, 2005 - link

    Funny, I never said anything about Intel or AMD product roadmaps.

    I said vendor product roadmaps.

    For example, I know exactly when my current desktop system is going end of life, and I know what product will replace it. We will have POC units in our labs for our desktop engineering people to work with about 90 days before GA. They will buld the OS image for the systems, do extensive application testing, standardize the bios version and config (our PC vendor ships our systems preconfigured to our specifications). Everything that's different about the system from a technician standpoint will be documented. (Such as if you replace a system board, this is how to program the bios with the systems' asset tag). Our management systems will be updated with any changes that are needed to support the new systems.

    In the interim, I'll stock up with about a thousand units of the old system to bridge over the transition (four week supply). This is SOP for any large corporation. Every Fortune 500 that has centralized IT functions do it this way.

    This allows me to plan the resources that are needed to transition to the new system.
  • smn198 - Friday, April 15, 2005 - link

    Questar is a troll. See

    Tries to stir up trouble all the time. Best to just ignore such people.

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