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

  • xsilver - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    oh and before when you were arguing about heat --- if you didnt understand... let me translate the graph segagenesis provided
    amd 64 3500 at load = 114w
    intel 550, 3.4ghz /load = 207w

    that's close to DOUBLE power consumption with similar performance/price characteristics.
  • xsilver - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    I remember reading amd's 3 year roadmap right here on AT.... maybe you missed it

    3 year roadmaps aren't very good anyways, they provide no real hard information.... what are you worried that amd isn't going to exist in 3 years???

    what AT people here are arguing is about performance... now you have jumped from heat output to spelling to performance and now to company profile... please be concise
  • Questar - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    "The only defense I imagine he could possibly conjure up right now is currently in the market there is the "Nobody got fired for buying Intel" mentality where companies and such are wary of trying non-Intel products mainly because... Dell and other major manufacturers wont offer it in any quantity."

    Actually there are two reasons:

    1) Qualification costs. it can be easy to drop $150k to qualify a new platform.

    2) Product longevity. Change is very expensive to large corporations. Anything we make a commitment to buy must have a lifespan of at least 18 months from the date we qualify the product. We also must be comfortable with the companies 3 year product roadmap. So far there are no teir one vendors that have AMD product lines that meet these requirements.

  • Questar - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    NVIDIA changed the spelling of their name from nVidia to NVIDIA a few years ago, have a look at NVIDIA's home page for confirmation -

    Questar: NVIDIA is the correct corporate capitalization of the company. I actually don't think I've ever seen it spelled "nVidia".

    I stand corrected. Thank you.
  • glennpratt - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    I think you mean you disagree with his first statement, since his last statement was about DDR2. Personally, I assume reviews on this site are talking to me (PC enthusiast) and not businesses (except reviews which explicitly state otherwise which are few and far between here). In that context, Anand has a point. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    Questar: NVIDIA is the correct corporate capitalization of the company. I actually don't think I've ever seen it spelled "nVidia".

  • Motley - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    Perhaps it should have been worded differently like... offered performance benefits that have only yet to be realized. But as worded, it is misleading and incorrect. Obviously, I read your site often, and I have come to expect technical correctness in what you write ;-)

    That said, I still would have to disagree with your last statement. Where companies purchase and keep PC's around for 3+ years (OMG, I wish we got rid of PC's in 3 years), the ability to purchase PCI-E when it came out knowing that we could upgrade them to iSCSI, etc in the future *IS* a very tangable benefit. At home, it's a different story, where my motherboard changes with every major change (or every other as money permits).
  • BaronVonAwesome - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    You have to be leery of anyone who resorts to juvenile symantics in an argument. When Questar derided another person for using the word "worthless" to describe Intel, you had to ignore him. Obviously, "worthless" wasn't meant literally. That's one of the wonders of the English language, the way it evolves, with words taking on more subtle meanings through the gradual societal acceptance of colloquialisms and slang. Words like "worthless" also lose their qualitative and quantitative qualities through this evolution...depending on how the word is used of course. Generally, when people resort to literal symantics, they feel like they are losing the argument. Reminds me of when Bill Clinton questioned the definition of the word "is." Questar's back was against the wall, I guess. Reply
  • glennpratt - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    On another note will there be a non-SLI version of the nF4 Intel Ed.? Reply
  • glennpratt - Thursday, April 14, 2005 - link

    Questar - This may have been said before, but I didn't read this whole thread.

    Reviews are generally filled with opinion, it's the nature of the beast. If you wanted an Intel white paper well this isn't the place for it. If you've taken a high school level english class then you should be quite capable of determining opinion from fact in common english.

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