Unfortunately, there isn’t much to say here.  The deck is stacked against NVIDIA, on more than one front.  The fact that some NVIDIA hardware is down 20% from last week is also foreboding.  For example, MSI GeForceFX 5900’s were priced $50 more last week, around $400.  Our engine currently lists the card around $350.  eVGA’s GeForceFX 5900; $250.  Valve’s Half Life 2 is making NVIDIA cards look bad.  Although Aquamark and HL2 are not the final word on how the GeForceFX line will perform in DX9 territory, they do represent an enormous error on NVIDIA’s behalf. 

Even though ATI fans enjoy the good news (for now), is this really better for the consumer?  If ATI can write its own check in the video market, pricing will eventually fall victim to markets of scale.  If 9600/9800 Pro cards have no direct competitor, there is no justification to lower prices. 

While we are on the topic of competitors, who is XGI?  A somewhat unexpected announcement in May declared the merger of SiS’s Xabre division and Trident’s design team.  Thus, XGI was born.  This week, XGI held their first press conference to announce the release of half a dozen video cards including a dual core 16-pipeline behemoth. Although the specs are impressive, so were the specs of the Trident XP4 of last year (which was an unfortunate flop).  As far as we can tell, XGI seems fairly confident they will produce some exciting results.   Time will tell as the AnandTech team will surely get up close and personal at Computex next week!

AMD Motherboards, VIA ATI Video Cards
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  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    Kristopher, #16 again. These quotes were taken from the original AnandTech reviews of nForce2 technology.

    "Remember the 12% boost in bandwidth we saw on the nForce2 by going to DDR400? That 12% increase in bandwidth comes at the cost of a 22% increase in latency! The increase in latency is not only due to the slower memory timings DDR400 modules run at but also because the memory bus is no longer synchronous with the FSB when running in DDR400 mode whereas DDR333 matches up perfectly with the new 333MHz Athlon XP FSB."

    "There's no increase in latency when going from a single channel DDR333 to a dual channel DDR333 setup on the nForce2 platform. There is a slight increase when making the same transition with DDR400 because we had to increase some of the timing delays in order to run two channels of DDR400 with the nForce2 while maintaining stability."

    "As we proved in our original review of the nForce chipset, the bandwidth gained from going to dual channel DDR doesn't help unless you're sharing main memory bandwidth with an integrated GPU. In this case we're not and we'll be focusing on IGP performance in a later article, so we can disregard the two 128-bit nForce2 solutions for the rest of this comparison. We also have a balanced FSB/memory bus setup, meaning we have as much bandwidth going to our CPU as we do to main memory, so increasing memory bandwidth without similarly increasing FSB bandwidth would inherently yield poor returns as we're FSB limited at that point."

    Thus, unless the board is capable of running dual-channel in full synchronous mode at 400MHz+ at tight timings, there does not seem to be any advantage. And then again, how many boards that can do this fall into the "half dozen $80 nForce2 motherboards" category?
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    Kristopher, in answer to your question in #12, how about "official" support of 400MHz front side bus.
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, September 21, 2003 - link

    yeah nforce 400 (single chanel) are good performers.
    I also have a soltek sl-nv400-64 and by some benchmarks they performe better than a dual channel bord.
    So please dont advise not to buy them...
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 20, 2003 - link

    Where's those 9800np's? Can't find them, can you? (Are you gonna link to Best Buy?)
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, September 20, 2003 - link

    Don't dance around the subject if you yourself want to come out as substantiated.
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, September 19, 2003 - link

    #10 (and #3): That is a ridiculous and totally unsubstantiated comment. What (in your opinion) does the NV400 bring to the table that the other half dozen $80 nForce2 motherboards dont?

  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 19, 2003 - link

    Don't buy a single-channel NForce 2 400 board after Anandtech themselves reviewed the Soltek NV-400 as one of the fastest Athlon solutions?!?!
  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 19, 2003 - link

    Perhaps a reason for all this dual-channel advocacy is that quite a few reviewers are actually Intel oriented and fail to see the picture clearly about current AMD system boards.
  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 19, 2003 - link

    #5 I want to know that myself. I'm holding off strickly to buy the 9800XT as soon as it's released, but it's getting tough to hold off. I'm dying for information about this card and scour the net daily now looking for new info.
  • TheSnowman - Thursday, September 18, 2003 - link

    i saw plenty of 9800nps at best buy the other day.

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