Consumer Electronics Show 2004 Day 1: Motherboards at CESby Anand Lal Shimpi, Kris Kubicki and Wesley Fink on January 9, 2004 4:48 AM EST
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- Trade Shows
Since COMDEX the successor to the nForce3 150 has been expected. This year, CES gave the first real look at nForce3 250. Rumors of the delay of the nF3-250 launch until Socket 939 were put to rest by all the major vendors. It appears that samples of nForce3 250 will ship in just a couple weeks - coincidentally around Chinese New Year. The first nForce3 250 boards will be, to our surprise, Socket 754.
ASUS, DFI and Chaintech all had nForce3 250 socket 754 motherboards on display. As mentioned earlier, nForce3 250 will also debut in Socket 939 with AMD's new FX chips in April. Interestingly enough, manufacturer roadmaps did not contain Socket 940 versions of the nForce 250 chipset. Before the launch of the lower priced Athlon 64's, many vendors questioned the importance of Socket 754. However, with the recent introductions of the A64 3000+ retailing just over $200 and the A64 3200+ now under $300, Socket 754 is a hot topic again.
The importance of nForce3 250 will be its introduction of 1GHz HyperTransport. While 1GHz HT may not appear on Socket 754 boards in the near future, it will become important on Socket 939 motherboards. This aspect of the nForce3 250 launch is certainly Déjà vu. With nForce3 250 capable of 1GHz HT, how long will it be before enthusiasts find ways to unlock this capability on Socket 754? Is history repeating itself? (Think nForce2/nForce2 Ultra/400).
Vendors showing nForce3 250 at the show were displaying the A02 chipset revision in the demonstration boards. However, the A03 revision is expected shortly, which most likely be the shipping revision of the chipset.