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
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  • Spajky - Saturday, May 07, 2005 - link

    Some comments:Memory Performance:
    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...

    Here should be included also WinRAR´s built_in benchmark & hardware test" in KB/s,
    since it can be treated as a real life memory subsystem benchmark (& NOT a Data
    Compression Bench! for CPU for example)

    WinRAR´s built_in benchmark & hardware test" :
    some tests/benchmarks & explanation HOW IT WORKS, here:
    http://freeweb.siol.net/jerman55/HP/benchMem.htm
    Reply
  • Pontius - Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - link

    Didn't realize there was no hardware XOR. Thanks for clearing that up elecrzy.

    xsilver, RAID 5 is a big deal and is a long way ahead of RAIDs 0 and 1. Most motherboards offer RAIDs 0 and 1, but only high end expensive ones offer onboard RAID 5. Without it, you need a SCSI or SATA RAID card which will run you a couple hundred bucks. To have that on a desktop board is a major deal. But again, since it's done by the CPU without XOR hardware, it's not that big a deal I guess.
    Reply
  • elecrzy - Monday, April 18, 2005 - link

    sorry i meant #88 Reply
  • elecrzy - Monday, April 18, 2005 - link

    #89: the chipset doesn't offer its own XOR processor for RAID 5 so it has to rely on the cpu to do the calcs. this basically means you lose alot of performance(high cpu usage) when compared to hardware raid cards. Reply
  • mickyb - Monday, April 18, 2005 - link

    RAID 5 and 10 is indeed a big deal for a built in chipset. It is a little outside the scope for a desktop, but cool none the less. I would have to also give a win to nVidia for providing GbE on the chip. I guess Intel would rather people use their GbE separate chip. Reply
  • Zebo - Sunday, April 17, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • Zebo - Sunday, April 17, 2005 - link

    Intel has a nice chipset, as usual. Nvidia, as usual, clueless about audio desires which would add insignifigant price to chipset at great gains to most consumers. I don't really see the Nvidia recomendation at all unless you NEED, Sli. Intel has more feature, way better audio, the NCQ differences are really none and it's cheaper.

    Reply
  • xsilver - Sunday, April 17, 2005 - link

    #88 -- I think it is old news... I think the older 9xx chipsets offered raid 0,1 for free so offering raid 5 on the newer chip may not be so crash hot??

    and questar, talking to you is a bit like talking to a brick wall....
    a lot of us here already explained that we are arguing about performance NOT volume... what you specify as "qualifications" is due to the sheer volume intel ships.... most people are aware that AMD only has 15% of the market.
    If IBM,HP,Dell dont want to "qualify" AMD systems, its their loss, not ours
    but no matter how you argue it, AMD has the performance advantage on everything, high end, middle and low end right now and only the laptop pentium M is the performance advantage for intel right now
    Reply
  • Pontius - Sunday, April 17, 2005 - link

    Am I the only one that noticed that the Intel chipset supports on board RAID 5?!?! That's amazing! No need to buy expensive raid cards anymore. I'm surprised they didn't pay any attention to that in the article. Reply
  • stevty2889 - Saturday, April 16, 2005 - link

    My case meets the standards for running prescotts..my 3.2 ES and my 2.8@3.5ghz ran perfectly fine in the same case, the 3.2ES also on the same motherboard, with all the same components, and neither my 2.8 or 3.2ES had the heat issues of my 3.4ghz chip. Not all of them run too hot, but some seem to do so no matter what cooling you throw at them. The 3.4 is still running warmer with water cooling, than my 3.2 ES(which I got from the chip loaner program) is with air. Reply

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