Previews of new Intel nForce Chipsets

Both Anandtech and PC Perspective report that NVIDIA has just launched two new nForce4 chipsets for the Intel platform that will allow it to offer chipsets for the entire market segment. Here, the nForce4 SLI XE will address the performance mainstream segment with the nForce4 Ultra handling the mainstream segment. One of the most visible changes with these MCP's is the lack of the somewhat controversial NVIDIA active-armor networking engine and hardware-accelerated firewall. In return for lacking these features, we finally see the welcomed presence of HD Audio support (Azalia). In the end, it looks as though the Intel platform just received a healthy bust of energy and it will be interesting to see what (if any) OEM design wins these new price-oriented chipsets will have for NVIDIA.

This could set up an interesting showdown between Intel/ATI Crossfire and NVIDIA SLI in the Intel market, in addition to the developing ATI Crossfire and NVIDIA SLI war in the AMD market. NVIDIA owns the current AMD chipset market, but the upcoming RD580 chipset and the introduction of the new AM2 socket could change these dynamics quickly.