Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: NVIDIA's nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition performed very well throughout our battery of benchmarks. Whether our nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition's system memory was clocked at DDR2-667 or DDR2-533 speeds, it performed on-par with, or slightly better than, a similarly equipped system that was outfitted with an enthusiast-class motherboard based on Intel's i925XE chipset.
Although Intel would obviously love to sell as many of their own chipsets as possible, we're sure there are many folks in Santa Clara that are pleased to see the release of NVIDIA's nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition. With this chipset, NVIDIA has made the Intel platform far more attractive to hardcore gamers and enthusiasts who were contemplating a purchase of an SLI setup. Of course, our gaming scores have shown that AMD's processors are superior in most gaming scenarios, but there are many situations where an Intel powered system would be a better fit. If you're the type of user who splits their computing workload equally between gaming, video / audio encoding, and general use (browsing, word processing, etc.), an Intel powered system makes sense, even more-so if you dabble in 3D modeling as well. And users who constantly have multiple applications open, and perform a few CPU intensive tasks simultaneously, like burning a DVD, while running Photoshop, and checking e-mail and chatting, for example, will appreciate the "smoothness" that comes with a HyperThreading enabled rig.
The bottom line is that the NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition, is a feature rich, high-performance chipset that further ads to the appeal of an Intel based system. In this initial look at the features and performance of the nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition, we were thoroughly impressed, especially considering all of our testing was done with a pre-production reference motherboard. Top-tier motherboard manufacturers are generally able to tweak performance even further with "retail-ready" products. With that in mind, we're looking forward to see what companies like Asus, Abit, MSI, and DFI, among others, have in store for this chipset.