It has been just a few weeks since nVidia launched their nForce4 chipset - their first chipset with PCI Express for Athlon 64. Rumors have abounded since that launch that the nForce 4 might be delayed due to issues with the 1000 Hyper Transport of the nF4 chipset. We had also been told by several manufacturers that companies like Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte - often called the Tier 1 manufacturers - would be the first to launch both nForce4 and the SLI version of nForce4 for dual nVidia video cards. This would be followed a few weeks later by nForce4 boards from smaller manufacturers.

While we have speculated as to who might be first to market with nForce4, we are pleased that this is no longer a mystery. Gigabyte is the first to get a production nForce4 board in our hands. The board itself arrived as a complete K8NXP-9 package, but the outside packaging was not ready when Gigabyte shipped the board to us from Taiwan. Other than the outside package and a limited early BIOS, the board is a production board.

We couldn't wait to run the production K8NXP-9 through our benchmarks, so we decided to do a "First Look" to bring you the news as fast as possible. We were also very interested in testing the performance and stability of the Gigabyte nForce4 compared to the nF4 Reference board. Our review of the earlier Gigabyte K8NSNXP-939, based on the nForce3 Ultra, did not find it to be one of the top boards in our Socket 939 Roundup: Battle at the Top. Have things improved? There have also been many end users who have reported issues with memory on the earlier Gigabyte nF3 Ultra board, so we wanted to see if that area had also improved in the nForce4 update.

Basic Features
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  • Alphafox78 - Monday, November 15, 2004 - link

    Why isnt there a comparison between this and a similarily configured NF3 board? How can you tell if just swapping the MB and switching to PCIe is going to help if there is no comparison to NF3...? Reply
  • deathwalker - Monday, November 15, 2004 - link

    Lonewolf15...buy counting the pins on the pictures provided..it looks like 24 pins. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, November 15, 2004 - link

    P.S. Wesley, does this board have 20pin ATX +12v P4 power supply connections, or does it use the newer 24pin setup? Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, November 15, 2004 - link

    This is the first Gigabyte board I've ever been interested in, and I have to say, it looks like an awesome board, all features included, with an incredibly clean layout. Can't wait to see what pricing is, and I hope that MSI, ASUS, and Abit rise to the challenge --it looks like the bar has been raised. Reply
  • Electric Mayhem - Monday, November 15, 2004 - link

    I remember reading an Nvidia tech spec on their site that the NF4 does support NCQ. Reply
  • jcromano - Sunday, November 14, 2004 - link

    I'd like to second #31's question: Will the board support NCQ harddrives? Also, from what I've read on page 2 ("Basic Features"), it sounds like this board will be able to use either AGP or PCie 16x for its graphics card. Is that correct? In the pictures of the board, are the 1x slots the white and green ones near the bottom, and is the 16x slot the black slot just below them? (If so, the 16x slot appears shorter than the 1x slots. Does that make sense?) Reply
  • KaRRiLLioN - Sunday, November 14, 2004 - link

    After the fiasco I had with my K8NSNXP NF3 Ultra board, I'm going to pass up Gigabyte on this offering. That issue made that $230 board a piece of junk. My MSI is performing much better. Reply
  • Xspringe2 - Sunday, November 14, 2004 - link

    Are there any dual opteron nforce4 based motherboard reviews in the pipeline?

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • noxipoo - Sunday, November 14, 2004 - link

    does this board support NCQ hardrives? Reply
  • Decoder - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    With nForce 4 AMD has achieved the mobo + cpu superiority over Intel. SLI will be the cream on the top. No wonder Dell has expressed interest in using AMD for workstations , gaming rigs and servers.

    Kudos to AMD and nVidia.
    Reply

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