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.

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  • Jeff7181 - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    "Gigabyte LAN?" Shouldn't that say "Gigabit LAN?" Or is that their proprietary name for the onboard LAN they use on their boards? Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    #2 and #5 - Pricing has not been announced. My guess based on past Gigabyte positioning would be around $200-$230 for the top model, but that is just a guess. Gigabyte will also likely have lower featured versions of the same board at lower prices

    #6 - Full performance comparisons of nForce3 Ultra and nForce4 were run at nF4 launch at http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?... Performance of nF3 and nF4 is basically the same - the only real difference is PCIe instead of AGP.
    Reply
  • flexy - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    thanks wesley !!

    That 1gig HT works is GREAT news :!
    And my other only question left...any idea how it looks with big HSFs, especially the ThermalRight XP-120 ???

    Reply
  • Aquila76 - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    What about a performance test against the 'Old Guard' s939 nForce3 Ultra? Or will that be in the next s939 MoBo roundup? Reply
  • tart666 - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    pricing? Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    #3 - ALL becnchmarks were run with 5X or 1000HT enabled. Reply
  • flexy - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    whow...whow..whow...

    but you didnt answer the most important question, is the 1gig HT (5x multi) still broken ? What board revision was this ?
    Reply
  • Gnoad - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    Finally a s939 board that makes me pleased. Reply
  • LeadFrog - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    Nice board. What will be the price? Reply

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