FIRST LOOK - nForce4: Gigabyte K8NXP-9

by Wesley Fink on 11/12/2004 8:00 PM EST
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  • wohlgek - Thursday, February 24, 2005 - link

    Does anyone know when these boards will be available? Also, on Gigabyte's website, they show the board as compatable with only CPU's with the 130 nm process. What about the Winchester core? Is it safe to assume that all you would need is a bios update to use the Winchester core over the Newcastle? (Sorry if it is a newb question). Reply
  • Marcosoft - Thursday, December 23, 2004 - link

    I just bought this card and i'm having troubles to make it work.

    I have a 20-pin plug so i leaved the 4 pins out !
    So far, i shouldn't have any problems ?

    But do i need to plug at least a ATX_12V next to the CPU ?
    Reply
  • Filibuster - Saturday, December 04, 2004 - link

    When are these supposed to be available? Reply
  • TheDevil - Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - link

    God I pray to U to keep this boards pricing under 400$ (18.000 Rs) in the Excise ridden country of India :@ so I can promptly Buy it asap. Reply
  • peegee - Saturday, November 20, 2004 - link

    ONLY 4Gb - why??
    surely it could address 8Gb, as 2Gb chips are becoming more available.

    thats a deal breaker for me - I need 8Gb.
    Reply
  • flexy - Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - link

    >>>
    #37 - It has a 24-pin ATX with a plug for 4-pins so it can be used with standard 20-pin. It is shipped with the plug in place so there is no confusion with where the 20-pin goes. Pop out the plug with a fingernail and it is 24-pin.
    >>>

    Wesley,

    Question 1 : Are there any benefits in using the 24p method over the 20pin method ? The additional 4 pins provide power the for pci-e slot from what i know.

    If i leave the 4 pins out...isn't there any disadvantage - eg. less power provided to the pci-e card etc ?

    Was there a manual with the nforce 4 boards you tested where they mention anything in that matter and recomend 24p over 20p ? Or does it matter at all ?

    Question 2:
    does that board have a pci-lock ??? Eg. i am shooting for pretty high 'FSB' (280, 290) and need a working pci-lock for SATA :)


    thanks !!
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    #42 - Thanks for asking the question. Those values are in fact an error in the pre-release BIOS that have been corrected with a BIOS update. There are not any AGP voltage adjustments on the nF4 board.

    I have corrected the table of Features. I apologize for not catching that in the review.
    Reply
  • jcromano - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    #40 Thank you very much for your answers. I felt at the time that my questions were probably pretty dumb, but I decided to ask anyway. And now, I'm going to risk yet another dumb question: Page 2 of the review ("Basic Features") has a table that says the AGP voltage can be set to normal or to several overvolted values. Why in the world would you need an AGP voltage if there's no AGP slot, and how would that voltage be delivered? (It is, in fact, that table that convinced me the long black slot must be an AGP slot and sent me looking elsewhere for the PCIe slots.) Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    #37 - It has a 24-pin ATX with a plug for 4-pins so it can be used with standard 20-pin. It is shipped with the plug in place so there is no confusion with where the 20-pin goes. Pop out the plug with a fingernail and it is 24-pin.

    #39 - Our launch review of the nForce4 did a complete performance comparison with nF3 Ultra, so we saw no reason to repeat that information. There is basically no performance difference in the 2 chipsets. The review is at http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...

    nF4 is for PCIe and nF3 is for AGP. nF4 also adds a very few features like 3Gb/s SATA. There is also no current difference in performance between AGP and PCIe video cards - the same model yields the same performance - but that will likely change in the future.
    Reply
  • Gioron - Tuesday, November 16, 2004 - link

    #34:
    No, this board only has a PCI-E x16 slot for graphics card, no AGP slot. The long black slot just above the gold-colored chipset is the PCI-E x16 slot. The white slots to its left are the PCI slots, not the PCI-E slots. The PCI-E x1 slots are actually the rather short, black ones on the right side of the long PCI-E x16 slot. Note that all of these slots are positioned on the side of the board with the external motherboard connections, and are in front of slot covers that you can see in the back on both of the pictures. This is important for an expansion slot, so thats always the first place to look.

    The red and green slots you mention are actually the IDE sockets for either hard drives or CD/DVD drives. The black slot below them is for a floppy drive. The yellow sockets in the corner look like USB sockets, and at two ports per socket, that supplies all 6 of its non-paneled USB ports. The red sockets are SATA, although I wish they would've color coded them to indicate which are 3G/s and which are 1.5G/s.
    Reply
  • 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
  • USAF1 - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    Nice job on the review, Wesley! It answered most of my performance-related NF4 questions. One thing it did leave me wondering though is the performance difference (throughput, CPU utilization, etc.) between the NF4 GbE controller and the Marvell controller on the PCIe bus. VIA has recently stated that they won't be offering an onboard GbE controller with the K8T890 because external GbE boards offer better performance. It would seem to me that this board would be an excellent platform to test that theory. Anyway, a fine job on the "first look" review. Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    lol #11 I posted before I wanted to kick that kid on the nuts, Looks like Gigabyte got to him first :) Oh Fatal1ty, I'd recommend an ice pack for that... And your little p4 rig. Reply
  • Superbike - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    How about some Excel and Word benchmarks my money is
    on the P4EE.
    Reply
  • blahpbla - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    What about nTune. Is it suported? Would be nice to see it in action. Reply
  • ImJacksAmygdala - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    I can't wait to see what people can do with this board and a +3200 once the new bios comes out... Reply
  • FinalFantasy - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    Wow...it looks like Intel is getting owned on both fronts. Regular AMD64 chips are killing P4 EE's and now we have ATI's RX480/RS480 and nVidia's NF4 mobo's killing Abit's just released Fatal1ty mobo that's based off of Intel's chipset.......hmm...not too good for Intel at all. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    #22 - As listed on p.2 of the review under "Expansion Slots" the Gigabyte has 1 x16 PCIe, 2 x1 PCIe, and 3 PCI slots. All current PCI Express boards we have seen offer some PCI slots. Reply
  • LX - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    As a person concerned about both backward and forward compatibility, I'd like to know if there are boards that offer both PCI and PCIe slots and how many.
    Reply
  • DrMrLordX - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    arswihart, I second that. I'd like to see s939 nf3-250gb vs s939 nf4 using the FX-55. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    #9 & #10 - Corrected. Reply
  • arswihart - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    quote by Wesley Fink:
    "#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."

    but you are showing here that the production board from Gigabyte is a little different than the reference nf4 boards. I think it would be helpful to at least include one good nf3-250gb board in some future nf4 round-up or review, for comparison's sake, as i think its more practical at this point to compare nf3 to nf4, rather than reference nf4 to production nf4.

    Thanks for the review though, and I'm also interested in the price of these nf4 boards. I've seen somewhere quoting these boards on average at like $180
    Reply
  • Whizzmo - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    Possible Typo:
    Page 2, below the second mobo pic, the following:

    Four ports are 3Gb/s ports provided by the nForce3 chip, and

    should probably be:

    Four ports are 3Gb/s ports provided by the nForce4 chip, and


    Danke :)
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    oh, ok... 1.5Gbps and 3Gbps signalling rates, which translate down to 150MB/s and 300MB/s data rates, respectively. The SATA uses 8b/10b encoding, so 10 bits of signalling are need for each 8 bits of data.

    Anyway, nevermind.
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    ok, it's late, so I may be tired and crazy....

    but what's all this about 1.5Gb SATA and 3Gb SATA? I thought standard SATA is 150MB/s (SATA-150), while the new SATA 2.0 spec runs at 300MB/s. Even converting those speeds to Gigabits per second, you get 1.2Gbs and 2.4Gbps.
    Reply
  • Jalf - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    Would be nice to see it compared to ATI's A64 board. That looked like a pretty good performer as well Reply
  • stelleg151 - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    Any clues as to when we will be able to get our hands on one? Reply
  • RyanVM - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    Too bad the secondary SATA controller isn't on the PCIe bus. Reply
  • xtknight - Saturday, November 13, 2004 - link

    wow, very interesting. looks like the gigabyte mobo is a winner. by the way, doom 3 belongs under OpenGL benchmarks. Reply
  • PorBleemo - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    So much for that "Fatal1ty". :P Reply
  • ProviaFan - Friday, November 12, 2004 - link

    Page 2 "Four ports are 3Gb/s ports provided by the nForce3 chip"

    Oops?
    Reply
  • 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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