The world is not enough? Guess nVidia seems to think so, as besides basically controlling the graphics chipset market they’re now also planning on taking a large chunk of the chipset market. It looks like nVidia is getting ready for an all out marketing campaign to win the hearts of the customers, but more importantly those of the large OEMs with their nForce chipset. They’re planning on aggressively pushing their nForce as an all-in-one solution for AMD’s Athlon throughout 2002, quickly followed by the release of the nForce2, and thus they’ll be going head-to-head with Via, SiS, Ali and even AMD themselves.
Prospective benchmarks results released by their PR department some weeks ago show performance figures for the nForce chipset that will give the upcoming Intel i845, AMD's 760 or Via’s chipsets a run for their money, and provide many enthusiasts with a compelling reason to upgrade, or even buy a whole new system. Well, quite frankly we’re not that easily convinced because, as I mentioned before, for a company that has never before designed a chipset or any core-logic other than graphics accelerators, I think that that is a rather bold claim to make, especially since Intel, AMD and Via seem to be having troubles making a decent chipset that is really significantly faster and more feature-rich than those of their competitors.
So guess what we have in store for next week, more Tyan Thunder K7 guesswork? No, if all works out as planned, and with the help of a contact at one of the largest motherboard manufacturers in the world, we’ll be getting our hands on a engineering sample of a nForce motherboard. Naturally this is not the final product just yet, but it should give a good impression about its performance, features and above all, whether the claims made by nVidia’s PR are based on facts or fiction. I for one am looking forward to getting an nForce motherboard in our labs as we have a whole bunch of other boards just in waiting to go head-to-head with nVidia’s latest.
Just a few household notes though, before I get to answer 100s of emails with similar questions, we’re not disclosing who made the engineering sample, we’re not allowed to take pictures that show the make of the motherboard, and I’m guessing that once they see what I have in mind with taking pictures they won’t let us take any pictures at all, not even really blurry ones. Also I cannot comment about anything through email, just use the forums instead. These are just a few terms we had to agree to in order to get our hands on a sample, as I’ve asked nVidia already, but they didn’t even bother replying to our request. But that’s all in the past now, we’ll be sure to give their nForce a good tour-de-force to see how it stacks up and if it is able to life up to the prospective performance numbers nVidia’s PR department has been boasting.