NVIDIA chats about nForce4 SLI for Intel Pentium 4I had a chat with NVIDIA yesterday in a meeting where they admitted slight frustration at certain pockets of press claiming that nForce4 SLI Edition for Intel Pentium 4 is a paper launch product, while also expressing bewilderment at being asked by the same hacks why it's not called nForce5.
While there's no reviews right now, that's not to say they aren't coming very soon (Ryszu's Hot Hardware H'Emporium has its samples organised and arriving shortly), that board partners don't have working hardware (look everywhere in Halle 23) and that the platform isn't running fine. As for the folks that say it should be named nForce5, they counter with an explanation that there's nothing new in the southbridge in terms of media support that would warrant a new name. The Intel version of nForce4 has exactly the same features in that ASIC as nForce4 does for AMD64 systems, right down to straight copies of the gates on the silicon in some cases.
Yes, they've had to construct a memory controller for Intel's processor and place the PCI Express interface on that chip, but the core features don't change, compared to nForce4 for AMD64.
I asked NVIDIA why the memory controller initially only supports DDR2 memory, and while the explanation was slightly wooly - they like the overclockability of good DDR2 sticks when paired with a tweaked out mainboard - with a source of mine outside of NVIDIA indicating that Intel may have expressed a wish they use DDR2 when the bus license was negotiated, the performance touted when overclocked with good DDR2 seems to vindicate them somewhat.
I'll leave you with a shot of EPoX's 5NVA+ SLI mainboard. The same mainboard will show up in other snippet from CeBit shortly, from me.