Nvidia has added two more chips to its Intel-oriented nForce 4 North Bridge line-up, expanding the product family at the low-cost end of the market.
The nForce 4 SLI XE and nForce 4 Ultra support all Socket 775 Intel processors, and while the Ultra already supports AMD's 64-bit CPU line-up, the SLI XE remains an Intel-only product. Both chipsets can operate up to 20 PCI Express lanes, but while the SLI XE can configure them any way, the Ultra is limited to a single 16x bus and three x1 connectors. Like the higher-end nForce 4 SLI, the SLI XE supports the multi-GPU system with two 8x connectors.
Both new chipsets contain Nvidia's DualDDR2 dual-channel DDR 2 memory controller, and can run up to four 3Gbps Serial ATA drives with RAID 0, 1 and 5, and four parallel ATA peripherals. On the networking side, both chips incorporate Nvidia's ActiveArmor hardware firewall and Gigabit Ethernet.
Nvidia said the SLI XE and Ultra would appear on boards toward the end of the month for around $100 and $89, respectively. It also expects system builders to offer PCs based on the boards in the same timeframe. ®