In our last article, we made a few comments about nForce2 Ultra 400, KT600 and beyond. nForce2 Ultra 400 took very little time to phase into the market, as virtually every manufacturer of the original nForce2 line had anticipated a chipset 'upgrade' (also, electrically the nForce2 Ultra 400 and nForce2 are almost identical). KT600 boards are still not available, but distribution channels should begin to receive them anytime soon.

Perhaps one of the most subtle and curious motherboard tales is Gigabyte. We were a little surprised when Gigabyte did not produce an nForce or nForce2 motherboard several months ago. However, since Gigabyte has been an active supporter of ATI’s Radeon series with its own “Maya” line, perhaps bad blood between NVIDIA and ATI prohibited Gigabyte from using NVIDIA’s nForce2 chipsets in their motherboards. Our sources say that Gigabyte is actively producing new video cards based on Radeon 9800 and Radeon 9600, so it looks like any indifferences between Gigabyte, ATI and NVIDIA have disappeared. Keep in mind, Gigabyte is the only company that produces products for both ATI and NVIDIA.

Product Vendor Price Shipping Total
Motherboard NVIDIA
nForce ASUS A7N266-VM NewEgg 69.99 0.00 69.99 Check Prices
nForce2 Abit NF7-S GameVE 115.00 0.00 115.00 Check Prices
nForce2 ASUS A7N8X Googlegear 115.99 0.00 115.99 Check Prices
nForce2 ASUS A7N8X Deluxe Googlegear 127.99 0.00 127.99 Check Prices
nForce2 Chaintech 7NIF2 SUMMIT Googlegear 79.00 0.00 79.00 Check Prices
nForce2 Chaintech 7NJS Zenith Googlegear 140.00 0.00 140.00 Check Prices
nForce2 Epox 8RDA+ Z-Buy 80.25 4.65 84.90 Check Prices
nForce2 FIC AU13 NewEgg 84.00 5.00 89.00 Check Prices
nForce2 LeadTek K7NCR18D-Pro NewEgg 92.00 0.00 92.00 Check Prices
nForce2 MSI K7N2G-ILSR Googlegear 139.50 0.00 139.50 Check Prices
Motherboard VIA AMD
KT333 ASUS A7V333 CompuBuzz 115.99 0.00 115.99 Check Prices
KT333 Soyo Dragon Ultra Googlegear 101.99 0.00 101.99 Check Prices
KT400 Abit AT7-MAX2 Googlegear 136.00 0.00 136.00 Check Prices
KT400 ASUS A7V8X NewEgg 99.99 0.00 99.99 Check Prices
KT400 Chaintech 7VJL Deluxe Googlegear 94.00 0.00 94.00 Check Prices
KT400 Epox 8K9A2+ Z-Buy 103.00 0.00 103.00 Check Prices
KT400 Gigabyte 7VAXP NewEgg 59.00 0.00 59.00 Check Prices
KT400 MSI KT4 Ultra FISR GameVE 104.00 0.00 104.00 Check Prices
KT400 Shuttle AK37GT CompuBuzz 120.00 0.00 120.00 Check Prices
KT400 Soyo Dragon Ultra GameVE 89.00 0.00 89.00 Check Prices
KT400A DFI LanParty KT400A NewEgg 144.99 0.00 144.99 Check Prices

As for individual motherboard releases, the DFI nForce2 LanParty motherboard has stirred a large bit of hype (but is still unavailable until June 20 with some exceptions). Epox, MSI, Chaintech and ASUS all have new offerings on the Ultra 400 chipset that are fairly widely available.

This editor still feels kind of cheated on the whole 400MHz FSB issue. We still have to question whether or not 400MHz FSB is entirely useful at all. Had AMD re-released its older processor lines on 400MHz, then perhaps we could justify the $20 hike in motherboard prices and a new chipset race. However, there is still only one AMD CPU capable of 400MHz, and the Athlon64 full release is only a few months away. If you decide to go with the AMD solution, we really don’t see any reason to jump on the 400MHz bandwagon and pay through the nose right now. (Edit: Our forum users have informed me that the 3000+ Barton is now becoming available at 400MHz FSB, although it costs more than the 3200+ 400MHz Barton.)

Index Intel Motherboards


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