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NVIDIA Chipset Chat

nForce 500 features: Support for SLI and QuadSLI, NVIDIA MediaShield with support for dual RAID 5, High Definition Audio, support for up to 10 USB and 6 SATA 3GB/sec hard drives, support the new AMD AM2 processors.

#Bjorn3D @ Freenode (

Yesterday we were holding a chat regarding NVIDIA’s next core-logic technology, nForce 500 family. Here is a complete question-answer log.

Starring guests: Brian Del Rizzo, Sean Cleveland and Bjorn3D readers 🙂

DISCLAIMER: You may not reproduce this chat log in any way or form. You may link to it or quote it.


What features will be included in the next gen of chipset? (Putale)

We announced that we were conducting a technology demonstration of our new NVIDIA nForce 500 family at Cebit this week.

Features include:

Support for SLI and QuadSLI

NVIDIA MediaShield with support for dual RAID 5

High Definition Audio

And support for up to 10 USB and 6 SATA 3GB/sec hard drives

We will also support the new AMD AM2 processors

We will have more information about the new product line(s) as we get closer to launch. Rest assured, there are some cool things we have not let out of the bag yet.. 🙂

and DDR2 memory

I’d like to know if another Soundstorm idea is in the works?

unfortunately, no. We said last year and the year before that, that SoundStorm was officially dead. RIP Soundstorm…

since that’s a GPU question, we’re checking on that…

give us another quesion in the meantime

ask him when if we might see xfire support on NV boards and vice versa.

No. Why would we want Crossfire when SLI is a superior platform solution?

question for nvidia: now that they are a main force in the chipset market, will they push any NEW features exept sli

you bet… we are committed as a company to develop exciting new and innovative technologies and bring them to market.

With Nvidia also supplying intel’s chipset for the SLI, do Nvidia has any plan to release chipset for Mac so that mac users can use sli as well? (Putale)

Link to todays NVIDIA press release

That said, it’s one thing to tout technology—it’s another to have something that provides a tangible, quantifiable benefit to end users

You’ll be hearing more about cool features when we gear up for the launch of nForce 500 family.

We can’t comment on Apple platforms, since we are not Apple. Let’s just say this–it’s technically possible!

you said that QuadSLI can do 5.2 teraflops, how can it be? a single GTX 512 can do 250.

when we announced Quad SLI, the teraflops # related to all of the floating point processing in the chip. You can’t just count pixel shaders.

Will we finally see something more powerful then a GeForce2MX class (6100) graphics card intergrated into the chipset?

Well, the 6100 actually is a GeForce 6 series, so I would say we are already there

How many total PCIe lanes does the new nForce 5 MCPs support and is this handled by a single chip design or does it require two chips as with the nForce4?

It’s a true dual X16 architecture. It’s more than 40, less than 100.

Will we see motherboards with integrated gfx that has HDMI or DVI with HDCP support anytime soon? (SwedBear)

HDMI is slowly becoming a more requested feature, but we are not getting alot of OEMs requesting support for HDMI so far

that said, Sony is already shipping a system with HDMI graphics in Europe

Nforce 4 users have been avoiding installing the because of corrupted downloads, is this a hardware or software issue?

software. That’s why we recommend the use of the latest driver builds on

Question: Are you going to improve the overclocking ability too to deal with the new Xpress3200 O/C ability ?

We feel that nForce4 SLI X16 is already very overclockable and recent reviews have shown the Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe is more overclockable than the Asus A8R-MVP RD580 board

Also with Quad SLI, will the motherboards have 4 PCIe buses or will it be 1 bus per 2 cards ?

For enthusiasts – overlcocking is important to the NVIDIA MCP team and you can bet you’ll see innovation in this area

so, if you recall what we demonstrated at CES, each card essentially had two GPUs on it. Each of the GPUs were connected thru the SLI bridge as were the two physical cards in the slots.

Each slot was configured as a true dual X16.


Question: VIA, SIS, Intel and ULi are “fighting” for years in the motherboard chipset market and suddenly you came and almost took over the entire AMD scene. How can you explain that success? How you did it? Can you tell Sean that the maximum voltage in Nf4 is only 1.6v max. Are they going to increase it?

Regarding the voltage question, don’t expect changes to nForce4 as we are currently working hard on the nForce 500 family.

well, let’s see… 🙂

If you guys remember, nForce1 (the original) wasn’t exactly a run-away hit. We learned a lot about the motherboard business and made sure that with nForce2, we made some changes into the way we brought products to market, and what it was that enthusiasts wanted.

Having acquired ULI.. what new features do you believe this will allow nVIDIA to incorporate into there products?

We were able to leverage our success with designing memory controllers from the GPU side, as well as the software UDA.

As a company, we are committed to providing top-to-bottom product solutions and making sure we bring higher levels of innovation to the market.

it has been 5 years, but a very successful 5 years and we now have deep penetration into the consumer, server, and professional workstation markets.

Scalability was key to our success too.

As was our expertise in HyperTransport and PCIe.

the activearmor suit future will there be a newer version with more features ? (liqnit)

we can’t discuss new features other than what was already disclosed today…

Regarding Active Armor, we can’t comment on new features before they’re announced – it would upset PR and deny them newsworthy items

On the same question as Uli, what’s Nvidia’s plan for Uli? Do Nvidia has plan to keep developing Uli or will Nvidia slowly merge two company’s technology into 1 chipset?

needless to say, nForce 500 is gonna rock the house

Now that the ULi acquisition is complete, we will continue to support the customers who are using ULi products.

However, we acquired ULi for their top-notch engineering teams, and not the products. Moving forward, the Uli engineers have been folded into the NVIDIA engineering organization. You will not see any new products branded under the ULi name.

Current ULi products will continue to be available until such time that our customers no longer need them!

Do NVIDIA plan to keep Dolby Digital Encoding as a feature? It is my primary reason for staying with the nforce platform (not a big gamer)

Dolby Digital Encoding was part of SoundStorm – we have no plans to use that technology anymore

Do they consider resolving BSOD bug of the ethernet driver in 5.11 rev. for nForce3 anytime soon? Or should we just stick with plain ol’ 5.10. (flexible)

SAMSAMHA – contact me after the chat so I can check on this – not sure if a bug has been posted regarding this issue. Also, our driver guy is in right now for CEBIT – my email is [email protected]

Does NVIDIA plan on releasing a newer/true unified driver package supporting all (legacy and current) nforce chipsets and if so what timeframe ?

Yes, we do… I don’t have any updated time frame for ya as of today. As we introduced additional products, the complexity went up a bit.. .:)

nvidia’s serial-ata implementation in nforce4x chipset doesnt support CD-R and DVD-R (any recordable optical media). Is this going to be supported in the next chipset? (ali)

That’s news to me and our tech marketing team (I just asked). As far as I know, we support this.

regarding the virtualisation features the new cpu’s will offer, was the implementation in the chipsets without problems?

I believe those features are independent of the MCP.

Will you keep supporting the ULI southbridge ATi’s Crossfire boards use?

We will continue to support our customers who are using the ULi southbridge and we have no plans to change that.

Do new NVIDIA chipsets require active cooling?

No, our current nForce4 SPP and MCP do not require active cooling as long as the heatsink is large enough.

Currently, there are no open bugs regarding Creative’s X-Fi audio card. Please let me know of any issues you have so I can file bugs.

Also – Please give me the link to the issues on Creative’s website

with the success of nvidia’s chipset to the desktop, does nvidia has any plan to release new chipsets for mobile/laptop computers?

Mobile core-logic solutions have a specific set of needs for the mobile market, most of which have to do with thermals, power draw and the like.

You will be hearing more about our mobile plans sooner than you think… :)_

are Nvidia aware of the supposed problems with nforce 4 chipsets and low-latency audio recording?

Stay tuned to bjord3d for more on this subject.

Scott, please have your reader send me specific info regarding low-latency audio recording

Will NVIDIA validate Intel’s 975X for SLI?

Due to the immense amount of work that goes into SLI certification, we are currently focused on certifying motherboards based on NVIDIA nForce MCP technology.

Don’t forget, we offer Intel-based nForce4 motherboards that fully support SLI – those platforms are faster than 975X

nforce 5 is only AM2 or 939 as well?

Sorry, can’t comment on nForce 500 regarding 939 – can only speak to what was announced today

Question: So why ULi ?

Seriously though, ULi had a friggin terrific engineering team. Given the sheer amount of projects we have ongoing, it made sense to add them to our team. Plus, it also provides NVIDIA with a great base of operations in , home to the world’s leading motherboard manufacturers.

Will the 590 have features over the 570 that a single GPU enthusiast user would benefit from?

Will onboard video always be reserved for the low end users?

Question #1: yes! Both platforms share a common set of features, but depending on your requirements, the 590 will offer you the most feature-rich, performance oriented product money can buy.

Question #2:The market for integrated core-logic is quite different than that of discrete motherboards. That said, the ability to do video processing, including HD VIDEO, is huge.

I don’t think you will be disappointed with any of the nForce 500 family to be honest.

It’s a complete top-to-bottom solution for a variety of different market segments (read: price) and users.

HD Video will have a huge impact in the integrated space.

That’s why we are focused on accelerating playback on our discrete solutions as well as on the 6150 core.

The combination of NVIDIA core-logic with NVIDIA GPUs with NVIDIA PureVideo will provide you guys with a terrific platform for doing HD video and games.


Will NVIDIA be supporting AMD’s Live platform/initiative?

As for Live!… yep.. we announced support for that in January.

any plan to integreate more more powerful gfx onto the board, possibly the dx 10 compatible integrate gfx?

Re: integrated gfx. Sure.. we have a ton of stuff on the roadmap! Let’s wait until Direct X 10 shows up… 🙂

Why did Maxtor Drives have problem with nForce4?

good question. It was fixed with a firmware update from Maxtor. Is someone from Maxtor here?

well, considering it was resolved by a Maxtor firmware update, I’m not sure why they would be telling us that!

can you give us some trends that Nvidia envisions the future of motherboard/chipset will be? What do you see beyond the 500 chipset and in couple years or more down the line?

Loads and loads and loads of integration and technology. All primed to deliver HD video and extreme high-definition gaming.

ATi said in their Xpress 3200 presentation: “CrossFire Xpress 3200: Dual x16 PEG done right!”. Do you have anything to say about it

Sure, ATI says a lot to the press.. most of it technically inaccurate. I would say that we already introduced dual X16 done right to the market about 8 months before they did.

Will we be seeing an integrated graphics chipset for Socket AM2

That is a distinct possiblity.

what else you guys got?

anything more on RD580?

how about “Why are motherboard manufacturers slower to adopt the nForce 4 SLI X16 vs the rapid adoption of the nForce 4 SLI”

I’m not sure if that is a true statement. The entire nForce4 family serves a very large portion of the market–all at different price points. The NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16 is designed for the high-end performance end of the market. This segment, while important, is not the “volume” of the market. That said, there are quite a few boards out there already, with more coming. All told today, there have been something like 1000 different nForce boards over the last

Question: Is activearmor issue fixed in nForce 500?


Jochen Polster from AMD said in the same ATi presentation: “AMD’s Highest Performance CPU (FX60) + ATI’s Fastest GFX and chipset = World class enthusiast platform”. Hows your relations with AMD and why they are doing PR for the reds?

We love AMD. They are a great company and build great CPUs. I would not read anything into this.

Will Nf4 continue to a new version or this is the end of it? (liqnit)

I’m not sure I understand the question. Our next release will be the NVIDIA nForce 500 family of MCPs. There will be no “new” nForce4 variants.

ATi also claimed that you have an PEG bandwidth bottleneck in the nF4 series. What you can tell us about it ?

There is no PEG bandwidth bottleneck

The link that connects our SPP and MCP on SLI X16 is a 16/16 HyperTranspot link (both directions) with a 5x multiplier (1000MHz)

I don’t understand where the bottleneck they claim is

For a third-party perspective on this, check out PC Perspective’s article:

I would point out that it’s easy to claim your competitors have bandwidth issues if the tests they run purposely throttled back the HT link… 🙂

The fact that they ran their ASUS SLI X16 board with an 8/8 link (set in the BIOS) calls into question their benchmark results

it doesn’t call into question their results, it throws them out the window.. 🙂

Do we have any more questions from the “listeners”?

any info on the ULi patch which enables SLI on boards with a certain ULi northbridge? Was nvidia involved in this?

no, we were not involved with this, and from what we have seen, the story is a hoax.

Well Bryan and Sean, would you like us to open it up and let you chat live for a little bit?

Sean has to go, but I can stay for a bit.

Sorry, hitting an IDF dinner tonight

ooh… hard work eh?

Awesome…Thanks for all the great info guys!!!

OK Bryan Del Rizzo will stay online and we are going to open up the chat now

Going live…

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