Nvidia taps DDR330 for next NForce chipsets

Nvidia has ramped up its NForce chipsets to support speedy DDR333 memory. The company is demonstrating its new NForce 615-D and 620-D chipsets, which are shipping in the second quarter. Nvidia is also previewing new NForce chipsets that run DDR400 memory.

Nvidia and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. are giving the demonstration at the CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany, this week. Boards based on both the 615-D and 620-D are scheduled to be available late in the second quarter from a variety of vendors, such as MSI Computer Corp., Asustek Computer Inc., and Leadtek Research Inc.

"We've been getting a 20 to 28 percent [performance] increase -- pretty substantial," says Bryan Del Rizzo, a Nvidia spokesperson. "And that's all from increased memory bandwidth."

Smaller Jumps

DDR333 memory uses a 167-MHz bus to connect a PC's main memory with the chip set, typically producing a 2.7GB per second throughput. By comparison, currently available DDR266 memory uses a 133-MHz bus, for a maximum throughput of 2.1GB per second.

In a dual-channel platform such as the NForce 615-D or 620-D, DDR333 chipsets provide a total bandwidth pipeline of 5.4GB per second, according to Nvidia. But even with the faster memory, normal application performance won't be heightened as much.

"If you make your memory 50 percent faster, you pick up a 5 to 10 percent performance increase in running applications," says Peter Glaskowsky, an analyst with MicroDesign Resources. "This jump isn't that big, so I'd expect only a few percent performance increase."

End users who buy systems that use integrated graphics will see the greatest increase in performance with the new chipsets. The 620-D includes an integrated graphics chip, while the 615-D does not. Vendors are expected to release boards in both configurations.

Del Rizzo agrees that normal system performance won't leap significantly. "If you're not going to be using integrated graphics, DDR333 isn't that much of a performance [enhancement] yet," he says.

Carl Rowe, a graphics analyst with Forrester Research Inc., says he will hold his enthusiasm in check until the new chipsets come to market.

"It's actually hard to know the performance benefits," he says. "There could be a bottleneck in the graphics processors that makes the additional memory bandwidth irrelevant."

Still, Nvidia expects DDR333 chipsets to make a splash on the market. DDR333 is projected to command market share numbers of 20 to 25 percent, Del Rizzo says.

"If that holds true, there will be large demand for products that support it. That's why we're broadening our entire product family," he says.

What's more, the demonstrations of the NForce 615-D and 620-D running with DDR400 show the next possible generation of system memory.

"DDR400 hasn't been ratified yet," says Del Rizzo. "It'll be a while, if it does come to market. But as far as compatibility issues, we've already got it working."

Analyst Glaskowsky expects to see DDR400 prevalent by the end of the year. "And then we get DDR2 next year--very much like DDR but it runs at lower voltages," he says. "It will come in at 400 MHz and go up from there."

We can expect to see vendors supporting the faster memory soon, the analysts say. "As memory becomes available at commodity prices, everyone supports it. Nobody passes up on faster memory," Gaskowsky says.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joel Strauch

PC World
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >




Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?