A new IGP and introducing the SPP

When NVIDIA introduced the nForce chipset they let their marketing folks go to work on the boring name “North Bridge” and came up with the Integrated Graphics Processor (IGP) title. The nForce2 IGP improves on the original Crush 11/12 IGP by adding a new graphics core and a few other features.

Just as the original nForce used a GeForce2 MX graphics core, the nForce2 IGP uses a GeForce4 MX graphics core. The graphics core will be clocked at 250MHz, which is identical to the core clock speed of the GeForce4 MX 420. The specifications of the GeForce4 MX core remain unchanged (including nView support), and you can read our quick one-page overview of the GPU here for more information.

The GeForce4 MX GPU takes up the vast majority (over 70%) of the nForce2 IGP die area.

Just as was the case with the original nForce, we’d expect system builders and OEMs to capitalize on NVIDIA’s misleading nomenclature by listing their nForce2 products as having GeForce4 graphics. Depending on what speed memory you use with the system, the IGP’s graphics performance will vary somewhere between the speed of a GeForce4 MX 420 and a MX 440.

Just like the original IGP, the nForce2 IGP supports a dual-channel DDR memory architecture that NVIDIA likes to call DualDDR (aka TwinBank). This 128-bit DDR memory bus gives the nForce2 the opportunity to exceed Intel’s 850E chipset in terms of raw memory bandwidth, but as we’ve seen before that only really matters when integrated graphics is enabled. With integrated graphics disabled, the second DDR channel is pretty much useless from a performance standpoint for the vast majority of scenarios.

The nForce2 IGP supports an external AGP 8X interface which will provide users an upgrade path should they decide that they want faster video. The support for AGP 8X comes with perfect timing as NVIDIA will be announcing AGP 8X versions of their GeForce4 line this fall; not to mention that NV30 will be an AGP 8X part as well. Although we don’t expect to see any performance gains from AGP 8X, NVIDIA insists that decoding multiple HDTV streams will quickly saturate AGP 8X; this claim could hint at a future direction for NVIDIA’s Personal Cinema.

Along with the nForce2 IGP, NVIDIA is also introducing the nForce2 System Platform Processor (SPP). The SPP is basically the nForce2 IGP minus the integrated graphics core, meaning that the SPP will be perfect for the majority of the enthusiast market that demands higher performance graphics. All of the features that we’re about to talk about are common to both the nForce2 IGP and SPP.

Index DualDDR Memory Architecture
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  • Pedro_Truitt - Thursday, May 13, 2021 - link

    Cool article, thanks. I want to share my thoughts on this board. Well, NVIDIA's new strategy, which provides for active promotion of its chipsets to the market, change (we would say - bringing it in line with market realities) of the pricing policy and abandonment of the emphasis on integrated graphics, seems to be starting to bear fruit. At least the release of the "first" nForce was not accompanied by such a massive "attack" as the simultaneous appearance of motherboards from six well-known manufacturers. At the same time, the turnaround turned out to be quite sharp: none of the motherboards discussed in this article is equipped with integrated graphics (!), That is, in fact, the success of the chipset depends on the market's reaction to the non-integrated, "classic" version. Of course, later there will be boards with a north bridge in the IGP version with a graphics core based on GeForce4 MX, but the first impression is always the most important, and it will take shape now, when only boards without video on board are available. By the way, I advise you to post your article on Instagram where thousands of NVIDIA fans and opponents can see it. From time to time, I come across posts about various manufacturers of video cards and noticed that on average, such posts gained almost 16 thousand likes! I am sure this is because their authors resorted to using the services of https://viplikes.net/ to quickly wind up the number of subscribers.
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