To many the nForce should prove to be an interesting board. This is the first time that the consumer can buy a handful of components, and be done assembling a relatively powerful system with a minimum of time invested. Sure the video card maybe a little weak with what is coming out now, but it beats out every other onboard solution on the market. Combine that with the Southbridge, which contains an audio processor that gives the SB Live! a run for its money. If there was ever a time to consider an all-onboard solution, this is it. Weíre sure many of you out there are the sole repositories of computer knowledge for friends and family. How many times have you been asked to troubleshoot? Assemble? Provide answers to seemingly inane questions? With an nForce board, you could build your technically deficient chums a decent computer with very basic support structure. One driver install and youíre done setting the machine up. No tracking down weird conflicts or random drivers. Itís all done with one file. This is the perfect product for a midnight infomercial!
What comes with it?
The A7N266-E nForce board is a good example of how to work this chipset. The board comes with quite a few goodies packed in it. To go with the decent graphics, ASUS bundled two games Ė Messiah and Star Trek New Worlds. Not the most recent of games, but I think I can safely say that Iíve never seen games bundled with a motherboard Ė so technically this would be the best game bundle so far.
Manual-wise, we were pretty impressed. Most motherboard manuals have increased in quality over the years, but I think things just took another step forward. Besides the usual manual that comes with the board, there is a quick setup guide and a quick reference card. The first should help beginners with the basics; the latter is useful to anyone - even if its only useful feature is an easy to read layout of all the switches (where the power, LED and reset switches go). I donít know how many times Iíve fumbled through a manual looking for that info.
nForce 420D - IGP 128/MCP-D
DIMM sockets - up to 1.5GB
||1 FDD, 2
PCI, 1 ACR
Controllers - 6 USB connectors