The Nvidia NF200 chipset will feature on some X58 boards.
Nvidia confirmed this morning to bit-tech
that while it won't have a chipset ready for Intel's new Nehalem architecture, there will be some boards available that support SLI.
This is because in order to get support manufacturers must include a $30 NF200 chipset, like there is in the nForce 780i and 750i SLI boards and Intel's Skulltrail. There will of course still be ordinary X58 boards available that support CrossFire only, and we expect these to be available first.
This does pose some issues though - to have the privilege of SLI in addition to CrossFire support you will have to pay more for your motherboard - together both the X58 and the NF200 will cost around $100, putting estimated board prices around the £200 mark.
While it does mean the time to market for SLI capable boards is short, this is hardly the best scenario: there is a cost of developing a separate PCB and fitting in an extra chip and cooling it, in addition to the two already there.
Although the NF200 chipset simply bolts onto the PCI-Express lanes, given the political situation between the two companies it will no doubt again (in respect to Skulltrail) be like forcing two same poled magnets at each other. In fact, those manufacturers using the NF200 chipset won't get any Intel support what-so-ever - it won't gurantee X58 works with the NF200 and it won't help check or debug the circuitry or software either. Not unsurprising, but hardly the best situation from a consumer perspective.
Is this about Nvidia not getting a QPI license? Not really - Nvidia has told us it has other chipsets in the works for the future, but they won't be released with X58 (so probably not this year).
Talking about Skulltrail though, the second generation of
this "enthusiast" motherboard is also being developed and will again feature the nF200 chipset for SLI and CrossFire like before, although further details about it are as yet scarce. We'll keep you updated as always and you can pose questions in the forums