Significantly, the 955X brought more PCI Express lanes and SATA 3.0Gbit/s to the Pentium 4, reflecting the competitiveness between the AMD and Intel eco-system. Along with the 955X, the 945 was also introduced for the mainstream users at the same time, with slightly less PCI Express lanes.
NVIDIA's move looked like a success, with our benchmarks showing that it was handily beating Intel's own 925X Express reference chipset by around 5%. Additionally, NVIDIA's proprietary technologies were also a handful for any competitor and especially if you have bought into the green team's GPUs, SLI seemed like a natural progression and for that, you'll need this chipset.
This series of shootout articles concluded with an extensive summary listing the pros and cons of eight motherboards. Sweeping the competition was the DFI LANParty UT nF4 Ultra-D, which took the Most Overclockable Product and Most Innovative Product awards and hence was rightly the overall winner.
Whereas NVIDIA had its SLI technology, Intel was unable to get that right for its own chipset. But there are two GPU players in town, so ATI's CrossFire instead is the choice. Intel implements this by having two PCI Express x16 slots but each slot will only have x8 bandwidth when dual graphics cards are installed.
Our first look at such a board only came in January 2006, when we tested the Gigabyte GA-G1975X. The experience with CrossFire was smooth and the benefits from the dual GPU setup looked promising. "Starting from a resolution of 1024x768, enabling CrossFire delivers around a 34% performance increment to nearly 70% at 1600x1200."