The Nforce 3 250 is a major improvement over the Nforce 2 150 in all areas. It will appeal to OEMs because of the lower cost now that everything is integrated onto the southbridge and it will appeal to consumers because specification wise, it matches up well against the competition. Beyond numbers though, Nvidia has made some significant improvements to the feature set of the product. The Gigabit Ethernet demonstration we saw was extremely impressive as the Nforce 3 NIC hit roughly 90% of the theoretical peak. The hardware firewall was something that was unexpected but was a pleasant surprise. The ability of the RAID controller to span RAID volumes across both SATA and IDE drives should be welcome as a lot of users still have IDE disks and this will alleviate the need to go buy a pair (or more) of SATA disks for RAID.
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