nForce 550The NVIDIA nForce 550 is the entry level offering of the new series. It comes with quite a few features, but is meant for price-conscious consumers who want to get support for the newest plattform. This chipset is specifically meant for AMD Sempron CPUs, Athlon 64 and X2 processors.
This single chip solution and will have one PCIe x16 slot for the use with a graphic card. There will be four PCIe x1 lanes which does not mean that you will see all of these in form of a slot on the board, making for a total of 20 available PCIe lanes. Even though this core-logic is meant for the budget market, it comes with Azalia HD Audio, 4x SATA II 3Gb/s with RAID support and 10 USB ports. NVIDIA's new boards will only have one IDE connector, slowly letting go of the aging technology. There is only one native Gigabit Ethernet connection available but we may see boards which include a second one with an external chip using one of the available PCIe x1 lanes. The nForce 550 will lack DualNet Technology as there is only that one Gigabit Ethernet connection available, which does not support TCP/IP Acceleration either. Other drawbacks are the lack of any Linkboost or FirstPacket Technology.