The One Thing To Look For
The nForce250 should be out in a few weeks, in both socket 754 and 939 versions.
How does it compare to the Via K8T800? Hexus.net briefly had a preview article up with one (it’s not there now, will be reposted “soon”), and it was pretty much a draw between the two.
What the Hexus folks unfortunately were unable to find out is the key factor in preferring the nForce over the Via, and this is the single factor overclockers need to look for in any future review on the subject.
Without a PCI/AGP lock, any realistic overclocking of sockets 754/939 chips will be limited to around 20% (and even that may be too high for some). With a PCI/AGP lock, the CPU becomes the bottleneck, not the mobo and the devices attached to it.
Those who have been around a long time ought to recall this problem, if not fondly, but those who joined the party in the 845/865/875/nForce2 era may not.
Since a few mobo manufacturers were less than completely honest about this feature in the last generation of nForce3; it would probably be best in a review to look for the sort of PCI/AGP testing found here.
An important key to successful overclocking is to first realize that there are multiple potential bottlenecks that can limit your overclock, then remove or avoid all the bottlenecks you can remove or avoid.
This is a big one.
So if you’re inclined to buy, look for this first and foremost, and worry about the other features later.