Last month we heard NVIDIA had some trouble to get a license from Intel and this made it impossible for the green team to bring a Nehalem-compatible chipset to the market by the time Intel rolls out its new processor architecture. Instead, NVIDIA will try to sell its nForce 200 chip to motherboard makers to add SLI support to motherboards that use the X58 chipset.
The nForce 200 chip is pretty expensive and FUD Zilla now claims that NVIDIA is willing to drop the price from $30 to $20 per chip - but there's a catch of course:
What isn't such a well-known fact is the little matter of Nvidia's pricing strategy, as if a motherboard manufacturer wants to have an X58 SKU without the nForce 200 chipset, then the chipset will set them back US$30 a pop, while those that will go exclusively with an nForce 200 based X58 line-up will only have to pay US$20 per chip.
To further complicate things, there are two different implementations possible. Motherboard makers can choose to use one nForce 200 chip and split 16 PCIe lanes with it, as the nForce 200 chipset only has a x16 PCIe interface towards the chipset. This would mean that the graphics card interface won't be as fast as it should be, just as with Nvidia's own 780i chipset.
However, from our understanding, it's possible to use two nForce 200 chips, at twice the cost, to get full x16 bandwidth per slot, just like on Intel's Skulltrail motherboard. Either solution adds cost above the chipset as well, as the motherboard manufacturers not only have to re-design their X58 boards to accommodate the extra chip(s), but also provide a different type of chipset cooling solution that caters to the extra heat produced by the nForce 200 chip(s).
According to FUD Zilla most motherboard makers aren't too wild about using the nForce 200 chip but there's a rumor that Asus will use the chip to create at least one X58 motherboard with SLI support.