We've had reliable sources telling us that the Ultra is no more, although partners will still be able to buy NForce 3 250GB parts. However, we've had reports from some partners that they haven't been told anything by Nvidia, and are still shifting decent numbers of the Ultra part. Not everyone wants to move to PCI Express just yet, they say.
The news comes as we hear additional primordial rumblings that MSI and DFI are going to be facing a lack of allocation of NForce 4 chips. Nvidia are reportedly apocalyptic at these two companies for attempting to avoid the $20 premium that GraphZilla charges for an NForce 4 SLI chipset by hacking standard NForce 4 chips to work with its dual-graphics technology.
Mainboard companies are said to be increasingly unhappy with Nvidia's attempts to make money 'any way they can', according to murmurings from one key partner. The $20 SLI premium, as well as the SLI brand tax that the INQ reported last week, are putting a giant's squeeze on manufacturers in an industry where margins are increasingly on a knife edge. Whilst DFI and MSI have already announced SLI-hacks, we hear that Asus and Gigabyte are also readying their own devious solutions. Whilst we know that Nvidia is unhappy with DFI and MSI, it seems unlikely that it can break the will of all four major players by witholding chips because then it won't have enough boards on the market to satisfy the baying masses.
Other partners tell us that the lack of chips isn't just restricted to SLI hackers. Unpredicted high demand and an Ent-like slow roll out of chips have caused a shortage of NForce 4 boards across all partners, according to them.
We couldn't get hold of MSI or DFI for confirmation of their woes, and Nvidia told us that it couldn't talk about rumours, speculation, or magical transfiguration. None of the other partners we talked to wanted to be quoted, for fear of facing the hammer of wratch, wielded by the mighty Jen-Hsun. µ
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