ASUS is one of the largest computer component companies in the world. They shipped 30 million motherboards in 2003 1/5 of all motherboards sold in 2003, an amazing amount by any measure. 2003 revenue for ASUS was a whopping $6 Billion US dollars, or more revenue than ATI and NVIDIA had all of this year combined. ASUS manufactures motherboards, sound cards, video cards, notebooks and many other computer components. Asus differentiates their boards by having a regular version, a Deluxe version and a Premium version of several different motherboards. The Deluxe version is their mid-to high range motherboard version. The Premium version generally has Wireless networking, extra SATA ports and extras not usually found on the other models.
NVIDIA first entered the motherboard chipset market in 2001 with the release of the nForce chipset. Subsequent releases include the nForce2, the nForce3, the nForce3 Ultra and the nForce4. Today, NVIDIA is the largest supplier of motherboard chipsets for the AMD platform. Unfortunately, NVIDIA did not have an FSB license from Intel. This precluded NVIDIA from releasing chipsets for the Intel market place. Last year, NVIDIA signed a broad cross-license agreement with Intel, allowing them to manufacture chipsets for the Intel platform. nForce4 for Intel SLI Edition is the first chipset for the Intel market from NVIDIA.