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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [12.06.04]
Manufactured by: GigaByte 
Test CPU (A64 3000+) supplied by

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In addition to all the filtering and stealth abilities of the NVIDIA Firewall, there are also some interesting logging features.

This is the main log page - it describes every connection made to your system, and whether it was allowed or denied. It shows the source IP and destination IP, so you can get an idea of what is being attempted.

Finally, there is a Statistics page, which shows you the total number of packets that have been sent and received. It also specified how many were blocked, and how many were allowed.


While NVIDIA has produced a very robust and easy-to-use software-based Firewall, what is the point if it performs poorly, right?

Just to get an idea of what kind of performance hit it would normally give you, we ran some tests with NTTCP. The server system was an Intel D925XE with the integrated PCI-E controller. Thrown in for good measure are the results using Windows XP SP2's built-in Firewall.

To compare the integrated NVIDIA Ethernet adapter, we also included results from the Marvell 88E8053 PCI-E controller Gigabyte used as the secondary GigaE adapter (kudos to Gigabyte for using the PCI-E bus for BOTH GigaE adapters! Too often we see the second controller sitting on the majorly limited PCI bus).

As you can see, transfer rates are not affected at all by either firewall. And by the way, these are some great results! Let's have a look at the CPU utilization numbers though.

Without ActiveArmor enabled, the NF4 based ethernet suffers drastically from poor CPU utilization. Even compared to an adapter that doesn't feature AA at all, things are pretty ugly.

However, if you enable ActiveArmor (and really, there's no reason not to, other than to prove that it works):

That's MUCH better. With ActiveArmor, the NVIDIA GigaE is outperforming the Marvell based controller. Now you have absolutely no reason not to use the NVIDIA Firewall!

All in all, I think this is the one feature NVIDIA focused on when they designed NFORCE4, and I have to say, they did a great job.

Now we can start talking about this Gigabyte board!

Next Page: (Gigabyte's K8NXP-9 Introduction)