NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI for AMD Round Up: GIGABYTE, MSI and ASUS
With the release of NVIDIA's nForce 500 Series, NVIDIA opened the door to a broad range of features tailored to both AMD and Intel based architectures. Today, we have a line up of three motherboards outfitted with the nForce 590 SLI chipset for AMD, offering the best the 500 series has to offer. Before we get started though, we'll take a moment to spotlight some of the more prominent features of the nForce 590 SLI.
Naturally, SLI is the most notable of feature for enthusiasts, with the 590 SLI delivering two PCI Express x16 slots for maximum graphics throughput. The 590 SLI chipset is also the only one in the 500 series to offer LinkBoost Technology, boosting communication bandwidth between the SPP and MCP by 25% as well as each PCI Express x16 slot. This feature is automatically enabled when a LinkBoost ready graphics card is installed. Think of it as factory overclocked HT and PCI Express links. The first graphics card to support LinkBoost was the GeForce 7900 GTX.
Adding to the goodness, NVIDIA employs a number of networking related features for further performance enhancement. DualNet with teaming is a technology that allows two Gigabit connections to behave as one, doubling bandwidth while adding fault tolerance. TCP/IP acceleration technology takes low level packet processing and off loads the workload the host processor, reducing CPU utilization. The benefits are more evident when coupled with DualNet, where bandwidth demands can potentially flood the CPU.
Finally, another feature of the nForce 590 SLI to cover is MediaShield Storage Technology, which delivers RAID capability for up to 6 SATA II devices. With this type of feature, it's conceivable to have three drives in a RAID 0 configuration for maximum performance while adding three more drives in RAID 1 for redundancy. It is even possible to run all six drives in a RAID 0 array. The options are broad with MediaShield offering RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD natively.
ASUS M2N32 WS Pro
MSI K9N Diamond
Today, we are going to delve deeper into the nForce 590 SLI's features with a review of three boards from GIGABYTE, ASUS and MSI, all of which are based on the nForce 590 SLI Chipset for AMD. While the chipset may be the same with all three, each model brings its own flavor and flare to the table, with some fairly creative solutions in each case. In the pages ahead, we will evaluate each model's features, retail complements and performance.
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