MSI K9N SLI Platinum nForce 570 SLI Motherboard - HotHardware

MSI K9N SLI Platinum nForce 570 SLI Motherboard

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Nvidia's SLI technology launched in mid-2004, and was designed to provide high-performance rendering power for gamers. Because the technology was brand new, and the fastest thing on the market, SLI configurations demanded exorbitant price premiums over single card configurations, despite first generation issues like software compatibility, driver problems, and hardware issues. Setting up a "budget" SLI system was simply out of the question at first, as SLI-enabled graphics cards were only available at the high end of the price range, as were SLI-enabled motherboards.

Now that Nvidia's GeForce 6 and 7-series lineups (both SLI enabled) have been out-dated by the new GeForce 8 lineup, we're seeing prices on SLI-enabled hardware fall to surprisingly low levels. There are now thousands of prospective choices for setting up an SLI-enabled machine, as Nvidia has enabled this technology on graphics cards as inexpensive as $50, and SLI-equipped motherboards can be had for under $100 as well. While it used to cost a minimum of $1,000 for SLI technology, going SLI today is easy and inexpensive - not to mention far more stable than initial implementations.

As an added bonus, SLI-equipped motherboards offer advantages for those who don't even care about doubling their GPU rendering power. SLI motherboards can appeal to workstation and home theater PC owners as well, or anyone who wants to use high-end PCI Express expansion cards. SLI motherboards are all equipped with dual PCI Express x16 sized connectors - which means that even if you only use one graphics card, you've still got another PCI Express x16 sized slot to use. As PCI Express is scalable, you can easily throw in a PCI Express x4 RAID controller or a PCI Express x1 TV Tuner and not have to worry about bandwidth sharing with other devices on the PCI bus, as PCI Express offers dedicated bandwidth.

Today we're looking at a budget-targeted SLI equipped motherboard from MSI, the K9N SLI Platinum. While the motherboard was originally targeted at high-end gamers when it was initially launched (and still can work quite well in this environment), the plummeting prices of SLI gear and the introduction of newer, more attractive SLI-enabled chipsets have allowed this board to now be priced for those with significantly lower budgets. Let's see what it has to offer. 

Shipping Box - Top

Shipping Box - Bottom

Specifications

CPU

Supports 64-bit AMD Athlon 64 / Athlon 64FX / Athlon 64 X2 processor (Socket AM2)

Chipset

NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI Chipset
HyperTransport link to the AMD Socket-AM2 CPU
Supports PCI Express x16 / PCI Express x 1 connections
Independent SATA-II controllers for six drives
Single Fast ATA-133 IDE controller

Memory

Supports dual channel DDR2 533 / 667 / 800
Supports up to four 240-pin DDR2 DIMMs
Supports the memory size up to 8 GB
Supports 1.8v DDR2 SDRAM DIMM

Slots

Two PCI Express X16 slot (supports PCI Express Bus specification v1.0a compliant)
2nd PCI Express X16 is compatible with PCI Express x 8
Two PCI Express X1 slot
Three 32-bit Master PCI Bus slots, one orange slot reserves as communication slot.
Support 3.3V/5V PCI bus Interface

On-Board IDE/SATA

IDE controller supports up to 2 IDE devices
NV RAID supports 6 SATA II/300 ports (SATA 1-6)
NV RAID (Software)
Supports up to 6 SATA-II drives
RAID 0 or 1, 0+1, 5, JBOD is supported

BIOS

The mainboard BIOS provides "Plug & Play" BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically.
The mainboard provides a Desktop Management Interface (DMI) function which records your mainboard specifications.
Supports boot from LAN, USB Device 1.1 & 2.0 and SATA HDD

 

Audio

Chip integrated by Realtek ALC883
Flexible 8-channel audio with jack sensing
Compliant with Azalia 1.0 spec

LAN

Supports dual RJ-45 Ethernet jacks
Dual LAN supports 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet by nForce 570 SLI

IEEE1394

VIA 6307 32-bit PCI chipset
Supports up to 2 x 1394 ports
Transfer rate is up to 400Mbps

On-Board Peripherals

1 floppy port
1 serial port
1 parallel port supports SPP/EPP/ECP mode
1 audio jack (5-in-1), coaxial/fibre SPDIF out
10 USB 2.0 ports (Rear x 4 / Front x 6)
2 RJ45 LAN jack
1 D-Bracket 2 pinheader
2 IEEE 1394 a connectors (Rear x 1/ Front x 1)
1 CD-in pinheader
1 IrDA pinheader

Dimension

11.96 in (L) x 9.61 in(W) ATX Form Factor

 

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