MSI K9N SLI Platinum nForce 570 SLI Motherboard
It's not the newest solution on the market, so the MSI K9N SLI Platinum probably shouldn't be looked at as a hardcore gaming solution any longer. As of today, many high-end gamers are gravitating towards Core 2 Duo based SLI configurations, and likely won't give an nForce 570 SLI based Athlon 64 platform a second look. It's true, for a high-end gamer there may be better solutions out there. However, if you look at this board from a price / performance perspective, the K9N SLI Platinum is really quite attractive. For a price of about $120, you get SLI support, dual GigE, 6 x SATA-II RAID ports, digital audio, and passive cooling. Not a bad value at all.
Even if you don't intend to use SLI, the board can make a sturdy foundation for a low-cost gaming rig. Our tests showed that the nForce 570 chipset can keep up with the more expensive / more power hungry nForce 590 chipset in benchmarks. This board can be used with the latest graphics cards, and can run with CPUs as fast as the dual-core Athlon64 FX-62, which can make for a damn fine gaming rig. However, even if you throw in a mid-range dual-core CPU like the Athlon64 X2 3800+ and a graphics card like the GeForce 7950 GT, you'll still have a great gaming experience for about $500 or less.
MSI has done a good job in our opinion of balancing which features which most enthusiasts want while keeping costs low. The board has low-noise cooling, fan speed controls, overclockng controls, and even extra board level heatsinks, but it's still priced at the same point as boards with far fewer features. We would love to see a similar platform for the Core 2 Duo made available, as more enthusiasts are gravitating towards this processor now. In any case, the K9N SLI Platinum is a solid, reasonably-priced SLI board which gets our thumbs up.