It must be clear to you already, NFORCE 590 SLI for Intel processors in combination with a Core 2 Duo processor is really a golden combo. In pretty much any game the advantage goes out to this setup compared to the same platform with an AMD64 AM2 FX-62 processor. It's just amazing to see what this rig can do, it's great value.
Although it was obvious that we used a beta reference mainboard, several functions were not working 100% and I found the BIOS to be lacking some functions. But the functions in the BIOS are tremendously extensive and diverse. A true tweakers dream as they will allow you to bring your PC to new heights. So in short, this product as we tested it is not 100% ready yet but we knew that before we even started this review. It was a "beta" mainboard for a little testing only. But even with that Achilles heel the overall performance is just too darn good. Strangely enough memory write & copy speeds were average though. Something I hope to see differently with the final boards you'll be able to purchase in the shop.
Our overclocking results I agree are a little mediocre. But I do not blame the 590 platform at all. We used passive water-cooling on the processor (hey I like silence) and next to that our tests where done during a heat wave here in Europe at an ambient temperature of 34 Degrees C. Despite these specifics do not ignore the fact that we were still able to push another 600 MHz out of the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor bringing overall performance to even better heights. In fact we made it perform like the X6800 Extreme Core 2 Duo processor .. now that's worth 700-800 bucks alone :)
Get this... a 300 USD CPU, this mainboard and 2 GB DDR2 800 MHz memory will set you back roughly 600-700USD yet it is greatly faster compared to the now 800 USD costing FX-62 processor alone, and when you overclock it merely a little it'll go way beyond that performance. The one thing that is still bothering Intel though are DDR2 memory prices, which are slightly higher than standard DDR. So for gaming the ball the past two years always has been in AMD's corner. Well things changed and Intel is back on track.
It's simple, the results do no lie, this system as presented today spanks anything AMD can throw at it by a healthy margin and there only a handful of applications that score a tad slower and for real-world performance negligable.
Despite this being beta reference board I also have to applaud stability. Not once did we experience an issue that made our system fail, crash or whatever. We did have an issue with the nTUNE GUI so we had to manage our overclocks manually from the BIOS. Furthermore, we installed a fresh Windows XP, installed the latest nForce drivers and videocard drivers and from there on you are good to go. High overall system performance, excellent gaming performance and yes, yes... I did try to stress the network. Since our last 590 review yours truly has picked up a Gigabit Ethernet switch and man, if you transfer files as fast as your HD can write... that's just amazing. But even then we're not stressing Ethernet connectivity even 20% so all in all great stuff.
This platform in combo with Conroe is golden, not just for performance. So if you have everything right components wise the nForce 590 SLI Intel mainboard will offer you massive performance and next to that a bucket load of additional features.
I hope to receive a final production board of the NFORCE 590 SLI for Intel quite soon and you can rest assure that it's going to be used in a lot of future Guru3D.com graphics card reviews.
You'll be inspired when you try-out a rig like this, as it is exactly that, inspiring. I tend not to use bowling terms much, but in combo with a Conroe CPU the NFORCE 590 Intel SLI edition mainboards look like a strike, if you are in the market for these kind of features versus performance versus a good price of course.
This is really exciting stuff .. I can't wait to receive a final production board of this puppy.
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