NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Intel preview -
So the product we'll be testing today is an enthusiast targeted product. It's based on the nForce 590 SLI chipset and is an actual reference sample. The product is based 100% on a 6 layer PCB NVIDIA reference design. Obviously there's more to talk about other than this CRB (Crush reference board) nForce 590 board, so allow me to show you exactly what the differences are in a diminutive chart I cooked up for you.
Obviously I mention Core 2 Duo processors constantly in this article as that really is what you should buy, but the mainboard supports Intel Socket 775 Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Extreme, Celeron D, Pentium 4, Pentium D 9XX, and Pentium D 8XX processors.
NVIDIA nForce 500 Product Family
|nForce 590 SLI
|nForce 590 SLI||nForce 570 SLI||nForce 570 Ultra||nForce 550|
|Targeted at||Enthusiast SLI (2x16)||Enthusiast SLI (2x16)||Performance SLI (2x8)||Performance Non-SLI||Mainstream|
|SLI||2x16 PCX lanes||2x16 PCX lanes||2x8 PCX lanes (or 1x16)||No, 1x16 PCX lanes||No, 1x16 PCX lanes|
|GigE Lan (1 Gbit)||2||2||2||2||1|
|HDA (Azalia) Audio||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|SATA at 3.0Gb/s||6||6||6||6||4|
|RAID||0, 1, 0+1 & 5||0, 1, 0+1 & 5||0, 1, 0+1 & 5||0, 1, 0+1 & 5||0, 1, 0+1 & 5|
|PCIe Lanes||46 lanes
As you can see that's quite a colorful palette of functionality and options there. That's the lineup of NVIDIA chipset products for AMD with the 590 Intel board to the far left. You'll notice that the Intel board matches up 95% with the AMD 590 board.
So like 95% of this boards features and options is similar towards the AMD board, except for LinkBoost.So with the nForce 590 you have to keep one thing in mind, it's build for the enthusiast gamer. It's major features therefore are Core 2 Duo processor compatibility, which obviously brings DDR2 memory into the ring as well. We'll talk about DDR2 in a minute as NVIDIA and a handful of memory manufacturers have brought some new features into this platform with EPP "SLI Ready" memory as well.
Dual 16x PCI-Express lanes and other great features
Another big feature for SLI gamers is the dual 8GB/s bandwidth on two graphics ports, I mean two times x16 PCIe bandwidth here between the SPP, MCP and GPU's undoubtedly is fantastic. Another great feature is the fact that you'll get two 1GBit Ethernet ports, which you can actually bind together as one 2 GBit/s connection. Agreed a little excessive and only 0.00001% of you will use it, but it might be "neat" function to have on a LAN party as a server. Some other good features obviously is the support for 10 USB ports and the HDA multi-channel audio solution from Realtek.
Currently I do not have the pricing model just yet but I expect a150+ USD price tag for the nForce 590 SLI. This obviously will vary a little depending on the additional features mainboard manufacturers will include.
With that being said, let's move onwards to all the new terminology you just read.
You already have been able to learn about DDR2 EPP (SLI memory) recently as it was coverd in our AMD NFORCE 590 SLI review. It's very clever technology for the overclocker who does not dare or know how to configure memory at it's best in an overclocked environment.
DDR2 memory (actually pretty much any memory) uses an SPD (Serial Presence Detect) chip to store its JEDEC certified timings and setup specifications on. Now a massive chunk of that SPD chip is being written as ZERO; meaning it's largely unused space. A couple of brainy guys at NVIDIA figured... hmm, let's talk to some memory allies and see if we can do something with that extra space and utilize it for our new products to offer our buyers more options.
Since most memory is configured at JEDEC specifications the standard timings are not exactly enthusiast presets, most of us know, we can do a heck lot more with memory timings and frequency wise then the rather safe JEDEC SPD settings tell the BIOS to fire off on your memory.
Once you overclock the system bus, your memory clock will run faster in MHz also. A higher FSB usually means that we'll need slower timings and/or different voltages, that kind of information could be stored into the SPD in several profiles.
So basically additional non-JEDEC specified timings related towards a certain clock frequency or related to multipliers/dividers/voltages/drive strengths will be stored on that unused SPD space. This way that memory can be setup in a different way with the click of a button, or even better detected by your nForce 590 mainboard and set automatically.
So in short: you can tweak memory really easy yet this is intended for the folks that have a hard time overclocking themselves. It's a reasonably fool proof method of getting the best out of your DDR2 memory with an NFORCE 590 mainboard. Obviously you can manage memory timings and everything related to it manually also. This is just an extra feature. Look out in the stores for memory with a "SLI Ready" logo.
New Storage Features
Evidently you already noticed that the nFORCE series 500 now can support six native SATA 3Gb/s drives, which previously was four. Why is that number six important you ask ? Well, you can make a dual RAID 5 solution as RAID 5 requires a minimum of three drives. Obviously it is recommended that all drives on the system should be of the same size. The more drives you have on the server, the better RAID 5 will perform.
RAID 5 is the version most often recommended. Because the price of disk drives have drastically dropped, the cost of implementing RAID 5 is now within most enthusiast and companies budgets. The only time RAID 5 could fail is if two drives were to fail at the same time. The loss of disk space is basically 100 divided by the number of disk drives. With 3 drives, there is a 33% loss of disk space. With 5 drives, there is a 20% loss of disk space.
Also I should mention the MediaShield 3.0 UI, the RAID unit/SATA connections are hot swappable, meaning you can pull out or insert the plug when the system is powered on. The minute a driver fails or will get unplugged the NVIDIA MediaShield sentinel will pop up and show you what drive/connection has gone bad.
The image shows the hard drive connector ports and provides a visual indication of the location and status of the drives as follows:
- Red rectanglered denotes a failed drive.
- Green rectanglegreen denotes a healthy hard drive.
- Yellow rectangleyellow denotes a member of a failed RAID array, but is not the cause of the failure.
- No color rectangleunconnected ports have no visual indication.
And now then there is the power of RAID 5... if one of the drives fails, the system can continue to run by just writing to one drive. Since you have hot swappable drives, you could pull out the bad drive, plug in a new one and the system is back to its normal state. So you have the media shield alerting you what drive is broken, without disabling the system you swap the driver and bam, it's rebuilding the storage array.
Pretty cool stuff as you can now setup two RAID 5 units.
In this article we'll cover all that you need to know about the nForce 790i Ultra SLI. This is the mainboard that applies to you guys. We'll do the review in Guru style. Meaning the real hands-on experience combined with all data you like to learn, gamers style. Obviously we'll test and compare a little as well. But first let me show you the technical specifications of the NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI before we attack it with red peppers and drive it to the extreme. NVIDIA made sure that the nForce 790 series is one of the if not the best overclocking platform available. But you will pay top dollar for it, yet by overclocking you will gain that invested revenue back, that's a guarantee.
NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI review - XFX
The industry has been moving forward and we now see slow adoption of PCIe 2.0, new Intel Penryn (45nm) Core 2 processors are close to it's release and then of course the launch of NVIDIA's 3-way SLI last week which for 780i meant adoption of (3x) 16x PCIe slots. Time for the good old nForce68-i to get an upgrade to the all new nForce 780i.
NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Intel preview
Reason enough for NVIDIA to release the nForce 500 series for Intel's processors (Core 2 Duo as well). Today we'll be taking a brief look at the reference NVIDIA NFORCE 590 SLI mainboard. It by all means is test done with a reference board that is not 100% finished and unfortunately we did not receive a final product from a board partner like ASUS. Nonetheless .. even with this very Beta reference mainboard I was shocked by the combination of Conroe and NFORCE 590 SLI for Intel, in very positive way I must add.
NVIDIA nForce 590 + AMD FX-62
In this article will specifically test the NFORCE 590 SLI platform, yet obviously we'll also have a brief look at the entire NVIDIA NFORCE 500 series of chipsets. We also look at the New AMD64 Athlon FX 62 processor and this'll also be a meory review with Two Corsair DDR2 1066 MHz memory kist that have (Sli Ready) EPP functionality.