NVIDIA'S NFORCE 590 SLI got all the attention when AMD launched its new AM2 platform, and for good reason. The chipset is packed to the gills with more PCI Express lanes, Serial ATA ports, integrated Gigabit Ethernet controllers, and fancy buzzwords than any other core logic solution for the Athlon 64. It's not alone, though. Nvidia launched a full line of nForce 500 series chipsets to accompany Socket AM2, and although the nForce 590 SLI is the flagship, its little brother, the nForce 570 SLI, may ultimately be more appealing.
The nForce 570 SLI doesn't have quite as many PCI Express lanes as the 590, and it's missing a buzzword here and there, but you still get SLI support, six Serial ATA RAID ports, dual hardware-accelerated Gigabit Ethernet controllers, and High Definition Audio. You pay a lot less, too. nForce 590 SLI boards sell for close to $200 online, while those based on the 570 SLI can be had for closer to $125.
MSI's K9N SLI Platinum is currently one of the most affordable nForce 570 SLI boards on the market, and we've snagged one to see how it compares with high-end offerings based on the nForce 590 SLI. Can this mid-range board hold its own against competition that costs 50% more? Keep reading; the answer might surprise you.