nVIDIA chipsets tend to be sweet on
the overclocking front, so its pretty safe to assume that there are high
hopes for the nVidia nForce 590 SLI chipset and ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe
motherboard. This chipset is built with the enthusiast community in mind, or at
least that's what nVidia wants us to believe. Motherboards based on the flagship
nForce 590 SLI chipset still come clocked at 200 MHz, since AMD did not
increase the motherboard speed with the introduction of the new Socket AM2 processors.
Before we get started, the CPU clock multiplier is first
set to 7x and the DDR2 memory changed to run in 533 MHz mode. This way neither
the CPU nor memory will limit the maximum potential speed of the motherboard.
With those two changes made, we began overclocking the motherboard clock speed
from 200 MHz up in 5 MHz intervals.
At low speeds the
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard was quite easy to overclock, it didn't show
any signs of instability until 235 MHz was reached. At that speed, the voltage
to the nVidia C51XE chipset had to be increased to 1.3V. Continuing to push the
motherboard higher, the Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe easily passed the 250 MHz barrier
- a good sign considering it's the first revision. Early revisions of chipsets
tend not to overclock that well, it's nice to see this is not the case here with
the nVidia nForce 590 SLI.
A few more minutes passed before the Asus M2N32-SLI
Deluxe motherboard eventually topped out at 266 MHz; anything higher and it was
simply a no go. A speed of 266 MHz is quite nice for a first generation chipset
like the nForce 590 SLI, and we're generally pleased with these results.
The copper heatpipe cooling system snakes its way
through the motherboard landscape without obstructing any important components.
The benefit of this kind of system is that it can operate silently with existing
airflow; there are not small fans to fail over time, no potential sources of
noise - the impact on overclockability remains unseen.