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ECS PN1 SLI2 Extreme nForce 590SLI Motherboard Review

ECS PN1 SLI2 Extreme nForce 590SLI Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The motherboard is based on the nVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition chipsets (nForce 590 SLI SPP and nForce 590 SLI MCP), so it supports a whole host of multi-videocard gaming arrangements.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ECS Apr 07 2007   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > ECS PN1 SLI2 Extreme

nVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition chipset

Feature wise the nVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition chipset that is the backbone of the ECS PN1 SLI2 Extreme is quite similar to the AMD version. The nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition chipset is split up into the traditional Northbridge/Southbridge configuration with the nForce 590 SLI MCP handling the brunt of the workload. The nVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition SPP connects to the processor via a 533/800/1066 MHz FSB. The SPP Northbridge supports a single PCI Express x16 slot for the primary videocard and the Northbridge also houses nVIDIA's Dual Channel DDR2 memory controller which also supports SLI-Ready memory (EPP).

The nVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition MCP as mentioned earlier is the busier of the two and supports another PCI Express x16 slot for a secondary videocard, one PCI Express x8 connector, four PCI Express x1 slots, five regular 32 bit PCI slots, dual Gigabit MACs with nVIDIA's DualNet technology, a 7.1 channel High Definition Intel Azalia audio controller, six Serial ATA II slots and one IDE channel which supports two devices.

nVidia nForce 500 Series Feature Breakdown
nVidia nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition
CPU Socket 775
nVida SLI Support Yes, (2 x16)
nVidia LinkBoost No
nVidia FirstPacket Yes
nVidia DualNet Yes
Native Gigabit Ethernet 2
Teaming Yes
TCP/IP Acceleration Yes
nVidia MediaShield Storage Yes
SATA/IDE HDD 6/2
SATA Speed 3Gb/s
RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5
nVidia nTune Utility Yes
PCI Express Lanes 48 lanes
USB Ports 10
PCI Slots 5
Audio High Definition Audio (Azalia)

nForce 590 SLI Assorted Technologies

nVIDIA has upgraded the integrated audio solution to include Intel's High Definition Audio Azalia standard. With Serial ATA going the way it is, there is only one IDE channels integrated now. To balance out storage requirements, the number of Serial ATA II (3Gbps) ports has been increased to six. Continuing on the hard drive front, nVIDIA's Serial ATA II channels adhere to the Serial ATA 2.0 spec and support RAID mode 0, 1, 0+1 and 5.

nVIDIA DualNet technology looks very interesting, and what it does is basically give the user greater control over network processes. All high end and mainstream nVIDIA chipsets will now by default support two Gigabit connections. Users can combine the two connections for more bandwidth, and there is hardware TCP/IP Acceleration which lowers CPU utilization. Another very cool feature is nVIDIA's FirstPacket Technology which allows you to prioritize network traffic. So for example, if you are a gamer that tends to do multiple things while you're online, you can prioritize your game traffic so that ping times are not affected by the other processes going on in the background.

On the memory front, the nVidia 590 SLI chipset introduces something called the Enhanced Performance Profiles or EPP. This is an open memory standard put forth by Corsair and nVIDIA which takes over where JEDEC's SPD leaves off. As the Enhanced Performance Profiles description implies, it adds performance profiles to the memory SPD in addition to the conservative compatibility settings already programmed in.

EPP compliant memory is dubbed "SLI Ready" memory on nVidia platforms (great marketing on nVIDIA's part) and allows the system to dynamically tighten up memory timings and increase voltages for better performance with no fuss. Whether you're a novice or experienced computer user, the benefits of EPP are immediate. nVIDIA has also greatly upgraded its nTune software which allow users more control over their systems. Realistically with nTune, there is no longer a need to go into the BIOS to adjust settings, now you can do everything within WindowsXP!

One thing to note is that the nVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition chipset does not support LinkBoost. If you remember back to the AMD version, LinkBoost increases the HyperTransport/PCI Express bandwidth 25% when GeForce 7900GTX and higher videocards are installed. Tests have shown that this boost does nil for modern technology, which may be one of the reasons nVIDIA dropped it from the Intel Edition of the nForce 590 SLI.Overclocking is next!

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Contents of Article: ECS PN1 SLI2 Extreme
 Pg 1.  ECS PN1 SLI2 Extreme nForce 590SLI Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Gallery Highlights of this ECS Motherboard
 Pg 3.  Gallery Highlights Continued
 Pg 4.  — nVIDIA nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition chipset
 Pg 5.  Overclocking the PN1 SLI2 Motherboard
 Pg 6.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Sysmark 2004
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SuperPi, PCMark05
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 10.  Motherboard Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 11.  Another Swing at 590SLI...

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