Basic Features: Biostar 590 SLI / MSI 570 SLI

The Biostar board is designed around NVIDIA's flagship nForce 590 SLI chipset with one purpose in mind, the ability to let your AM2 processor reach its maximum potential while offering a class leading feature set. The MSI board is based upon NVIDIA's performance oriented nForce 570 SLI chipset that offers a slightly reduced feature set along with X8 SLI operation. This is the chipset that will probably account for the bulk of SLI board sales as it offers similar performance to the nForce 590 SLI for a lower price.

Specifications
BioStar TForce 590 SLI Deluxe MSI K9N SLI Platinum
Market Segment Enthusiast - SLI (2x16) Performance - SLI (2x8)
CPU Interface AM2 AM2
SLI Technology Yes Yes
NVIDIA LinkBoost Yes No
NVIDIA FirstPacket Yes Yes
NVIDIA DualNet Yes Yes
Memory - Enhanced Performance Profiles Yes No
Teaming Yes Yes
TCP/IP Accleration Yes Yes
MediaShield Yes Yes
GPU Ex- Yes No
Chipset: nForce 590 SLI nForce 570 SLI
Chipset Voltage: Auto, 1.55V, 1.60V, 1.65V,1.70V Auto
Memory Speeds: DDR2 - Auto, 400, 533, 667, 800 DDR2 - Auto, 400, 533, 667, 800
Memory Voltage: 1.95V, 2.00V, 2.05V, 2.10V - 2.30V via jumper 1.800V to 2.45V in .05 increments
Memory Settings: tCL, tRAS, tRP, tRCD, tRPD, tRC, CMD,
tWR, tRWT, tWTR, tREF, DQS Skews, Async Latencies. Rx FIFO
tCL, tRAS, tRP, tRCD, tRPD, tRC, CMD,
Bank Inteleaving
PCI Express Speeds: 100MHz~200MHz 100MHz~145MHz
HyperTransport Frequency: 100MHz~500MHz in various increments 200MHz~425MHz in various increments
HyperTransport Multiplier: Auto, 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x
AM2 to NB, NB to SB
Auto, 1x, 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x
AM2 to NB
HyperTransport Linkwidth: 8/8, 16/16 - NB and SB 8/8, 16/16
HyperTransport Linkwidth Voltage: Auto, 1.25V, 1.3V, 1.35V, 1.4V Auto
CPU Clock Multiplier: Auto, 4x ~ 12x (4800+)
Maximum Dependent upon CPU - 20x Max
Auto, 5x ~ 25x
Maximum Dependent upon CPU
CPU Voltage: Auto, .800V to 2.00V in .025 increments Auto, .800V to 1.350V in .025 increments
CPU Voltage - Extra: Not Applicable .05V to .35V in .05V increments
Dynamic Overclocking: V6 Tech - 10%~15%
V8 Tech - 15%~25%
V12 Tech - 25%~30%
CoreCell - Six Levels 1%~15% Increase
Memory Slots: 4 x 240-pin DIMM Slots 4GB Capacity 4 x 240-pin DIMM Slots 4GB Capacity
Expansion Slots: 2 x PCI Express x16
1 x PCI Express x4
1x PCI Express x1
2 x PCI 2.3
2 x PCI Express x16 (x8 operation for SLI / multi-GPU)
2 x PCI Express x1
3 x PCI 2.3
Onboard SATA 2.0: 4 x SATA 3Gb/s Ports
2 x e-SATA 3Gb/s Ports
6 x SATA 3Gb/s Ports
Onboard SATA 2.0 RAID: RAID 0, 0+1, 5, JBOD RAID 0, 0+1, 5, JBOD
Onboard IDE: 1 x UltraDMA Connector
133/10/66/33 Two Drive Support
1 x UltraDMA Connector
133/10/66/33 Two Drive Support
Onboard USB2.0: Six via Rear Panel, Four via motherboard headers Four via Rear Panel, six via motherboard headers
Onboard IEEE-1394a: VIA VT6307 VIA VT6307
Onboard LAN: 2 Gbe - Marvell 88E1116 2 Gbe - Vitesse VSC8601
Onboard Audio: Realtek ALC882 Realtek ALC883
Power Connectors: 8-pin ATX, 24-Pin ATX 4-pin ATX, 24-Pin ATX, 4-pin 12V molex
Back Panel I/O Ports: 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x Audio I/O Panel
2 x RJ45 LAN
6 x USB 2.0
2 x e-SATA
1 x IEEE-1394a
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x Audio I/O Panel
2 x RJ45 LAN
4 x USB 2.0
1 x Parallel Port
1 x Serial Port
1 x S/PDIF Coaxial Out
1 x S/PDIF Optical Out
Other Features: T-Power:
O.N.E. - OC Navigator Engine
C.R.P. - CMOS Reload
M.I.T- Memory Integration Test
I.F.P - Integrated Flash Program
S.R.S. - Self Recovery System
Windows Overclock Engine
Windows Smart Fan Function
Windows Live Update
Windows Hardware Monitor
DigiCell- Inclusive Monitoring / Configuration Program
Live Update - Windows based driver/bios update utility
Dual Core Center - Windows based Monitoring / Overclocking Utility
Mega Stick - MSI MP3 Program
I-Speeder - Network Monitoring Utility
NTune 5.0 Support: Limited Limited
BIOS Award, BioStar N5SAA522 AMI, MSI Version 1.00


The Biostar board offers an extremely feature rich range of BIOS options that offer a significant amount of control over the board. Our one issue with the BIOS and overall with the board is the limited memory voltage options when compared to our other AM2 boards. In order to reach 2.3V you have to enable a jumper on the board but the memory is then fixed at 2.3V. Considering our 570 SLI boards offer memory ranges in various increments up to 2.45V, this is an oversight for Biostar on their flagship board.

The MSI board offers a limited array of BIOS options compared to the 590 SLI boards we have tested to date although most major performance areas are covered with the exception of MCP and HT voltage options. We feel like these two voltage options are a requirement if a user wants to overclock the board in a stable manner past a 310~315HTT setting.

Index Biostar 590 SLI: Board Layout
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17 Comments

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  • dougcook - Friday, September 08, 2006 - link

    I bought one of the MSI 570 boards (after reading this review). Everything seemed ok (some things seemed a bit cheap, but nothing really unusual). I got it all installed and running...

    For one day.

    While burning a few CDs, the Northbridge overheated and the machine turned itself off. This happened 2 more times, and then the machine failed to boot at all (even after giving it time to cool off). I wasn't overclocking, and the box had decent ventilation.

    This may not happen for everybody, but looking on NewEgg, it seems that this has happened to many other people. The MSI northbridge does not have an adequate heatsink and is likely to burn up. Save the time and get something better. I got the equivalent ABit 570 motherboard, and I've been very happy so far. I hear good things about the ASUS 570 as well.
    Reply
  • MacGuffin - Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - link

    I don't mean to be a whiny biyatch but where's the follow-up article? Are you guys playing around with Conroe motherboards and ES chips again?;-) Reply
  • JakeBlade - Friday, June 09, 2006 - link

    Northbridge fans blow. No pun intended. Reply
  • Visual - Friday, June 09, 2006 - link

    in the comparison table on page 2, you have incorectly listed a firewire, 6 usb ports and 2 esata ports for the MSI. it doesn't have those, just 4 usbs. it does have a COM and LPT ports that you need to list though.

    Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, June 09, 2006 - link

    The right table was inserted this time, thanks!!!! :) Reply
  • A554SS1N - Friday, June 09, 2006 - link

    I'm interested in the MSI K9N 550 chipset, but noticed this 570 SLi chipset has the same sized passive cooler; could you tell me what the temperatures for the chipet on load are? (Sometimes SpeedFan might be needed to detect them on some boards?). Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, June 09, 2006 - link

    I will see if we can get an accurate internal chipset temperature for you. The heatsink itself was at 56c under load when measured with a infrared device. Reply
  • A554SS1N - Thursday, June 15, 2006 - link

    Thanks, I could get an idea that it may be upto 70C internal from that external heatsink reading. Reply
  • R3MF - Thursday, June 08, 2006 - link

    sorry, not buying.

    give me the 8x/16x SLI split, as well as 8x slot, two 1x slots, and a couple of PCI slots that i can ignore.

    then i'll buy.
    Reply
  • segagenesis - Thursday, June 08, 2006 - link

    ... is its AMD. After reading about Conroe I would hope nVidia does this for the Intel camp now that I'd rather buy one of those than AM2. Reply

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