DFI's NF590 and RD580 AM2 Motherboards

With 95% of DFI's shipments being AMD platforms, it's not surprising that the two motherboards we are taking a look at are both AM2 platforms

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DFI's nForce 590 SLI and CrossFire 3200 motherboards are both what you would expect from DFI, the most unique feature being the digital VRM design used on both motherboards. The digital VRM cleans up the layout around the CPU socket and eliminates the possibility of leaky capacitors. The added peace of mind comes at a higher total motherboard cost of course.

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Note the lack of any conventional electrolytic capacitors around the CPU socket.

ASUS' 1S Workstation Motherboards ASRock


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  • ceefka - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    Just when Intel has attractive numbers on power consumption and also AMD aims again for lower numbers these GPUs negate all their effort and have you on the look out for an even bigger PSU or an additional PSU. How can ATI or NVIDIA justify this? I'd like a good reason. Reply
  • phusg - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    I think you've already given the only reason (CPU's using less). I won't call it a 'good' reason, but all the same. Reply
  • sri2000 - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    When I read that line about 1000-1200 watt PSU's, all I could think of was Doc Brown in Back to the Future yelling "1.21 Gigawatts!?!"... (yeah I know - kilowatt != gigawatt... but still).
  • Griswold - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    Who knows, maybe ATI/Nvidia bundle plutonium batteries (as seen in deep space probes) with their cards in the future? Not only to feed the cards but mainly to power your cooling equipment... Reply
  • segagenesis - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    Exactly my first thought. The concept of a seperate external supply for a graphics card is already ludicrous to me, if this becomes standard then I would hate to see future progression from there. Does anyone remember the Taco Town SNL skit? I desire better video as much as anyone else, but I draw the line when I need a nuclear power station to run it. ATI/nVidia must have forgotten that electricity DOES cost money.

    Needless to say... impressive Conroe boards, for a premium.
  • Stele - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    All in all an excellent article, good coverage and of course lovely photos :P

    The Asus Pluto board is interesting indeed, especially the audio riser card. By the way, anyone noticed that the riser card is nicknamed Charon? For the uninitiated, Pluto was the Greek god of the Underworld, separated from the living world by the river Styx. Charon was the boatman who ferried the dead across that river to Pluto's domain. The two have hence been generally closely associated with one another. In astronomy, Pluto's moon is also named Charon, for the same reason. Nice bit of humour on Asus' side :P
  • punko - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    Actually, Pluto is the Roman name for the Greek God Hades. Charon was indeed the ferryman of the Underworld, but the river wasn't Styx, but Acheron. I believe that there were four famous rivers in the Underworld, Lethe was another, but I can't remember the fourth.

  • Stele - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link


    Actually, Pluto is the Roman name for the Greek God Hades.

    It is another Greek name for Hades (from Greek ????t??, Plouton), but it was adopted by and hence much more commonly associated with Roman mythology.


    Charon was indeed the ferryman of the Underworld, but the river wasn't Styx, but Acheron

    Oh heh! Styx was the popular misconception... forgot about it. Thanks for correcting me! There were five rivers of Hades: Acheron (the river of sorrow), Cocytus (lamentation), Phlegethon (fire), Styx (hate) and... Lethe (forgetfulness). I guess that explains why you remember Lethe but forgot the others! ;)
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    Didn't really see anything new here.

    Audio on a riser card - DFI has been doing it for awhile now.
    Lighting around the I/O shield - Been done before.
    Debug code readout - Been on numerous boards for quite some time. Asus just made it viewable from outside the case.
  • Stele - Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - link

    No, I wasn't saying that anything was new in the industry, but new at least to Asus. IMHO the concept motherboard was an interesting exhibit, even if it isn't the only one of its kind.

    More to the point, what's noteworthy is that Asus - along with other manufacturers as well, hopefully - is considering following DFI's Karajan module concept. That can only be a good thing, as long as the manufacturers sincerely mean to improve noise immunity and not just throw it in as a gimmick to charge a premium for.

    As for the other ideas... interesting but not terribly unique, as you've already pointed out.

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