For a platform and CPU that were almost invisible before their May 23rd launch, AM2 and the supporting AM2 chipsets are proving to be remarkably mature. Part 1 and Part 2 of our AM2 roundup examined four AM2 motherboards based on the nForce 500 family of chipsets. Three were based on the top-end 590 SLI chipset and one was based on the mainstream 570 SLI chipset. Part 3 looks at two of the most exciting nForce 500 motherboards that have been evaluated - the readily available top-end ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe and the mainstream Epox MF570SLI.

The ASUS M2N32-SLI was quickly out the door as the Reference Board supplied by AMD for the AM2 launch. CPU manufacturers are always careful about Reference Boards and AMD's confidence in the ASUS AM2 platform speaks highly of the board's stability and performance. Our review here is based on the full retail version of the M2N32-SLI Deluxe, complete with on-board wireless 802.11 b/g and dual-Gigabit LAN ports that can be "teamed" to create a 2Gb port. The review board is currently available at many on-line e-tailers and local computer shops. For more information on pricing and availability of the M2N32-SLI Deluxe please refer to the just-published Price Guide, June 2006: Motherboards

Just below the nForce 590 for AM2 is the single X16/dual X8 nForce 570 SLI. The 570 SLI uses the same new 590 chip as the top-end chipset, but it does not supply the second SPP chip for the additional X16 PCIe support.

nForce 500 Specifications
  NVIDIA nForce
590 SLI
570 SLI
570 Ultra
NVIDIA nForce 550
Segment Enthusiast SLI
(2 X16)
Performance SLI
(2 X8)
Performance Mainstream
CPU Suggestion Athlon 64 FX
Athlon 64 X2
Athlon 64
Athlon 64 FX
Athlon 64 X2
Athlon 64
Athlon 64 FX
Athlon 64 X2
Athlon 64
Athlon 64
SLI Technology Yes Yes No No
NVIDIA LinkBoost Yes No No No
NVIDIA FirstPacket Yes Yes Yes No
NVIDIA DualNet Yes Yes Yes No
Gigabit Connections 2 2 2 1
Teaming Yes Yes Yes No
TCP/IP Acceleration Yes Yes Yes No
MediaShield Yes Yes Yes Yes
RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 0, 1, 0+1, 5 0, 1, 0+1, 5 0, 1, 0+1
NVIDIA nTune 5 Yes Yes Yes Yes
PCI Express Lanes 46 28 20 20
Links 9 6 5 5
USB Ports 10 10 10 10
PCI Slots Supported 5 5 5 5
Audio Azalia Azalia Azalia Azalia

570 SLI also does not support all the NVIDIA auto-overclocking features like LinkBoost as you can see in the above chart. 570 is clearly a mainstream part, but performance should be at the same level as nForce 590. The most important distinction is support for dual X16 PCIe on 590 versus support for dual X8 PCIe on 570 SLI. For more information and a detailed comparison of the nForce 500 family chipsets please refer to nForce 500: nForce4 on Steroids?

The Epox MF570SLI is based on this mainstream 570 SLI chipset. You will see in the review of this board that you can still find an incredibly well-appointed board with almost every overclocking option you can imagine in a mainstream-priced board.

ASUS: Features & Board Layout
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  • leexgx - Sunday, April 15, 2007 - link

    i am trying to get an stable overclock from this m2n32-sli deluxe got an 3800+ X2 at 2.65 (10x265) when i set it to 2.70 270 it just BSOD

    do i need to up MB and SB volts up ? as well or lower the NB to SB as well

    if any one could point me to an web site that has overclocked one of these motherboards be usefull
  • mss242 - Tuesday, December 5, 2006 - link

    doesn't the asus also offer raid 5? Page 2 lists raid options as 0,1,0+1,10, and JBOD.
  • darkswordsman17 - Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - link

    Something I've noticed is a lot of boards are starting to get DDL/Dolby Master Studio and DTS Connect capabilities, but Anandtech doesn't even mention it half the time, and doesn't even test it at all.

    I think it would be worth looking into, as its really starting to become a viable alternative to Creative's surround solutions (EAX support wouldn't even matter if its being encoded in DD/DTS would it), which more than a few people do not like (although myself am fairly neutral as I've liked the Creative cards I've owned). Also, there are plenty of people sore over losing DDL support when they moved to a newer platform than nForce2 with SoundStorm. I often see people saying how they still miss it, and yet, its been here for almost 6 months already (Intel Bad Axe, possibly others). I see a lot of new boards from ASUS, Gigabyte, and Abit featuring support for these.

    Also a lot of these new boards are using different chips to handle processing, so maybe that makes a difference as far as quality or performance.

    I just think it would be beneficial at the very least to make a note of it, as its not always easy to find out what boards actually do support them.

    Just a thought.
  • classy - Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - link

    Why not show the results of the scores gained from oc?
  • DrMrLordX - Friday, June 30, 2006 - link

    Probably because it's a review of the motherboard and not the CPU itself. All a motherboard review needs is information about the maximum HTT speeds achieveably on the board at stock.
  • saratoga - Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - link

    The CPU use numbers for the on board audio are great, but it'd also be nice to know just how good the actual quality is. If theres massive THD or a resampling problem, benchmarks will look great, but the part may still suck.

    Using RMAA would allow people to see immediately if there were any serious issues with the sound quality such as poor resampling or noise.

    Seeing as other tech sites have started using it, it'd be nice if you guys could too. See this review:">

    Obvious so much info isn't needed for a motherboard review, but posting the summary chart that RMAA spits out with the crosstalk, SNR, IMD and THD numbers would be great.
  • Gary Key - Thursday, June 29, 2006 - link

    We will post RMAA results when a new audio chip is introduced. I will run the results on this chipset and have it available in our next article. We actually used RMAA 5.5 in a previous article and had more comments wanting subjective analysis. However, we will do the short version of the test results. :)
  • Sifl - Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - link


    "...a connector for the included antenna for the wireless LAN."

    With a new and interesting built-in WiFi option (as far as ATX MOBO's go), why not show us the antenna and where it goes?

    For the Asus board layout, I can see all the IO ports (letter designations on the image could help identify which connector is which) but I'm not sure where the WiFi antenna would go. Is it the little gold colored thing off to the right in the picture for rear IO? Because I don't see that same thing in the top views. Maybe another view is better like a perspective view of the ports, rather than the straigh-on view.

    And why does the Epox lack Firewire -- But has 10 USB's ?! Who uses 10 USB ports? Firewire is just basic for any digital video equipment. I chose my current MOBO (Epox 9NPA+) because it HAS Firewire. Maybe they will have another model with it included.
  • Myrandex - Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - link

    "Who uses 10 USB ports?" I do...
    But then again I also use firewire, bure still it would have been stupid for Epox to have included less USB ports (arrggg EVGA's microATX nForce4 SLI mobo of mine only supporting 8). Back 6 have printer, Windows Media Center Remote sensor, mouse, cell phone data/charger for MPX220 (mine), and cell phone data/charger for Motorola V3 Razr (g/f's), and webcam. Then only 2 of my front 4 USb ports can be connected, and that means I can only use 2 USB devices in the front (ranging from hard drive cages for testing, flash sticks, USB controllers for emulators, etc.) For a manufacturer to have a chipset with 10 USBs yet only implement 8 is just kind of backwards and extremely pointless :-/

    On a side note I did have to laugh at PCI/AGP Fixed at 33/66 as there seem sot be no AGP on these boards for it to be locked at 66 :)

  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - link

    Yes, the antenna screws to the gold connector on the right of the rear IO port on the Asus.

    As for no firewire on the Epox, it is likely a cost savings to meet a target price point. Most of the digital cameras we have seen recently have emphasized high-speed USB2 instead of Firewire, although we agree Firewire is still widely used in digital cameras and video. Add-on Firewire cards are very reasonable, but they would be an added expense if you required Firewire on the Epox.

    The MSI 570 reviewed at"> is also based on the nForce 570 chipset and does feature Firewire.

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