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It’s sad such a renowned manufacturer thought it possible to issue mainboards that are absolutely non-overclockable. They do allow overclocking the CPU, but the overclocked system doesn’t work normally. I hope this is the mainboards’ fault, some errors in the BIOS, rather than an inherent defect of the nForce 570 chipset. There is in fact little difference between the nForce 5 family chipsets. The MCP carries the bulk of functionality and it is only with the nForce 590 that the added SPP brings support of additional PCI Express lanes. The CPU-Z utility doesn’t get the chipset right, but it is not too far from the truth:

The nForce 590 SLI South Bridge is in fact the nForce 570 SLI or nForce 570, but with fewer PCI Express lanes. And I had no problems with restarting the system when I was overclocking processors on an ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe (Nvidia nForce 590 SLI chipset).

I do hope it’s not Nvidia chipsets’ problem because if it were so, AMD’s processors would receive a heavy and unexpected blow. Nvidia is the main supplier of chipsets for AMD processors, and the company’s chipsets are known to be far from perfect. Particularly, they have high heat dissipation, have problems with certain HDD models, and lose packets with their network adapters. If overclocking-related problems add up to this list, the appeal of AMD processors will be dramatically reduced.

By the way, Nvidia’s graphics drivers aren’t blameless, either. They can’t solve problems with dual-core processors for a few months already. Each recent release of the ForceWare driver comes with a recommendation to disable support of multi-core processors for OpenGL and Direct3D applications and I wonder if they are trying to correct this issue at all. ATI doesn’t have it. Instead, they release ForceWare 91.31 with a monstrous and unhandy control panel as in the Catalyst. Fortunately, you can switch it back to the old view, but I couldn’t get rid of an annoying message that appeared at each start of the system to tell me that the second graphics card had been removed and SLI mode was unavailable. But I had never had a second graphics card! The color setup master doesn’t work, too, because my monitors are in the Clone mode. But I have only one monitor! So, not all is well with Nvidia…

ATI has unsolved driver issues, too, and as for its chipsets, there are none. I mean there are no chipsets. The rather large share of the chipset market the company has acquired recently was due to Intel’s temporal halt in production of inexpensive chipsets. After Intel has completed its technical modernization, and after ATI has merged with AMD, this share is going to shrink immediately if ATI doesn’t pay more attention to chipsets. I hope they will.

So, there are no positive results in this review, just some hopes that the errors in the tested mainboards from ASUS will be corrected, that Nvidia’s chipsets do not have intrinsic defects, that ATI will produce chipsets with higher functionality and in larger quantities. I hope these hopes won’t prove to have been groundless.

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