AMD AM2

We'll start at the top of the AM2 motherboards with the nForce 590 SLI offerings. These are all premium motherboards that are essentially "everything plus the kitchen sink" designs. There are still differences among them, of course, and we have already reviewed several nForce 590 boards.


At the moment, we're only displaying three AM2 motherboards featuring the nForce 590 SLI chipset. All of the boards are going for roughly the same price. Since the recent release of the AM2 platform a couple weeks ago, there has already been a decent price decrease of about $30 with both the ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe [RTPE: M2N32-SLI Deluxe] and the ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless [RTPE: M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless]. The wireless version, as you can guess, features onboard wireless networking capabilities. Of the 590 boards we've already reviewed, only the Foxconn [RTPE: C51XEM2AA] is currently in stock and selling for $219. This is without doubt the best motherboard we've ever reviewed from Foxconn, and FireWire aficionados will appreciate the inclusion of the faster 1394B Port.


If the nForce 590 SLI prices are too much, you also have the option of going with a motherboard featuring the nForce 570 SLI chipset. As with the nForce 590 SLI based boards, we are only currently tracking three boards (Asus, Abit and MSI) -- all of which are going for roughly $130-$150. We'll have more 570 SLI reviews in the future, but so far we found that the MSI K9N SLI Platinum [RTPE: K9N SLI Platinum] ($140) was very competitive with the more expensive 590 boards in overall performance, while it lacked a few of their higher end features. The cheapest available board in this group is currently from Abit; the KN9 SLI [RTPE: KN9 SLI] is going for $133 shipped.


Dropping support for SLI, we have the nForce 570 Ultra based boards which are going for about $105-$115. We've only got two such offerings at present, which isn't too surprising considering most people will either want to save a bit more money and go with something from the next group, or else they'll want to spend a bit more money and get SLI support. MSI's offering, the 570 Ultra K9N Platinum [RTPE:K9N Platinum] ($119), features 4 DIMMs with support of up to DDR 800 and up to 8GB of RAM. It also features 6 SATA 3.0Gbps, RAID 0 or 1, 0+1, 5, two PCI-E X16 slots, Dual GB Ethernet ports, and Realtek ALC883 7.1 CH HD audio. The other 570 Ultra option is just as compelling, the ASUS 570 Ultra M2N-E [RTPE: M2N-E] ($105) offers similar features to the MSI board, though at present Newegg is the only vendor we currently show as stocking this motherboard. The ASUS board has been on the market for less than a week, so we expect availability to improve shortly. Worth noting is that both the MSI and ASUS 570 Ultra motherboards feature entirely passive cooling -- no more noisy/failed chipset fans.


Rounding out the nForce 500 AM2 motherboard offerings, we have the nForce 550 motherboards. Once again, we're only currently pulling up two nForce 550 based motherboards. These two boards are from Biostar [RTPE: TForce 550] and MSI [RTPE: K9N Neo-F] and are going for about $87 each. We hope to have a review of the TForce 550 in the near future, and we'll find out just how much performance you can wring out of an $87 motherboard.

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  • Boushh - Monday, June 26, 2006 - link

    Asus is offering the P5WDH Deluxe (based on the 975X chipset) and the P965 based P5B and P5B Deluxe. All offering Core 2 Duo/Extreme support. One Dutch etailer is offering the P5WDH for 211 Euro (including VAT, excluding shipping), delivery in 2-3 days.

    Your text is not clear about Core 2 Duo capable boards. On the one hand you say: 'If you need a replacement motherboard, however, there's no reason to wait.'. Suggesting that Core 2 Duo boards are available, but they are not listed in the price guide !! And on the otherhand you say: 'One big question that remains: which socket 775 motherboards will officially support Core 2 Duo once it becomes available?'. Saying that you actualy don't know which boards can support the Core 2.

    It would have been nicer if you would list the boards that absolutely DO support the Core 2 (like the above mentioned Asus boards), and list the boards that MAY support the Core 2 (the list of 975X boards).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 26, 2006 - link

    "One Dutch retailer..."

    That's the problem: we know there are some boards that are scheduled for retail availability very shortly, including the ASUS board you mentioned, but they're really not shipping in any reasonable fashion yet. It's also a little unnerving that no motherboard manufacturers are coming out beating the drum and saying how great their motherboards are because they offer Conroe support. We may see something like the 945/955 product launch where even though it was technically possible to run dual core chips on older chipsets, the only way to officially get such support was to buy one of the new motherboards.

    Personally, there's no way I'm going to spend over $200 on an Intel motherboard right now unless I am absolutely certain it will support Core 2 Duo. The motherboard manufacturers all have test chips internally by now (and have for some time), so I'm a little curious as to why no one has been able to come forth stating which boards can support Conroe. Perhaps they are just under strict NDA from Intel and are not allowed to make such statements until the official launch has passed? If so, Intel certainly isn't doing any of the motherboard manufacturers any favors.
    Reply
  • Boushh - Tuesday, June 27, 2006 - link

    I see what you mean.

    Asus says that it supports: 'LGA775 socket for Intel Core2 Duo, Core2 Extreme and next generation Mulit-Core CPU'. But if you look at the CPU support, the list is empty. So that means that the Core 2 would fit in the socket, but without the CPU support list it's unclear if it will actualy work.

    And with the Core 2 officially still a month away, I do understand your point for not adding these boards to the list (just yet) ;-)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 27, 2006 - link

    They'd be added to the list if we could find them at US retailers. :) Probably another week or so.... Reply
  • Quiksel - Monday, June 26, 2006 - link

    quote:

    'If you need a replacement motherboard, however, there's no reason to wait.'
    This doesn't imply that C2Duo boards are out, it merely states that if you have a dead board, you probably need a replacement, hence, no reason to wait... Sure, some might not want to use their dead computer for a couple of months, but I know I would want it up and running.

    As for C2Duo support on existing mobo's goes, it is certainly fair to say that we aren't sure what will end up being supported since the procs aren't out and tested just yet. No reason not to be on the safe side, especially these guys when they are recommending products. Certainly they would not want to be on the receiving end of an angry customer finding out a board that Anandtech said would work with Conroe ends up being not compatible in the end. Let's just reserve judgment when the chips arrive, shall we?
    Reply
  • shabby - Monday, June 26, 2006 - link

    Why dont these charts ever appear correctly when you click on print this article? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, June 26, 2006 - link

    Probably an error in the code that generates the tables. I have passed it on to our website administrator to have him look at it. Reply

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