nVidia has been the leader in AMD chipset production since the nForce 2 series came out and wiped VIA off as the top dog. nVidia made a huge splash with Hardware Audio support, a faster memory controller and far greater overclocking abilities than anything SiS or VIA were even able to conceive and that was hard to imagine considering their short experience with platform chipsets.
Moving to Athlon 64, nVidia was right there with the nForce 3 series chipsets which started to really get the company on track for platform chipsets. Now nVidia was truly multitalented - great graphics and great chipsets. nForce 4 saw nVidia bring back tandem graphics with SLI technology and also saw nVidia's first chipset for the Intel Pentium 4 series.
Today Socket AM2 is AMD's new weapon for the Athlon 64 and Sempron series of K8 processors. While new chipsets aren't required to run these processors, since there is no memory controller on the chipset itself, nor any change to the Hypertransport link that connects the CPU to the Northbridge, nVidia has taken the new AM2 chipset to revamp its K8 portfolio with the new nForce 500 series chipsets for AMD and soon to be released for Intel Core 2 processors.
Today we are taking a look at the four major AMD nForce 500 chipsets - 590SLI, 570SLI, 570 Ultra and 550. What do these chipsets support and are there any major differences in speed? Or is it just features that separate these chipsets? Let's find out!