nForce 570SLI Test Board
Now we look at the nForce 570SLI chipset with MSI's K9N SLI Platinum motherboard.
MSI's first motherboard on the blocks is the K9N SLI Platinum which makes use of the nForce 570SLI chipset. Layout of the board is pretty well set out for a mainstream board. The 24-pin power connector is located on the right side of the board behind the DIMM sockets with the IDE and FDD connectors. The board has only a single IDE connector like the DFI board, so you're not missing out on any extra IDE drives. The 4-pin power connector is located between the CPU retention unit and the rear I/O shield which is not the best place to put this.
Around the CPU socket, all looks good. MSI has placed a large alloy heatsink on top of the 4 phase Mosfets that supply the CPU its power, which is a nice touch. The DIMM's are also colour coded on this board - green for Channel A and orange for Channel B.
MSI has used this I/O shield layout for the last couple of boards. So it's pretty straight forward, if you have owned an MSI motherboard in the past. You have two PS/2 ports, followed by a Serial port, Firewire port and SPDIF output. On the top of the Serial, Firewire and SPDIF is a parallel port for older printers. Next to them are two USB stacks with the LAN connectors on top of each stack. Lastly are the 5 Stereo audio ports with a Toslink (optical) in port.
Now onto the expansions slots. First there are two PCI Express x16 slots which are divided slots. If you only use one graphics card, the top slot runs at full speed. If you want to add a second card, the first slots shuts down into x8 and the other PCI Express x16 slot also runs at x8 to give SLI support. Between the two x16 slots are two PCI Express x1 slots. At the bottom of the board are three PCI slots for legacy cards.
MSI adds a few extra features to their K9N SLI Platinum. One of them is the VIA VT6307 Firewire chip that provides Firewire 400 ports.