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Nvidia rolls out Intel edition nForce 500 chipset trio

Ultra and SLI incarnations

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Computex 2006 Nvidia has announced Intel-oriented versions of the nForce 500-series chipsets it rolled out last month for AMD's new Socket AM2 processors in time for the Computex show in Taipei. The line-up includes three parts: the 570 Ultra, 570 SLI and 590 SLI.

All three support Intel's Core 2 Duo and Core2 Extreme processors, along with other LGA-775 CPUs. The 590 provides 48 PCI Express lanes to the 570's 20, allowing it to support twin x16 connectors, while the 570 is limited to two x8 slots for SLI.

The Nvidia chipsets support a 1066MHz frontside bus clock and DDR 2 SDRAM clocked at 667MHz - the 590 SLI supports Nvidia's EPP memory system. The 590 can support six SATA drives; the 570 four, though it can handle more IDE units: four to the 590's two. Both chipsets can RAID up their SATA units, in 0, 1,0+1 and 5 modes.

The 590 can host two Gigabit Ethernet ports; the 570 just one. The higher-end part supports linking the two to boost network performance. Technically, both chipsets will support packet prioritisation by data type - what Nvidia calls FirstPacket technology - but the 570 won't do so until a "future" driver is released.

Both 570 SLI and 590 SLI chipsets support HD audio and can control eight and ten USB ports, respectively. At this stage, it's unclear how the 570 Ultra differs from the 570 SLI beyond a lack of SLI support.

Nvidia said the chipsets are shipping on boards from Asus, BFG, Biostar, DFI, ECS, Gigabyte, MSI, XFX and others. ®

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