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Today we are looking at MSI's K9N SLI Platinum - a medium range socket AM2 motherboard based on the nForce 570 chipset that aims to pack a lot of value as well as nearly all the functionality of the top end nForce 590 family of boards.
The nForce 570 SLI chipset is Nvidia's second highest performance nForce 5 chipset for AMD processors. It has 28 PCIe lanes, and supports a 2x8 SLI mode, or up to six PCIe slots in a 16x, 8x, 1x, 1x, 1x, 1x configuration.
The 570 also supports six SATA2 with RAID 0/1/0+1/5 support, and two PATA drives; "MediaShield" support, and two Gigabit Ethernet ports with TCP/IP acceleration. Up to ten USB2 ports and HD Audio round out this rather feature full chipset. As you can see from this brief overview, the K9N SLI Platinum is feature and I/O rich, and at an estimated price of $129USD it looks to be a viable option for those looking for a medium range board.
In this review the K9N-SLI Platinum is up against three other competitors that sport the same general family of Nforce chipset - albeit a higher end one - the Nforce 590. As the Nforce 570 is similar to the 590, we will probably find that these motherboards all fall in the same ballpark for most applications.
The Nforce 590 has the dual PCIe 16x slots as its main claim to fame, and also somewhat more ; the 570 only has dual PCIe 8x slots in SLI mode. While other differences exist, this is the main reason enthusiasts will pay more for the 590.
I think the 570 based K9N strikes a nice balance between the "economy" boards and the "high end" boards.
Detailed Motherboard Specifications
(taken from MSI's website)
As you can see, the board is not exactly short of features! My personal favorites are the 6 SATA2 ports with RAID 5 support and the dual Gigabit Ethernet adapters - not only does this board provide SLI for gamers, slap in a nice X2 processor and it might make a decent mid-range server too!