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NVIDIA's quick reference guide differentiating nForce 5xx chipsets

"Tritium" makes an appearance again
Welcome the new king of high end motherboard chipsets

Today marks the launch of NVIDIA's newest core logic chipsets, the nForce 590, nForce 570 and nForce 550nForce 590 made an appearance via internal NVIDIA roadmaps several weeks ago,  which we serendipidously published on DailyTech.  nForce 5xx was previously known as MCP55 on NVIDIA roadmaps.

nForce 590 SLI is a two chipset configuration using an nForce 590 SPP and MCP.  The MCP and SPP are connected by via a 1GHz, 16-bit HyperTransport link, to which the SPP is connected to the AM2 processor.  One x16 PCIe interface is linked to the SPP, and another to the MCP. The total setup allows for 10Gbps transfers from one graphics adaptor to the other, with the ability to overclock the bus on the fly.

nForce 590 features all of the goodies we already reported on: LinkBoost, MetaSheild, FirstPacket and dual Gigabit Ethernet controllers. Interestingly enough, however, ActiveArmor has actually been removed.  The core logic still features a TCP/IP offload engine but it is not compatible with third party firewalls. 

One feature we did not touch on in previous nForce 590 articles is "DualNet."  NVIDIA was slated to launch an "Ethernet teaming" protocol, and it looks like DualNet is the actual code name for that protocol.  Both Gigabit Ethernet PHYs can be used together to "virtually" appear as a single device -- though we haven't exactly seen this in action yet.  And yes, audio is back on nForce 5xx.

Tritium, as it was previously dubbed, is completely absent from NVIDIA's press material.  NVIDIA's Platform PR Manager, Bryan Del Rizzo, had previously made a statement to DailyTech claiming Tritium does not exist.  Another NVIDIA document has surfaced (right) claiming that Tritium will appear as a Foxconn reference motherboard design. 

nForce 570 and nForce 550 are also making an appearance today.  nForce 550 is virtually identical to nForce 4, but with the addition of SATA 3.0Gbps controllers.  nForce 570, on the other hand, is more similar to nForce 590 but only uses a single core logic.  Thus, LinkBoost does not exist on nForce 570. 

ATI previously launched its Xpress 3200 chipset, which currently is the closest thing to a competitor for nForce 590.  Xpress 3200, unlike nForce 590/570, will make an appearance for AM2 and Socket 939. 

NVIDIA's MCP61 core logic, a next generation controller, is still slated for a late Summer 2006 launch.

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By Inkjammer on 5/23/2006 8:36:49 AM , Rating: 2

Uhm, on the chipset comparison chart, why does it say "Information - DO NOT DISTRIBUTE OR POST 05.23.06" on the background of the image in large, easy to see text?

RE: Hrmm
By PT2006 on 5/23/2006 8:40:05 AM , Rating: 2
I think they just stopped caring...

RE: Hrmm
By peternelson on 5/23/2006 9:12:21 AM , Rating: 2

I believe it may be an embargo date to align with today's AM2 launch by AMD.

It may be their way of writing "Do not distribute or post BEFORE OR UNTIL 05.23.06" in which case it is fine to now be in the public domain.

RE: Hrmm
By Knish on 5/23/2006 9:14:06 AM , Rating: 2
embargoes are uneforceable anyway.

RE: Hrmm
By peternelson on 5/23/2006 9:19:06 AM , Rating: 2


How about "If you leak this, we will be unhappy and we won't tell you any of our secrets next time"

That can be enforced!

RE: Hrmm
By Trisped on 5/23/2006 12:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but the problem is most leaks were first leaked from someone else to the news source before the news source released it. I bet you can't guess who of the hundreds and thousands of security approved people were the leak.
On a side note, I heard once that some companies release many versions of information. That way if one version makes it out they will know who to plug the leak.

(I wonder if that could be made into a game...)

it begins
By Wwhat on 5/23/2006 7:48:15 AM , Rating: 2
The race to find the disastrous bug begins, it is a nvidia chip after all, I wonder who will find it first, or better put, I wonder who will report it first after they sold a million of them.

RE: it begins
By Chaotic42 on 5/23/2006 1:07:16 PM , Rating: 3
The race to find the disastrous bug begins, it is a nvidia chip after all, I wonder who will find it first, or better put, I wonder who will report it first after they sold a million of them.

   No kidding. I'd love to junk my nForce 4 system, but I'm certainly not going to replace it with another NV chipset. I wish that AMD would make chipsets for its workstation and home-user motherboards; it would give me a little reassurance that my system won't BSOD for no reason or randomly corrupt my data.

   I actually found myself looking at Opteron boards yesterday. I'm curious to see what kind of stability Intel's newest offering will provide. If I ever do buy another nVidia chipset again, it will only be after it's been out for some time.

RE: it begins
By ToeCutter on 5/24/2006 1:34:30 PM , Rating: 2
Right on, Chaotic.

nVidia GPUs might kick ass, but their chipsets suck ass (Okay, I couldn't resist two "ass" references in the same sentence).

I've been using these damn nForce boards for 3 generations now and they've ALL been buggy as hell. ActiveArmor is a JOKE, USB 2.0 issues plagued NF2 and NF3 and nvRAID can barely compete with a 3rd party PCI RAID controller.

IMHO, AMD made a HUGE mistake leaving their CPUs to be supported by 3rd party chipsets. None fo them can come close to offering the compatibility and stability of Intel's core logic chipsets.

Say what you will of Intel, but their chipsets were and continue to be rock-freaking solid offerings. If Conroe pans outs like the previews suggest, I'll definitely be jumping ship back to Intel.

Sad that AMD has to suffer this nonsense, as the issues I've experieenced have little to do with AMD and ALOT to do with nVidia.

By segagenesis on 5/23/2006 9:18:44 AM , Rating: 2
And yes, audio is back on nForce 5xx.

Can anyone elaborate any further on this? Something above your standard AC97 would be nice.

RE: Audio?
By peternelson on 5/23/2006 9:34:16 AM , Rating: 2
"Azalia" audio

RE: Audio?
By PaulDriver on 5/23/2006 10:55:43 AM , Rating: 3
Mind you, it's still just ac97 unless a codec chip with support for the good stuff (i.e. Dolby Digital Live) is used, at this point, all of the pre release info I can find on the AM2/590/570 boards is that they all use the Realtech ALC883 chip instead of the ALC883D or the ALC883DTS which support Dolby Digital Live or DTS Encoding (respectivly)


We should contact manufacturers and let them know that Dolby encoding is important to use.


By nrb on 5/23/2006 10:29:19 AM , Rating: 3
which we serendipidously published on DailyTech
(hides head in hands)

Not only can you not spell "serendipitously"... not only did you not stop to consider whether saying "with serendipity" would have been less clumsy... but you apparently don't even know what the word means . I think you probably mean "fortuitously". Or maybe "instantly". Or possibly "surreptitiously". Heck, I don't know what you mean. :-( But you definitely don't mean anything to do with a fortunate but accidental discovery.

RE: "serendipidously"?
By ksherman on 5/23/2006 11:05:51 AM , Rating: 2
i like it! :-)

RE: "serendipidously"?
By Trisped on 5/23/2006 12:20:25 PM , Rating: 2
I am use to the word (though vague on the meaning) so it wasn't clumsy to me.
I do see where you are coming from though, the word should have been used a little differently.
Serendipity: to make discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things not in quest of.

But I still award points for trying to use big words, just not as many.

By peternelson on 5/23/2006 7:28:59 AM , Rating: 2
"The MCP and SPP are connected by five HyperTransport links, to which the SPP is connected to the AM2 processor"


These are PCI EXPRESS links.

550 = (20 lanes over) 5 links
570U = (20 lanes over) 5 links
570SLI=(28 lanes over) 6 links
590SLI=(46 lanes over) 9 links

Please amend because "five HT links" is wrong.

By shadowzz on 5/23/06, Rating: -1
RE: Links
By KristopherKubicki on 5/23/2006 7:49:34 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm.. it is actually only a single HyperTransport link (I don't know why I wrote 5).

But it is definitely HT and not PCIe.

RE: Links
By peternelson on 5/23/2006 7:54:07 AM , Rating: 2
Yes I know the link between processor and chipset is a SINGLE Hypertransport link.

I'm interested if the 590 chipset involves two chips linked by more HT interconnect (as was the case in previous generation x16/x16 nforce4) or whether all those pci express links are broken out of a single chip?

There is nothing on the nvidia site yet about the chipset, in particular what I was looking for was a system block diagram.

Intel Edition?
By OP81 on 5/23/2006 7:57:51 AM , Rating: 2
No word about the Intel Edition yet?

Seen it rumored several places, and I guess it could be interesting with Conroe support... Especially since it's doubtful that Nvidia will license SLI for Intel's 975 or the upcoming 965??

RE: Intel Edition?
By DigitalFreak on 5/23/2006 12:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
I would expect the Intel editions to be launched with the Core 2 Duos.

By Tanclearas on 5/23/2006 8:33:08 AM , Rating: 2
Interestingly enough, however, ActiveArmor has actually been removed. The core logic still features a TCP/IP offload engine but it is not compatible with third party firewalls.

Wasn't the TCP/IP offload engine pretty much the core of ActiveArmor anyway? So they've left it in (probably still broken), left out the ActiveArmor name, and are saying it's not compatible with software firewalls. Sound about right?

Oh well. As long as they have stopped advertising something that's broken, it's at least a step in the right direction I guess.

By peternelson on 5/23/2006 9:16:13 AM , Rating: 2

I hope they got their act together on the networking, as tcp/ip offload is a very good feature if it works.

(eg Myrinet 10G ethernet cards have it)

I also hope Nvidia ironed out the bugs in their sata implementation too.

I'd prefer something like Silicon Image 3152 PCI Express SATA but suppose I understand them plugging their own implementation.

I hope the gigabit ethernet "twinning" feature follows standard protocols for link aggregation.

By tjr508 on 5/23/2006 2:13:02 PM , Rating: 2
Will the SATA bus still crach hard drives, lose data, and not be 100% compatable with the SATA standard (and maxtor drives) like the nforce4 chipsets?

By mushi799 on 5/23/2006 5:37:58 PM , Rating: 2
it's not the nforce4 chipset, it's that maxor hd you bought that is causing the problem

What about intel?
By Apo on 5/24/2006 3:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
So what about intel.. Is there any info about Nforce motherboards for conroe, anyone?

RE: What about intel?
By hstewarth on 5/26/2006 1:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yep.. check out the following link - the 590 is also available for Intel processors - I would assume that it works with Conroe.

By taemun on 5/23/2006 7:23:36 AM , Rating: 4
If Nvidia wanted Tritium to not exist so much (, how about they stop using it in internal documents!!

This reminds me of the Family Guy ep, where Stewie and Brian are in Germany.... the bus tour guide :)

Xpress 3200, unlike nForce 590/570, will make an appearance for AM2

Rephrase that. I'm sure that nForce 590 and 570 will be making an appearance for AM2 :P

By shadowzz on 5/23/06, Rating: -1
Can wait to see the benchmark...
By nangryo on 5/23/06, Rating: 0
By Spoelie on 5/23/2006 10:11:03 AM , Rating: 2
And how about this article:

Might be a good comparison as well ;p

By R3MF on 5/23/2006 11:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
who will be the first to build a 570SLI board with a mATX format?

not that I actually care about the SLI feature, but i do want the PCI-E 8x expansion slot that nVidia arbitrarily disables in the 570 Ultra chipset.

By Egglick on 5/23/2006 6:07:30 PM , Rating: 2
Gimmicks, gimmicks, and more gimmicks. That's what the nForce5 series represents to me. Am I the only one who doesn't wany any of their "linkboost" garbage, or trust their automatic overclocking crap??

Now that the SB600 has been released, it looks like it's time to use ATI chipsets instead.

By Skorpio on 5/23/2006 6:25:43 PM , Rating: 2
So we wont be seeing those chipsets in the 939?

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