To clear things up right at the beginning, the nForce 570 SLI Intel Edition is basically a re-badged nForce 4 SLI XE. As such, the ECS NFORCE 570 SLIT-A is quite essentially the same board as the C19-A SLI that we've reviewed before, complete with the same MCP51 Southbridge (nForce 430) and C19XE Northbridge (nForce 4SLI SPP). The only differences seem to be the use of the C19 A3 revision chipset and the design to support Core 2 CPUs. The C19XE Northbridge is capable of running single PCIe x16 or dual PCIe x8 for SLI configurations. However, much like how ECS has engineered their boards before, they've locked the PCIe lanes into x8 mode. Cost is lowered, but this also means that users will be running at PCIe x8 even with a single GPU.
One other thing to take note of is memory support of the NFORCE 570 SLIT-A. Officially, the nForce 570 SLI (C19 chipset) only supports up to DDR2-667, which doesn't look too hot when you consider that mainstream Core 2 chipsets these days can feature DDR2-800. However, with NVIDIA's DualDDR2 Memory Architecture, the scalability of the chipset memory controller has been proven before to work at much higher frequencies. You can read more on the memory compatibility of the board in our benchmarking section on the next page.
The MCP51 Southbridge offers four SATA 3.0Gbps connections supporting NVIDIA's MediaShield technology and capable of RAID 0,1, 0+1 and RAID 5. There are also two IDE channels available. ECS didn't deem it necessary to include any additional storage controllers for more options or eSATA, which has become quite a common sight nowadays. Other features of the MCP include an onboard Gigabit MAC paired with a Marvell 88E1116 PHY, eight USB 2.0 ports and HD Audio. The audio CODEC used here is also identical to that of the C19-A SLI, that being the Realtek ALC883. The inclusion of both coaxial and optical S/PDIF ports in addition to regular analog jacks is a pretty good plus to a value motherboard. There are spaces on the PCB reserved for additional PCI LAN and FireWire ICs, but those are optional items and as far as we know, ECS doesn't have an SKU of the board that has these features by default.
The NFORCE 570 SLIT-A follows the design of the C19-A SLI to a tee, which shouldn't be surprising since they are essentially the same. The board looks spacious with most of its components in ideal locations, except we feel that the primary and secondary IDE positions should have been switched around. The board has a low profile cooler that does an OK job and doesn't make too much noise, which is good. The board also has a full complement of expansion slots to make up lack of onboard features and we like how they staggered the PCIe x1 slots so at least one can still be used even if you have dual slotted graphics cards. Mostly, the board feels spacious enough that there shouldn't be a problem with installation or airflow.
The BIOS hasn't really changed much from the C19-S SLI as well and are greeted with the exact same options, down to the frequency and voltage stepping. We did notice a slight quirk with the BIOS; It would sometimes lock up if you change any of the options within the CPU Functions sub-menu. This includes C1E, Thermal and Execute Disable Bit options.
Moving on to our overclocking tests, the NFORCE 570 SLIT-A however, turned out to be an even lower overclocker than the C19-A SLI. In our tests, we maxed out the overclocking on the board at 280MHz FSB (just 14MHz higher than the default FSB), compared to the 298MHz we managed out of the C19-A SLI.