GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review :: GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4

06-13-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
Gigabyte GA-M57SLI-S4 Spec Sheet
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Motherboard Photo
Part NumberGA-M57SLI-S4
Price CheckFind Best Price
ChipsetNvidia nForce 570 SLI
North BridgeNvidia nForce 570 SLI
SocketSocket AM2 (940)
Processor TypesAthlon 64, Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 X2 dual-core
Number of CPUs1
Front Side Bus800/667/533/400
Memory TypeDDR2
Memory ChannelsDual, Single
Maximum Memory16GB
External GraphicsPCI Express x16
South BridgeNvidia nForce 570 MCP
SATA3.0 GB/s
RAID0, 1, 0+1, 5
FirewireIEEE 1394a
Expansion Slots
Form FactorATX
Motherboard Photo

GIGABYTE decided to outfit the motherboard with an nForce 570 chip. This chip supports all current AMD AM2 CPUs including the Athon 64 FX-62, the 5000 and the other Socket 940 AM2 CPUs. I was able to install and test compatibility with the 5000+ and FX-62. Both CPUs were identified by the GIGABYTE BIOS immediately and without a flash update.

GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review DIMM slots

DIMM slots

Four DIMM slots means the M57SLI-S4 board can support up to 8GB of unbuffered non-ECC DDR2 memory. AMD CPUs have the memory controller on the CPU itself in lieu of a separate chipset, and up to DDR2 800 is officially supported by AMD. The nForce 570 does not support NVIDIA'S new EPP standard, meaning the memory will need to overclock manually and not work with the new EPP memory settings.

GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review Expansion slots

Expansion slots

GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review PCI Express x16 slots

PCI Express x16 slots

The M57SLI motherboard supports NVIDIA's patented SLI configurations. There are two PCI Express x16 slots on the board. NVIDIA decided to outfit the 570 SLI chip with 28 PCI Express lanes. This forces the board to operate in SLI at x8 mode. Why NVIDIA decided not to provide 46 lanes as in the nForce 590, I'm not sure. Perhaps performance in SLI mode would be too close to its bigger brother. Also present on the board are two PCI v2.3 slots and three PCI Express x1 slots.

GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review SATA ports

SATA ports

GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review More SATA ports

More SATA ports

GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review IDE port

IDE port

GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review FDD port

FDD port

Drive expansion on the M57SLI-S4 board is very good. GIGABYTE decided to include 6 SATA ports, the maximum that NVIDIA supports with their new MCP55 chip. Massive RAID is supported by the nForce 570 SLI chip. This allows the user to combine 6 drives into one with RAID 0 or two redundant RAID 5 arrays. RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 1.5 are supported by NVIDIA's new chip. Also present on the board are two PATA connectors and a Floppy drive connector.

Sound driver

GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review
GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review
GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review
GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review
GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review

One thing missing from most NVIDIA based motherboards except the 6100 series was High Definition Audio (HDA). HDA is the replacement for the AC'97 standard that has been in use on motherboards for years. The benefits of HDA over AC'97 include support for DVD-Audio bandwidth requirements, Dolby Digital EX and 7.1 surround sound, increased bandwidth that allows for 192 kHz 32-bit multi-channel audio. All nForce 5 series motherboards support HDA. The M57SLI-S4 board comes with a Realtek ALC883 CODEC for HDA.

GIGABYTE M57SLI-S4 Motherboard Review I/O


The back panel of the board includes a RJ45 jack for the LAN, 4 USB 2.0 ports, 6 audio jacks for the onboard sound, S/PDIF In and Out ports, a COM port a PS/2 Mouse port, a PS/2 Keyboard port and a Parallel port. GIGABYTE provides a Marvell PHY to control one of the LAN ports.