XPS 700: 590 Chipset Revisited


Several Direct2Dell readers like Leonard, pointguard1122, Kevin and others have asked us to respond to pictures on a Dell Community Forum thread that shows the southbridge chip labeled as 570 SLI. Here’s what Bryan Del Rizzo, NVIDIA spokesperson, had to say:

“The Dell XPS 700 and 710 desktop platforms use nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition MCPs. This chipset has dual X16 PCI Express slots for SLI, which is the primary feature upgrade over the nForce 570 chipset. The correct chip label on the southbridge for the Intel implementation is NF 570 SLI. All nForce 590 SLI Intel products use this chip paired with our northbridge. Since the AMD architecture and memory controller operate differently than Intel’s, we also use this same chip in one of our single-chip AMD configurations. We’ll have more details regarding this topic on our website soon.”

What does this mean to XPS 700 and 710 customers? On both systems, Dell implemented the parts required (north and southbridge) for the nForce 590 according to NVIDIA’s specification for Intel processors. On AMD products, the combination of parts required is different based on processor architecture.

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18 thoughts on “XPS 700: 590 Chipset Revisited

  1. So…it sounds like Dell has no official position on this matter. Just a statement from an nVidia spokesperson. While I truly appreciate your fast response in this matter, I still would like to ask for more clarification. I am simply not computer savvy enough to understand how an nForce570 southbridge, paired with an nForce4 northbridge, adds up to the cutting edge nVidia 590 chipset. Please don’t read sarcasm in this. I truly just don’t understand.

  2. I definately appreciate the quick responce on this issue.  I figured that was the case.  It seems to me Dell found a way to get 2 16x lanes out of a 570 chip and called it a 590 SLI.  The truth is, the 590 was all but abandoned by Nvidia for the Intel processors and renamed the 680i.  The 680i is everything the 590 was supposed to be.  I do not really blame Dell for this as it was Nvidia’s bad chipset that was at fault.  It looks like this mobo was never going to be all it was advertised to be.  I wish Dell would be better at communicating this type of news earlier.  I have had my computer for 3 months and I still don’t know if we will ever be able to upgrade the mobo to a true 680i chipset.  These are things that we were led to believe before purchase.  Please Lionel, let us know as soon as you can if Dell is ever planning on releasing a swapable BTX mobo that is a real enthusiast board.  This is the news we are all waiting on before we throw away our chassis and build our own.  Thanks again for the prompt response.  If Dell did this more often, you wouldn’t lose so many customers.

  3. In a traditional x86 computer, the Northbridge communciates with the PCIe bus (previously the AGP bus), the memory, the processor, and the Southbridge.

    The Southbridge communicates with the Northbridge, the legacy PCI bus, any onboard peripherals (which are technically on the PCI bus), the IDE/SATA devices, etc. Basically, everything else.

    Since the update from 570 to 590 included only updating the PCIe bus (2 x16 lanes now), there was no reason for nVidia to make a new southbridge chip. Therefore only the Northbridge was updated. nVidia’s 590 chipset for Intel consists of a 590 Northbridge and a 570 Southbridge.

  4. Thank you Lionel, now can we get clarification on the Soundblaster X-FI that was shipped with the XPS700 and told it was the same as retail, however, you can only enable Dolby and DTS with a driver modification to ignore the Dell Identifier?

    I.E.  Creative drivers will NOT install (retail drivers) which enables Dolby and DTS without a modification of those drivers.

    FYI, I do apprecaite the quick turnaround, and as I have the C2D processor, I’m more than happy to take at face value your word that the Northbridge is marked n590 without ripping apart my heatsink like a few more diligent users have done.

  5. So, the people involved with building and advertising the the system never thought to mention this in a small caption of some sort when selling these machines in the begining? How did that get overlooked? Is there any plans for compensation for this lack of information (ex. replace with 680i)? It would be much closer to the truth of what was being advertising than what we currently have in our machines, isn’t it?

    By the way, can you address a problem about not receiving the $200 gift cards? I was told it was given out by a third-party by a Dell rep. I was confirmed to get one by 3 or 4 individual reps while I was still waiting for my system. It was suppose to take 4-6 weeks after I received my system. It’s been 2-2.5 months already. Thanks.

  6. That Nvidia document was created on 11/16/06. So in a sense Nvidia has spoken out to cover Dell and themselves in what seems to be a hybrid motherboard. Why would you use a 570 chip for a 590 chipset? Some of us were born at night, but not last night. Nvidia or Dell, you need to get your stories straight and your facts together. Once the PC Magazines and Technical Gurus get a hold of this your gonna see what the damage has done to both companies.

  7. Lionel,

    The Nvidia response is appreciated but difficult to understand.  One of the above replies from BOB/PAUL makes a whole lot of sense if he is on the money…is he right?

  8. Lionel….

    Based on your comment here to a XPS700 customer you had over the phone

    “I cannot comment at this time, but, be patient, good things will come.”

    We have been patient enough…  We want an Answer, enough is enough, you have had 6months to figure this out. It don’t take that long to know if its going to work or not…

    I’ve given you my contact info above I expect to hear from you next week about this issue…

    Quit the circus games… I feel like i’ve been Delled..

  9. Well.. I’ve done it, I’ve sold my XPS 700.

    Because of the issues that have transpired in just under half a year. HALF A YEAR!   I will never, ever buy another Dell product again.

    Sell your XPS 700s now guys, that’s the only way out of this purgatory DELL.

    So disappointed, I hope no one asks me my opinion of Dell, ever.

  10.     Thank You Dell! Our company is now the proud owner of an XPS 710 /SLI Nivida/2 gig memory/ Intel Quadcore w/ 1066 FSB , The system has more than exceeded our expectations.

  11. CacheSyntax,

    I am right there with you.  I sold my XPS 700 as well.  As an enthusiast, I took the plunge and trusted Dell.  We live and learn I guess.  I won’t make that mistake ever again.  With the money from my XPS 700, I bought my own components and an Asus P5N32-E 680i motherboard.  I feel comfortable that this computer will give me the performance and usage I THOUGHT I was getting with the XPS 700.  I was “Delled” by their advertising.  BTW, with quite a few of us on the forums, our new term is “Delled”.  I think it’s obvious what it means to us.  Dell is now on the same level as a car salesman to me.

  12. I am planning to buy a Dell 710 in late Jan when Vista comes out.  I have 2 important concerns that I hope someone from Dell can address:
    1) will XPS 710 continue to use 590SLi? or, will it be changed to 680SLi in late January 2007?
    2) what kind of overclocking ability is there at the BIOS level of XPS 710?  I plan to get either the E6700 or the X6800 cpu and I definitely want to overclock the CPU.


  13. I bought a XPS 700 on December 5, 2006.  I was Delled!!!

    They shipped it with the old BIOS and it has the 570 chipset – i removed the heatsink  NEVER AGAIN DELL !!!

  14. Major problem with the XPS-700 and the motherboard chipset. Working with Matrox capture card and Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, XPS mobo chipset is not compatible..if you’re planning on producing video, the XPS-700 is NOT the machine you want to have, despite the claims of all the horsepower – read the response from Matrox below:

    Thank you for providing that piece of information… as a result, not only is your computer/motherboard not validated, also the chipset running on the motherboard is not validated either. Therefore, that is probably why you are experiencing issues. Moreover, it seems that the XPS 700 also incorporates SLI Technology (if my research is correct), which is not supported by the RTX 100 card.

    Have you encountered other kinds of errors apart from the audio switching?

    What I can suggest for you to try is to make sure you have the latest bios version as well as the latest chipset drivers. Have you tried exporting to disk (m2v / avi) to verify if it would work properly?

    As I mentioned, we do not guarantee that the RTX card will function properlywith a motherboard running nForce chipset with SLI technology. These types of motherboards are incompatible.



  15. So, Lionel, finally I found this thread (been a bit busy..trying to sort some chipset drivers out ^^).

    For any potential customers….do not buy an xps system. I am stuck with one (not worth much now second hand – definately not enough to build my own decent system). The ordering process is bad, the customer service is terrible, the administration is terrible, and if you upgrade your machine even remotely don’t expect any help from Dell. When the machin was running on xp 32-bit with 2gig – fine. Upgrade to 4gig and Vista 64-bit (from MS official – not via Dell) and nothing but problems. If I ring Dell dedicated XPS support (with those very clever and helpful people…) I just get the ‘OS isn’t from Dell…can’t help’ line. Oh well, you live and learn indeed.

    Just be warned, do not buy an XPS. I will NEVER buy  dell again. The only good point is my monitor which I am more than happy with, and the computer is quiet….but that would be the case considering I cant use it to its potential ^^

    Dell should be ashamed and I should have just built my own….

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