To be honest, we were quite surprised to see the ULi M1575 Southbridge. It
offers better USB performance over the lack lustre performance of the ATi SB450
Southbridge, but since NVIDIA acquired ULi sometime back we didn’t expect to
see them on the new boards out. A plus point neverthless until ATi’s new Southbridge
The small little chipset that makes the difference
Above, you see the RD580 chipset right next to the RD480 chipset. It has a
very small die and the difference is magnified when the RD480 comes with a heat
spreader cover over the actual die. According to ASUS, the RD580 chipset on
this board consumes only 8 watts of power. Hence the passive heatsink over the
chipset is more than sifficient to keep it cool. Indeed, throughout our prolonged
periods of testing, the passive heatsink on the RD580 was only slightly warm.
In fact, this is one of the coolest running chipsets we have come across in a
The power regulation area. A bunch of MOSFETS lie beneath the aluminum ASUS
heatsink. Instead of the 8 pin EPS 12v connector that comes with almost all
modern boards, this board coems with the 4 pin +12v connector.
The board sent to us is an early production sample and did not have the EZ Plug Molex power connector soldered on. This provides the PCIE slots with more power. We encountered no problems in Cross-Fire testing without this power connector.