Another unique feature provided by this motherboard is its dual BIOS feature, a Gigabyte trademark for their high-end motherboards. With this feature if the motherboard main BIOS is corrupted by a bad BIOS upgrade or by a CIH/Chernobyl virus attack you can still turn on your PC and correct the problem, as you will be able to boot up the system through its backup BIOS.
On the storage side, this motherboard has a lot of HDD ports. The south bridge used by nForce 590 SLI brings one ATA-133 port and six SATA-300 ports, supporting NCQ, RAID0, RAID1, RAID0+1, RAID5 and JBOD. The additional “Gigabyte SATA 2” chip (which is actually a Jmicron JMB363) brings two extra SATA-300 ports, supporting NCQ, RAID (0, 1 and JBOD) and Port Multiplier. To use Port Multiplier, you will need to use an adapter bracket that comes with this motherboard, as port multiplier uses a different connector. This bracket is shown in Figure 9 and, as you can see, it also provides one standard peripheral power connector, but the motherboard comes with an adapter if you want to transform this plug into a Serial ATA power plug. Also, even though the bracket has two port multiplier ports, the motherboard comes only with only one port multiplier cable.
Port multiplier is a technology targeted to external hard disk drives, allowing you to connect up to 15 Serial ATA hard disk drives to a single SATA-300 port. In order to use more than one SATA HDDs on this port you need an external port multiplier bridge, which is an external device sold separately. The hard disks are connected to this device, while this device is connected to this port multiplier port, which, in turn, is internally connected to one of the SATA ports controlled by the “Gigabyte SATA 2” chip on the motherboard. Read our Everything You Need to Know About Serial ATA tutorial to learn more about port multiplier. It is sad to see how the motherboard manual fails to mention this feature.
In Figure 8 you can also see a Texas Instruments TSB43AB23A chip, which provides three FireWire (IEEE1394) ports. One of them, miniature-sized, is soldered directly on the motherboard, while the other two are available through I/O brackets that unfortunately don’t come with the motherboard. This motherboard also provides ten USB 2.0 ports but only four of them are soldered on the motherboard and it doesn’t come with I/O brackets for using the other ports.