NVIDIA launched their integrated graphics chipsets for Athlon 64 about two months ago. The NVIDIA 61x0 family consists of three combinations of Northbridge and Southbridge geared at different market segments.

Base systems with the GeForce 6100/nForce410 quickly found their way to market, but it has taken nearly two months since the NVIDIA launch for the top-of-the-line GeForce 6150/nForce430 to appear. Asus, the largest of the Tier 1 board manufacturers, is often first to market with new chipsets. That is the case today as we take a first look at the performance of the Asus A8N-VM CSM, which features the 6150/430 integrated graphics chipset.

Specifications: NVIDIA GeForce 6150
NVIDIA nForce 430
NVIDIA GeForce 6100
NVIDIA nForce 430
NVIDIA GeForce 6100
NVIDIA nForce 410
CPU Athlon 64 or Sempron Athlon 64 or Sempron Athlon 64 or Sempron
PureVideo (High Definition) Yes Yes Yes
DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 Support Yes Yes Yes
TV Encoder Yes No No
TMDS/DVI Yes No No
Graphics Clock 475 MHz 425 MHz 425 MHz
PCI-Express 1x16
2x1
1x16
1x1
1x16
1x1
MPEG-2/WMV9 Playback HD(1080p/1080i) SD SD
Video Scaling High Quality(5x4) Basic (2x2) Basic (2x2)
SATA/PATA drives 4/4 4/4 2/4
SATA speed 3Gb/s 3Gb/s 3Gb/s
RAID 0,1,0+1,5 0,1,0+1,5 0,1
NVIDIA MediaShield Yes Yes Yes
NVIDIA ActiveArmorTM Firewall Yes Yes -
Ethernet 10/100/1000 10/100/1000 10/100
USB ports 8 8 8
NVIDIA nTuneTM Utility Yes Yes Yes

As you can see, there are several features that are only available with this chipset combination. The 6150 runs at a 475MHz Graphics Clock instead of 425 and features a TV encoder, High Quality Video Scaling, and dual video (DVI-D and RGB) outputs. The nForce 430 adds 2 more SATA2 ports (4 total), support for Raid 5, NVIDIA Active Armor Firewall support, and the hooks for 1GB Ethernet. These additional features make the 6150/430 a much more attractive solution for Multimedia applications or as the core of a Home Theater PC (HTPC) box.

Basic Features: Asus A8N-VM CSM
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  • Anton74 - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    It appears this type of board is mostly touted for HTPC use, but I think it's quite excellent for a capable office system as well because of the DVI connector, dual-head capability and gigabit LAN - and of course all the other connectivity goodness that's largely standard these days. And passive cooling, which I appreciate.

    I'm not aware of the existence of any other board with integrated graphics that has a DVI connector and can drive 2 monitors without additional expense. This is absolutely great for a very productive office setup without really breaking the bank (although using a cheaper Sempron CPU is out, since it's Socket 939).

    Of course, competing boards should follow based on this chipset, which is only going to be a good thing. (Are all GeForce 6150 boards expected to have DVI connectors?)

    By the way, are there some availability issues with this board? Newegg.com has had it listed out of stock for a good while now, periodically pushing back the ETA (which now isn't even mentioned anymore). Not many retailers seem to carry it yet, judging from the RTPE.
    Reply
  • bob661 - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    quote:

    DVI connector and can drive 2 monitors
    The only issue with this is that you can't use one of those DVI to VGA converters on this board. There are several warnings on the website and in the manual not to do that.
    Reply
  • Calin - Friday, December 02, 2005 - link

    There are many (cheaper, it's true) LCD panels that support VGA in, so this won't be such a big problem. Sad is that - if you want dual out, you need a panel with DVI input. Reply
  • Anton74 - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    quote:

    The only issue with this is that you can't use one of those DVI to VGA converters on this board.

    Indeed, but for office applications - especially for those that care enough to invest in a dual head setup - LCD panels are generally more desirable I would think. I know it's what I want for my work system.
    Reply
  • Degrador - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    The article has been removed?? Product Disclosure Statement? Reply
  • ksherman - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    called an NDA (non-Disclosure Agreement) ;) Reply
  • Degrador - Friday, December 02, 2005 - link

    lol, it is too, right term wasn't coming to mind :) Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    The article got pushed back by a day to accommodate the Yonah exclusive yesterday. That's why it was temporarily removed.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Degrador - Friday, December 02, 2005 - link

    Thanks for the reply Anand, it's nice to have a site where we can still get reasons for things :) Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    It would have been nice if Asus included High Definition Audio on this board. Reply

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