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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  • frank1966 - Saturday, December 31, 2005 - link

    I have bought two of these, needed to be upgraded to 5.06 to really do anyting with it. Asus customer support comment: Dealer should not sell these board without upgrading them first...

    After many hours of testing and emailing with other users:

    - You can't change FSB. It is fixed at 200. No overclocking possible.
    - You can't use HT as specified. it is only stable at 400 mhz at 8 bits, which reduces bandwidth by factor 5
    - Gigabit does not go above 200mbit

    Revision is 1.01

    I send them back.
    Reply
  • fusionrx - Friday, December 09, 2005 - link

    Anand and gang,

    in the followup article you guys plan to do, how about adding a section for mobo performance with value ram and with high $$ ram. This board is a steal and those of us who want to make a very capable budget system are curious as to how this would perform with 'budget ram'.

    ie. I have this mobo, and want to pair it with a 3200 cpu and 1gb value ram.
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, December 04, 2005 - link

    Despite the many comments on this Mobo and the number of integrated graphics Mobos based on the Nvidia 6100 series chip showing up, I can't figure out where there is enough need/demand/market for these integrated graphics boards??? It looks like a solution for a non-existent need to me. It looks like Nvidia is trying to create a market segment that doesn't exist??? Very strange. Reply
  • legolad - Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - link

    I, for one, don't give a rat's left buttock for the integrated graphics.

    I'm building a new LAN party PC on the cheap and wanted to make it small. Trouble is, I don't want to make it proprietary a la Biostar/Shuttle.

    So I opted for the Aspire QPack case with an XFX 6800 GS card.
    I'll use the onboard audio and LAN.

    Trouble is, none of the reviews of these 6100 and 6150 mobos (here or on other web sites) seem to compare the performance of these mobos with the performance of other MicroATX boards. I mean, from a performance perspective, I want to compare the MicroATX boards built from the 6100/6150 chipsets with those MicroATX boards that are built from, say, nForce4 chipsets.

    While I may one day build an HTPC, I'm just not a fan of that yet. Still too early in the game.

    But a small gaming PC with good enough performance to rock some FPSs or RTSs with my buds - now THAT's a compelling app for me.

    Has ANYONE directly compared the performance of Micro-ATX boards made from different chipsets? I've been looking, but still haven't found anything.
    Reply
  • legolad - Tuesday, December 06, 2005 - link

    "I'll use the onboard audio and LAN."

    should read:

    "I'll use the onboard audio and LAN of whatever mobo I buy."
    Reply
  • BigLan - Sunday, December 04, 2005 - link

    Boards with integrated graphics have the largest market share. You know Intel is the biggest player in VGA, right? All the OEMS (Dell, Gateway, HP etc) want the cheapest board poosible, and not having to plug a vid card into the board is just another way to do that, coupled with the fact that it is one less thing to break.

    The nice thing about these nforce boards, and the radeon xpress, is that they'll at least be able to run vista's eye candy, which previous generation integrated parts will not be able to do.
    Reply
  • benwa73 - Friday, December 02, 2005 - link

    Does anyone have a good recommendation for a case for this board? Something small but quiet. Reply
  • frustrated - Friday, December 02, 2005 - link

    Please, please, please try an installation of mythtv of this motherboard and let us know the results. Is driver support available in linux for the different components on this board.

    Reply
  • Phantronius - Friday, December 02, 2005 - link

    Hey Linux boy, we don't care. Piss off. Reply
  • frustrated - Monday, December 05, 2005 - link

    quote:

    Hey Linux boy, we don't care. Piss off.


    Ignorant. Mythtv is big in the home brew PVR market. I think there would be a lot of interest seeing if this board works well in Linux. An installation of Knoppmyth would only take about 30 minutes.
    Reply

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