Basic Features: Asus A8N-VM CSM

With the feature list for the GeForce 6150/nForce 430 chipset, you will get a pretty good idea of the features and capabilities of the Asus A8N-VM CSM. The only significant addition to the feature set is the welcomed addition of Firewire ports with the VIA 6307 chipset.

 Asus A8N-VM CSM
CPU Interface Socket 939 Athlon 64
Supports AMD Cool'n'Quiet
Form Factor Micro ATX
Chipset NVIDIA GeForce6150 Northbridge - NVIDIA nForce 430 MCP Southbridge
Integrated Graphics NVIDIA 6150 GPU
Dual VGA Output: DVI-D and RGB
Maximum Resolution 1920x1440
Note: DVI-D only supports digital output and cannot be converted to output RGB signal to a CRT display
Bus Speeds 200 to 240MHz in 1MHz Increments
PCIe Speeds Fixed
PCI Fixed at 33
Expansion Slots 1 x16 PCIe
1 x1 PCIe
2 PCI
OnBoard GPU Auto, Always Enable
Frame Buffer (UMA) 16M, 32M, 64M, 128M, Disabled (64M Default)
Core Voltage Not Adjustable
CPU Clock Multiplier Not Adjustable
HyperTransport Frequency 1000MHz (1GHz)
Supports AMD Cool'n'Quiet
HyperTransport Multiplier Auto, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X
DRAM Voltage Not Adjustable
Memory Slots Four 184-pin DDR DIMM Slots
Dual-Channel Configuration ECC/non ECC
Regular Unbuffered Memory to 4GB Total
Onboard SATA/RAID 2 SATA II Drives by nForce 410 (RAID 0, 1, JBOD)
Onboard IDE/IDE RAID Two Standard ATA133/100/66 (4 drives)
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394 8 USB 2.0 ports supported by nF430
2 IEEE 1394 by VIA 6307
Onboard LAN Gigabit Ethernet by Marvell 88E1111 PHY
Onboard Audio High Definition ADI Soundmax AD1986A
6-channel, auto jack sensing, SPDIF out
BIOS AMI 0506 (11/18/2005)

This is also the first NVIDIA chipset board that we have tested to support High Definition Azalia audio. Asus has used the same ADI AD1986A chipset used on the recently reviewed Asus A8R-MVP motherboard. However, the SPDIF connection is only provided by an optional bracket. TV out is another feature that requires an optional bracket. Since HTPC/Multimedia buyers will be looking for these features, the optional brackets will be a huge disappointment for many buyers.


Click to enlarge.

As is the norm in Integrated Graphics boards, the Asus A8N-VM CSM is micro ATX. There is still an x16 PCIe slot for a graphics card should you choose to upgrade in the future, along with 2 PCI slots and an x1 PCIe slot. Since so much is integrated into the motherboard, there isn't as much concern about layout as there would be in a full-size board. Almost all micro boards require some layout compromises, and the larger question is whether cable connections and IO make sense.

Asus does a great job with placement of power connectors. Even on this micro ATX board, the 24-pin ATX and 4-pin 12V are both near board edges where they work best. Both single and dual-core Socket 939 AMD processors work well on the Asus.

The nForce 430 Southbridge did not have any cooling, but it does get quite warm during operation. It is interesting that NVIDIA has another name for the 430 - the MCP51. As we typically see with recent Asus designs, cooling is completely passive with no active fans.

Index More 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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