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NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Performance Preview
By Zachary Chan
Category : Mainboard
Published by Vijay Anand on Thursday, 29th September, 2005


Introduction

Ever since NVIDIA slapped on a GeForce2 MX to their original nForce core logic chipset, the IGP scene has been stirred from its sleep to provide respectable performance for everyday computing. When NVIDIA launched their nForce2 chipset that included an updated GeForce4 MX equivalent IGP, it was capable of performances up to 300% faster than its closest competitor at the time (Intel's 845GE), proving that the industry was still moving at a snails pace when it came to supporting onboard graphics. One of the reasons for the lackluster support was also due to graphic chipset developers not wanting to jeopardize the graphic card market with too powerful an onboard system.

However, with the invasion of the PC into the living room as a serious lifestyle and entertainment device, an alternative market has opened up that jump started integrated graphics development again. Users no longer need "just a display" with an adequate 2D performance for desktop applications. The market is now looking for the simplicity of system integration and yet have the ability to provide rich multimedia capabilities for home entertainment. In comes the age of the digital home.

NVIDIA has so far been focusing on delivering high-performance and feature rich chipsets and there hasn't been any low-end or mainstream components that feature an IGP since the nForce2. Intel and ATI on the other hand have stepped up their efforts with progressively more powerful IGP solutions. Both companies have pledged DirectX 9 parts as well though ATI was the first one out with their Radeon Xpress 200 and it isn't any surprise that the X300-based IGP is currently the best you can get.

It is at this juncture that NVIDIA has decided to once again enter the IGP market with the launch of their C51 chipset family for the AMD platform just a week ago. Since the C51 will be a marriage of both graphics and motherboard platforms, the chipset will revert back to a traditional two-chip configuration to ease pin-out and large single-chip design issues. To this end, NVIDIA unveiled two variations of each Northbridge and Southbridge chips for a total of four ASICs. The two IGP variations will be officially known as the GeForce 6100 and 6150 while the MCPs retain the nForce moniker and will be known as the nForce 410 and 430 respectively. These components are cross-compatible with each other, though there are only three logical configurations to make most of the target markets that NVIDIA plans to put the chipset in. These are illustrated in the table below.

Configuration Options for NVIDIA GPU Motherboad Solutions

  • GeForce 6 GPU (DirectX 9, SM 3.0)
    • HD Video
    • TV Encode
    • TDMS/DVI dual head
    • Speedier Core Clock
  • Advanced nForce4 MCP features
    • Active Armor firewall
    • MediaShield storage technology

  • GeForce 6 GPU (DirectX 9, SM 3.0)
  • Advanced nForce4 MCP features
    • Active Armor firewall
    • MediaShield storage technology

  • GeForce 6 GPU (DirectX 9, SM 3.0)
  • nForce4 MCP

As you have probably noticed, there isn't any new branding for the C51 and in vein of NVIDIA's penchant for long product names (nForce4 SLI Intel Edition anyone?), we'd have to contend with referring to the various C51 configurations by their full component models, such as 'GeForce 6100 / nForce 410'. In NVIDIA's defense though, at least their model names make sense.

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