It has been exactly two years since NVIDIA focused their energies into the integrated graphics processor (IGP) or what they would like to call the motherboard GPU (mGPU) market with the launch of the GeForce 6150 chipset back in September 2005. And now, finally, we get to meet its successor, the GeForce 7-series mGPU chipsets and the first attempt by NVIDIA to penetrate the Intel IGP market.
With high definition being a must have feature today, both AMD and Intel have stepped up to the plate for their respective platforms earlier this year with updated IGPs supporting HDMI output capabilities. NVIDIA however, remained strangely silent. Their late entry could be due to the fact that they are a player in both the AMD and Intel market, choosing instead to show their hand after all the cards have been dealt.
In this article, we will be looking at the Intel supporting versions of the new GeForce 7-series mGPU chipsets. The main players for the entry-level and mainstream segments are SiS and Intel themselves, and as expected, NVIDIA has a solution to cover everyone. At the mainstream level, the GeForce 7150/nForce 630i and GeForce 7100/nForce 630i chipsets will compete with Intel's G965 family in the IGP performance category while the 7050/nForce 630i and 7050/nForce 610i are more within the ultra-budget range of the SiS672FX. Intel's G31 and G33 chipsets stand somewhere in the middle for the budget entertainment and HTPC market.
NVIDIA was actually supposed to have launched the GeForce 7-series mGPU (MCP73) in the second quarter of 2007, with a DirectX 10 part codenamed MCP79 in the fourth quarter. This follows Intel's timeline for the G35, which includes the new GMA X3500, also a DirectX 10 part. Considering that the MCP73 chipsets only made it out to market now, it might be a logical surmise that we won't see the MCP79 till early 2008. However, if NVIDIA is on track to compete with Intel's G35, they might push out a surprise launch of the MCP79 in the coming two months. If that happens, the MCP73 chipsets will be pushed down to an even lower price bracket of entry level boards as MCP79 and other equivalent competing chips take on the mainstream segment. It's really an exciting period of time for the hardware market as there are several new products of all segments heading our way. For now, let's move on as we let you in on more details of the MCP73 family.