Preview - ASRock AM2NF4G-SATA2 (GeForce 6100 + nForce 410)

Socket AM2 for Everyone

Socket AM2 for Everyone

Now that we've all had a taste of the latest and greatest Socket AM2 motherboards based on the NVIDIA nForce 500 series chipset, we'd like to show you what the mainstream boys are doing. We've all seen how ASRock has readied many of their current Socket 939 boards with a 'Future CPU Port' that allows upgrade to Socket AM2 through a daughter card. However, we've also just received a Socket AM2 motherboard from ASRock that is not built on some new fangled chipset that we can't talk about; the AM2NF4G-SATA2 based on NVIDIA's mainstream GeForce 6100 and nForce 410. As we've mentioned before, Socket AM2 processors don't require any new infrastructure and they work perfectly fine with existing chipsets for AMD processors.

The new AM2NF4G-SATA2 motherboard looks extremely similar to ASRock's current 939NF4G-SATA2 in terms of design and features, but it does come with one other significant change besides supporting Socket AM2 and DDR2 memory. The AM2NF4G-SATA2 is one of the first boards we've come across that uses Realtek's brand new ALC888 Telecom HD Audio CODEC, with additional hardware support for VoIP/Skype applications through a traditional phone line. The board will support all new Socket AM2 processors from Semprons to Athlon 64 FX processors and meets Windows Vista Premium Logo Hardware Ready requirements. Not bad at all for an entry-level AM2 motherboard and as before, pictures tell a thousand words:-

The mainstream community need not wait for their Socket AM2 fix as ASRock comes to the rescue with the GeForce 6100 based AM2NF4G-SATA2 motherboard.

Thanks to AMD's integrated memory controller and HyperTransport design, the 939NF4G-SATA2 board can be modified to support Socket AM2 without much fuss, allowing ASRock a faster time-to-market.

GeForce 6100 GPU chipset under the hood.

nForce 410 is an entry level MCP from NVIDIA with only Fast Ethernet support, but does feature good storage capacity and performance.

For a budget board, the AM2NF4G-SATA2 has four DIMM slots supporting speeds up to DDR2-800 and memory configurations up to 8GB.

Expansion possibilities of the board include a PCIe x16 slot for discrete graphics upgrade, one PCIe x1, two PCI and a HDMR slot.

The board doesn't feature any additional storage features, but the nForce 410 MCP will still provide two SATA 3.0Gbps controllers with RAID 0 and 1 capabilities, plus two Ultra ATA-133 ports.

Following the 939NF4G-SATA2, the AM2NF4G-SATA2 also utilizes the Realtek RTL8201CL PHY. Remember, the nForce 410 only supports Fast Ethernet LAN.

Realtek's new HD Audio CODEC that rides the VoIP train. Directly use Skype/VoIP applications through a regular phone and it can even fall back to PSTN services when the power is off.

Sparse rear I/O panel features legacy PS/2, Serial and Parallel ports with four USB 2.0, an RJ45 and full 8-channel analog audio support. The onboard audio supports S/PDIF, but users will have to get their own brackets for that functionality.