The nVidia GeForce 6100
series chipset brings integrated video to the AMD Athlon64 n a low cost, fully integrated solution has been lacking
for this stellar platform up till now. Since its arrival in late 2005, the GeForce
6100 'C51' GPU has been embraced by cost-concious users and system integrators.
Geforce 6100 chipset is technically a GPU, and that GPU is built by TSMC on the 90 nanometer
manufacturing process. All current socket 939 AMD Athlon64/X2/FX processors are supported.
Along with the native DDR memory controller built into the Athlon64 core architecture,
the GeForce 6100 chipset will support up to 4GB of PC3200 DDR RAM over as many as four
DDR DIMM slots. The GeForce 6100 chipset utilizes a 1 GHz 16-bit wide
upstream and downstream Hyper-Transport connection between itself and the Athlon64 processor.
GeForce 6100 is a little less feature packed than the Geforce 6150 model, (the
majority of these disparities
relate to High Definition content) and thus does not support a TV encoder, TMDS/DVI,
1080p/1080i HD playback, high quality 5x4 video scaling or nVidia ActiveArmor firewall. Instead, video scaling is pegged
at basic quality (2x2), and MPEG-2/WMV9 playback at standard definition (4:3) video
The Geforce 6100 graphics core operates at a slightly lower speed
than its brethren, 425 MHz as opposed to 475 MHz. All Geforce 61XX-class
chipsets support a total of 18 PCI Express lanes, 16 for the videocard
and two for miscellaneous devices. In addition to the PCI Express x16 graphics
slot, motherboards with the GF6100 chipset are only allocated a single PCI
Express x1 slot, instead of two as with the GF6150.
Here is a chart detailing the different combination of features pertaining to
the Geforce 61XX-series chipsets available on the market. The ASRock
939NF4G-SATA2 motherboard falls under the third (6100/410), and most basic set
||NVIDIA GeForce 6150 and NVIDIA
||NVIDIA GeForce 6100 and NVIDIA
||NVIDIA GeForce 6100 and NVIDIA
||Socket 939 Athlon 64 / Sempron|
|DirectX 9.0c Shader Model 3.0 Support
||(1) x16 (2) x1
||(1) x16 and (1) x1|
||0, 1, 0+1, 5
|NVIDIA ActiveArmor Firewall
|NVIDIA nTune Utility
The nVidia GeForce
6100 is not a single chipset solution, and so it is combined with the
nforce 410 Southbridge. The nForce 410 is Serial ATA II compatible
(two ports), and can be configured for RAID
modes 0, 1, JBOD. The Southbridge
also works with Intel's new Azalia 7.1 channel High Definition Audio codec.
Connecting the two motherboard chipsets is second HyperTransport link; this however
only runs at 800 MHz with an 8-bit wide upstream/downstream data bus.
The GeForce 61XX series graphics cards has two pixel rendering pipelines, so
that right away should tell users the onboard graphics card is best only for
casual gaming. It does however support the DirectX 9.0C standard as well as
support for Shader Model 3.0, so the onboard videocard will work just fine with
Microsoft's Vista upcoming 'Aeroglass' desktop.
Another nice feature is that the onboard graphics card
is not automatically disabled when using a PCI Express x16 graphics card.
Users who need a lot of desktop screen real estate will certainly appreciate the ability
to take advantage of that extra analog monitor jack.
Perhaps the most important feature of both the Geforce 6150 and
6100 chipsets, PureVideo is what we'll be looking at next.