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ASRock 939NF4G-SATA2 Geforce 6100 Motherboard Review

ASRock 939NF4G-SATA2 Geforce 6100 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The ASRock 939NF4G-SATA2 is a microATX form factor motherboard that is well suited for compact mini-tower desktop computer chassis.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASRock Jan 04 2006   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > ASRock 939NF4G-SATA2

nVidia GeForce 6100 Chipset Details

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.

The 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.

The 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 playback.

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 of features.

NVIDIA GeForce 6150 and NVIDIA nForce 430 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 and NVIDIA nForce 430 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 and NVIDIA nForce 410
CPU Socket 939 Athlon 64 / Sempron
PureVideo Yes
DirectX 9.0c Shader Model 3.0 Support Yes
TV Encoder Yes No
Graphics Clock 475 MHz 425 MHz
PCI-Express (1) x16 (2) x1 (1) x16 and (1) x1
MPEG-2/WMV9 Playback high-definition (1080p/1080i) standard definition
Audio HDA (Azalia)/AC97
Video Scaling high-quality (5x4) basic (2x2)
SATA/PATA drives 4/4 2/4
SATA speed 3Gb/s
RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 0, 1
NVIDIA MediaShield Yes
NVIDIA ActiveArmor Firewall Yes No
Ethernet 10/100/1000 10/100
USB ports 8
NVIDIA nTune Utility Yes

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.

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Contents of Article: ASRock 939NF4G-SATA2
 Pg 1.  ASRock 939NF4G-SATA2 Geforce 6100 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  MicroATX Motherboard Layout
 Pg 3.  — nVidia GeForce 6100 Chipset Details
 Pg 4.  nVIDIA PureVideo
 Pg 5.  Overclocking and BIOS Options
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: SYSMark2004
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, PCMark 05
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, 3DMark05
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2: The Threat
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: UT2003, UT2004
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: Doom 3 and conclusion

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