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Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 Motherboard Review

Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 motherboard packs quite a lot into a microATX platform; top of the line integrated graphics, PCI Express, networking, SATA and IDE hard drive support, and integrated sound card.
 78% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: BIOstar Jun 02 2006   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > BIOstar TForce 6100 AM2

The GeForce 6100 Chipset and AM2

The nVidia GeForce 6100 series chipset brings integrated video to the AMD Athlon64 in a low cost, fully integrated solution had been lacking for this stellar platform until its arrival in late 2005. The GeForce 6100 'C51' GPU has been embraced by cost-concious users and system integrators ever since. It shares 128MB of memory with the system.

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 and socket AM2 AMD Athlon64/X2/FX and Sempron processors are supported.

The GeForce 6100 chipset utilizes a 1 GHz 16-bit wide upstream and downstream Hypertransport 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 too, 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 a Geforce 6100 chipset are only allocated a single PCI Express x1 slot, instead of two as with the Geforce 6150.

Here is a chart detailing the different combination of features pertaining to the Geforce 61XX-series chipsets available on the market. The Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 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/AM2 Athlon 64/X2/FX / Sempron
PureVideo Yes
DirectX 9.0c Shader Model 3.0 Support Yes
TV Encoder Yes No
TMDS/DVI 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 dual 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 6100 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 operating system '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 is PureVideo, and that's what we'll be looking at next.

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Contents of Article: BIOstar TForce 6100 AM2
 Pg 1.  Biostar TForce 6100 AM2 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 3.  — The GeForce 6100 Chipset and AM2
 Pg 4.  nVIDIA PureVideo and High Definition Content
 Pg 5.  Overclocking on a microATX
 Pg 6.  Prelude to Benchmarks / Sysmark 2004 Results
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: PCMark05, 3DMark05
 Pg 9.  3DMark06, FarCry, X3: Reunion
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 11.  Compact socket AM2/Geforce 6100 Board

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