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Biostar TF7050-M2 GeForce 7050PV Motherboard Review

Biostar TF7050-M2 GeForce 7050PV Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: The GeForce 7050PV incorporates GeForce 7 series graphics onboard which is DirectX 9.0C compatible, and shares up to 256MB of system memory.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Biostar May 10 2007   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Biostar TF7050-M2

nVIDIA GeForce 7050PV Chipset

The new nVIDIA GeForce 7050PV/nForce 630a chipset has integrated two features that everyone who likes watching High Definition content wants badly... HDMI and HDCP. If those acronyms have your mind swimming, don't fret what each basically represents is an easier more centralized of viewing High Definition content outside of the PC or even on the monitor. HDCP ensures Blu-Ray and HD-DVD plays at its full resolution, while HDMI allows you to output that high quality signal to an HDTV simply.

The GeForce 7050PV offers video output options on par with AMD's impressive 690G chipset, and realistically either option is a good choice. Built on TSMC's 80 nm manufacturing process, nVIDIA was able to integrate the GeForce 7050PV Northbridge and nForce 630a Southbridge into a single tiny slab of silicon. In practical terms this means compact motherboards based on this chipset should run pretty cheap because there is only one core logic.

If you look at the chipset on the Biostar TF7050-M2 motherboard (at left) we can clearly see "NF-7050SE-630A-A2" marked onto the silicon. This indicates that the A2 stepping is for the retail market.

The GeForce 7050PV-nForce 630a support nVIDIA's PureVideo and the onboard GeForce 7 series videocard is DirectX 9.0C and ShaderModel 3.0 compatible (Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Ready). The GeForce 7050 onboard graphics does not have its own memory and will grab a bit of system memory for its own use, up to 256MB.

The GeForce 7050 supports an integrated HDMI connector although it's up to the manufacturer to implement it on the motherboard. HDCP is now supported by default, that means you get to watch high definition content at maximum settings whether you're viewing it on your computer monitor or television. Of course if you want to watch standard definition video, the GeForce 7050 will output that via a S-Video or analog monitor cable without any issues too.

There really aren't any significant differences between the GeForce 7050PV and the GeForce 6150 other than the two items that we mentioned up above. This is a really smart move by nVIDIA because the GeForce 6150 chipset is one of the most popular chipsets that PCSTATS has ever tested.

The really cool features are an integrated TV encoder, DVI and 15 pin DSub monitor support. nVIDIA's GeForce 7050PV does support dual monitors (if the manufacturer allows for two connectors), but because of the chipset design one monitor (or TV) will have to use an digital signal like DVI or HDMI while the other uses the analog (like the 15 pin DSub or S-Video channel).

NVIDIA GeForce 7050PV and NVIDIA nForce 630a NVIDIA GeForce 7025 and NVIDIA nForce 630a NVIDIA GeForce 6150 and NVIDIA nForce 430 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 and NVIDIA nForce 430 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 and NVIDIA nForce 410
CPU Socket AM2 Socket 939/AM2 Athlon 64/X2/FX / Sempron
PureVideo Yes
DirectX 9.0c Shader Model 3.0 Support Yes
TV Encoder Yes No Yes No
TMDS/DVI Yes Yes Yes No
Integrated HDMI Yes No
HDCP Support Yes No
Graphics Clock 425 MHz 425 MHz 475 MHz 425 MHz
PCI-Express (1) x16 (3) x1 (1) x16 (3) x1 (1) x16 (2) x1 (1) x16 and (1) x1
MPEG-2/WMV9 Playback high-definition (1080p/1080i) high-definition (1080p/1080i) high-definition (1080p/1080i) standard definition
Audio HDA (Azalia)/AC97
Video Scaling high-quality (5x4) basic (2x2) high-quality (5x4) basic (2x2)
SATA/PATA drives 4/2 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 12 10
NVIDIA nTune Utility Yes

In terms of expansion the GeForce 7050PV-nForce 630a chipset supports a PCI Express x16 slot and three PCI Express x1 slots along with five PCI bus mastering slots. There are a total of 19 PCI Express lanes available within the chipset itself. The expansion configuration is entirely at the manufacturer's discretion. The motherboard chipset has an integrated 7.1 channel High Definition Intel Azalia audio controller which is standard fare these days.

The nForce 630a can handle up to four Serial ATA II devices (which support RAID modes 0, 1, 0+1 and 5) along with a single parallel IDE channel, most likely for 2 optical drives. There is a Gigabit Ethernet MAC integrated into the Southbridge, and finally twelve USB 2.0 ports (although only ten are available on the Biostar TF7050-M2).

Looking at the specs on paper the nVIDIA GeForce 7050PV and its main rival AMD's 690G are pretty much on par with each other. The momentum definitely seems to be behind nVIDIA, particularly if you consider how successful its GeForce 6100 series was. However PCSTATS has on the whole been impressed with the AMD 690G and we're not ready to count out either solution yet.

Now let's check out some of the Biostar TF7050-M2's motherboard highlights.

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Contents of Article: Biostar TF7050-M2
 Pg 1.  Biostar TF7050-M2 GeForce 7050PV Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — nVIDIA GeForce 7050PV Chipset
 Pg 3.  Biostar TF7050-M2 Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 4.  HDMI Motherboard Highlights Continued
 Pg 5.  nVIDIA PureVideo and High Definition Content
 Pg 6.  Overclocking the GeForce 7050PV
 Pg 7.  Motherboard Benchmarks: SYSmark 2007 Preview, SiSoft Sandra XIb
 Pg 8.  Motherboard Benchmarks: PCMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 9.  Motherboard Benchmarks: Doom 3, FEAR
 Pg 10.  How does nVIDIA's GeForce 7050PV stack up?

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