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Nvidia Corp. has already announced its plans to enter the market of chipsets that contain built-in graphics core compatible with Intel Corp.’s microprocessors, but remained tight-lipped over details on the matter. Apparently, the company will position its new products as “the most cost-effective” solutions for motherboards supporting 1333MHz processor system bus.

The lineup, which will go into production in September and is likely to be available sometime in Q4 2007, will contain three solutions, targeting different market segments. Highlights of the two advanced versions include support for chips with 1333MHz PSB, HDMI output and so on. What is also interesting is that all of the chipsets will feature PCI Express x16 slots for add-in graphics cards.

The most powerful one will be branded as Nvidia nForce 630i with GeForce 7050 (MCP73PV) and will support processors with 1333MHz PSB, single-channel DDR2 PC2-6400 (800MHz) memory as well as built-in DirectX 9.0 shader model 3.0 graphics core with DVI, D-Sub and HDMI outputs and HDCP. Other capabilities include support for four Serial ATA-300 ports with RAID capabilities, two Parallel ATA ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a PCI Express x16 and two PCI Express x1 slots for add-in cards as well as 10 USB 2.0 ports.

A little less advanced version will be sold as Nvidia nForce 630i with GeForce 7025 (MCP 73S). It will also feature processors with 1333MHz PSB, single-channel DDR2 PC2-5300 (667MHz) or even PC2-6400 (800MHz) memory as well as built-in DirectX 9.0 shader model 3.0 graphics core with DVI, D-Sub outputs and HDCP. Other capabilities are similar to the higher-end model.

The least advanced offering is projected to be called Nvidia nForce 610i with GeForce 7025 (MCP 73V). ). It will only work with processors featuring 1066MHz PSB, will sport single-channel DDR2 PC2-5300 (667MHz) memory controller as well as built-in DirectX 9.0 shader model 3.0 graphics core with D-Sub output. I/O capabilities of the MCP73V will feature 8 USB 2.0 ports, 10/100Mb Ethernet and simplified RAID support. The novelty will still support a PCI Express x16 and two PCI Express x1 slots for add-in cards.

According to some sources close to the company, Nvidia claims that mainboards based on the MCP73-series chipsets have $5.05 lower bill-of-material (BOM) cost compared to motherboards running Intel’s core-logic sets. Nevertheless, the price on MCP73 family members remains unclear and it is not certain which of comparable platforms based on Intel and Nvidia chipsets will be more affordable. Still, keeping in mind that Intel plans to charge $42 for its Intel G35 core-logic that supports 1333MHz PSB and contains DirectX 10 graphics core, Nvidia’s solution may truly become one of the most affordable for the forthcoming Intel Core 2 processors with 1333MHz PSB.

Nvidia does not comment on future products.


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