by Anton Shilov
09/24/2007 | 07:46 AM
Nvidia Corp. on Tuesday is projected to officially unveil its new family of core-logic sets with built-in graphics cores for Intel central processing units. Even though it is expected that Nvidia’s new chipsets will not feature high-performance latest-generation graphics adapters, the move will still provide more advanced low-cost graphics for Intel platforms.
The world’s largest supplier of graphics processing units (GPUs), Nvidia, has historically kept away from the market of low-cost chipsets for Intel Corp. due to strong competition from the world’s largest chipmaker, which also holds the lion’s share of graphics adapters with its built-in graphics cores. On the other hand, Nvidia felt rather comfortable selling chipsets compatible with processors by Advanced Micro Devices. But after the world’s second largest maker of x86 chips acquired graphics technology specialist ATI Technologies, Nvidia had to find new markets for its products as AMD will naturally push its own chipsets rather than promote Nvidia’s. As a result, it was inevitable for Nvidia to enter the market of rather low-margin chipsets for Intel’s processors.
The Nvidia GeForce 7 integrated graphics processor (IGP) lineup to be announced on Tuesday, according to a news-story by Reuters news-agency, will contain three solutions, targeting different market segments. Highlights of the two advanced versions include support for CPUs with 1333MHz processor system bus, forthcoming Pentryn family of chips, HDMI output and so on. What is also important is that all of the chipsets will feature PCI Express x16 slots for add-in graphics cards, allowing end-users to easily crank up graphics performance of their systems by installing a standalone graphics board.
It is interesting to note that according to sources close to the company, Nvidia’s forthcoming lineup of Intel-compatible chipsets will be positioned as the most cost-effective solutions for Intel platforms. The decision does seem to be wise as Intel recently outlined plans to gradually improve performance of its built-in graphics adapters and it would be hard to compete against Intel only with superior graphics options. For example, Intel’s latest Graphics Media Accelerator 3500, the core inside Intel P35 chipset, already features support for Microsoft DirectX 10, shader model 4.0 and other high-end capabilities, yet, Intel has to enable them in drivers.
The most powerful chipset from the family 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.
Officials from Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.