NVIDIA has brought out the little guns
for the big market of low-end IGP chipsets. The chipset is based off of NVIDIA's popular 7-series design, but details of its real power are sketchy. What is known at the moment is that the new MCP61 family will contain three variants (P, S, and V), and is designed target low-graphics users who don't need all the power of the 6150 chipset.
Though many people will question why you'd want lower power than the 6150 offering, users of that chipset will happily tell you how powerful it is - the 6150 is paired with the nForce 410 or 430, and is a more than capable processor for things like HD video - making an ideal candidate for HTPC. The new MCP61 will target more of a business-user, and consists of only one chip.
The MCP61-P (premium) chipset will support one PCI-E 16x, two PCI-E 1x, gigabit ethernet, ten USB ports, four SATA ports (with RAID 0,1, and 0+1), and standard-definition video out. Step down to the S version, and you cut your PCI-E down to 8x (the two 1x still remain), only two SATA ports, 10/100 ethernet, and only VGA out. The V (value) chipset is the same as the S, but with no higher-end external PCI-E at all, just the two 1x slots. The P model will be clocked at 425mhz graphics core, while the S and V will be weighing in at 375mhz.
This is actually a fairly robust feature set for a low end chipset, at least at the premium level. But a considerable amount has been cut from the graphics core to drop the price - gone is the PureVideo support in its entirety, along with any form of HD-output. However, the chip is still compliant with Vista's new Aero Glass interface.
Expect to see the two lower models (S and V) appearing soon - they were supposed to be released in the first half of third quarter 2006. The premium version will be a bit closer to Vista's launch, though, and is expected in the second half of Q4.
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