Print 14 comment(s) - last by R3MF.. on Apr 20 at 9:50 AM

MCP61 shows up on NVIDIA's most recent roadmap -- single chip UMA and SVDO are here

The latest NVIDIA roadmaps show what we had all expected -- a single package unified MCP and GPU: the MCP61.  MCP61 is the codename for NVIDIA's upcoming AM2 IGP chipset.  The chip is different than NVIDIA's last IGP attempts, nForce 430 and nForce 410, because it uses a single chip design rather than an MCP and a dedicated GeForce ASIC.

MCP61 will show up in three flavors.  MCP61P will be a direct replacement for the GeForce 6150 combination, or the "high end."  MCP61P features a single PCIe x16 lane, dual x1 lanes, Gigabit Ethernet and RAID 5.  Since MCP51P, NVIDIA has also dropped on-chip DVI output in favor of Intel's Serial Digital Video Out (SVDO).  SVDO has existed in one form or another since Intel's 845G chipset, but the technology has not really picked up yet.  It will be up to the motherboard manufacturers to include SVDO to DVI (or DMS-59 possibly) transmitters.

NVIDIA's middle and low range chipsets -- MCP61S and MCP61V, respectively -- will contain many of the same features as MCP61P, but with fewer options.  There is no SVDO output on either of these chipsets, so analog 15-pin D-sub connectors will be the only supported video output.  There are only two SATA ports and the Gigabit Ethernet is reduced to 10/100 speeds.  MCP61S has an eight lane PCIe graphics interconnect, while MCP61V does not have any.  All three chips are Windows Vista Premium certified.

A slide of the most recent roadmap was dedicated to displaying the savings between MCP61 and competing VIA chipsets.  The savings ranges from $0.50 up to $4.00, but NVIDIA does not include the cost of an SVDO to DVI transmitter -- something that will be absorbed by the board manufacturers.

The roadmap does not outline which graphic adaptors the company will adopt for MCP61, but it does mention MCP61P will have a faster clock than MCP61S and MCP61V.  The roadmap also details that the entire MCP is based on a 90nm process, including the graphics core.  Earlier this year NVIDIA launched a 90nm GeForce 7300, so it would be reasonable to expect this GPU core to show up in MCP61.

NVIDIA's MCP55 was launched as nForce 5xx earlier this year.  The chipset is designed specifically for AMD AM2 motherboards, but MCP61 is slated to launch just two months after the actual AM2 launch.  Since MCP55 does not feature integrated graphics, the overlap between the two products will be fairly minimal.

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Little unexpected feature...
By josmala on 4/17/2006 10:28:37 AM , Rating: 2
Chipset from Nvidia that doesn't include graphics expansion port.

nVidia just shoots it self to foot by differentiating chipsets by removing graphics expansion capabilities. There are plenty of unhappy customers few years in the future when they decide that they need to upgrade their graphics capabilies of cheap box they bought, that the manufacturer chooce to save a little by getting cheaper motherboard with integrated graphics.

Fast enough for current low end use integrated graphics with no expansion capabilities for graphics card means future losses of discreet graphic card sales. Which hurts nVidia.

RE: Little unexpected feature...
By AMDJunkie on 4/17/2006 11:29:27 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. Working on enough Dell 2400/3000/E310s, I know how pissed a customer can get when their kid wants to play Lego Star Wars and get the nasty surprise that an entirely NEW computer is needed, simply because there is no physical connector to upgrade the graphics. Sure, Nvidia's integrated graphics are far beyond those of Intel's, but not having an upgrade path is not just a stupid way to make a board as cheap as possible for system builders, but it's also stupid financially. Nvidia's core competency is graphics, it's where their highest margins are, and now they're selling boards without a way for consumers to upgrade to their own higher-end product.

I'm also leery of the 8x PCI Express graphics slot included on the mid-range solution. Sure, they exist on SLI systems, but for a single card slot? Would video card drivers need updating to be used in such systems because the video card expects a full 16 lane path without the presence of another card? And really, how much more money did it cost to add 8 more PCI Express lanes when you've already cut down on the SATA and Ethernet functionality?

RE: Little unexpected feature...
By deeznuts on 4/17/2006 1:42:40 PM , Rating: 2
What kind of card is needed to play Lego Star Wars? No PCI cards can play that game?

RE: Little unexpected feature...
By bob661 on 4/17/2006 4:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
What are you guys talking about? The current Nvidia IGP chipsets have seperate video slots and this new one has a video slot as well.

By psychobriggsy on 4/17/2006 5:06:18 PM , Rating: 2
"MCP61S has an eight lane PCIe graphics interconnect, while MCP61V does not have any."

So the lowest end, which will end up in cheap desktops, won't even have a graphics slot unless someone makes a decent PCIe x1 graphics card.

Here's hoping the integrated graphics are reasonable.

By hadifa on 4/17/2006 10:09:14 AM , Rating: 2
I am waiting for soundstorm2 !

RE: SoundStorm
By DigitalFreak on 4/17/2006 10:31:41 AM , Rating: 2
Heh, then you'll be waiting quite awhile.

RE: SoundStorm
By PrinceGaz on 4/17/2006 10:25:13 PM , Rating: 4
lol, the great thing about nVidia chipset articles is you can guarantee that someone even today will hope it is The One that brings forth the long awaited SoundStorm 2.

Hint to any guys still hoping to see SoundStorm 2 within their lifetime: buy a decent soundcard and forget about integrated dolby-digital encoding. Gamers can't go wrong with an Audigy 2ZS or X-Fi which both far outclass Soundstorm, and audiophiles/serious musicians wouldn't even consider using SoundStorm in the first place.

By stupid on 4/17/2006 4:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
Are my brain cells dying faster than I think they are? I swear I thought I read an article late last year or earlier this year about ATI releasing an integrated graphics solution around the X700 that is to be released later this year. Since the discreet X700 is a tad bit slower than a 9800Pro, I'm guessing the integrated version will be somewhat slower than the the discreet X700. Wouldn't that make the integrate X700 more powerful than the GeForce 6150?

By xdrol on 4/17/2006 5:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
It would, but I haven't heard even rumors lately about it..

By KristopherKubicki on 4/17/2006 6:15:56 PM , Rating: 2
It's called RS690. ATI has been a little quiet lately, I don't know what the plan is over there.

Low cost junk
By psychobriggsy on 4/17/2006 12:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing here for any enthusiast.

Nothing very good for the corporate desktop (VGA outputs only on the lower two of these chipsets, this is not a reasonable cost cut, DVI should be the default video output on integrated motherboards IMO and nVidia has just made it more expensive to impossible for a board maker to implement that).

It seems that nVidia is trying to make cheaper and crappier chipsets. I strongly doubt that the video core will be GeForce 7300 quality - it'll be half of that, or a quarter even.

The other features seem reasonable for the market segment targetted.

nVidia chipset drivers
By PrinceGaz on 4/17/2006 10:32:01 PM , Rating: 2
Is there any word on whether nVidia will finally get their Active Armor and IDE/SATA drivers sorted out sometime as it is a shame to have to essentially disable many of the features of the nForce4 chipset in order to have a totally stable system (my definition of stable is approaching server-stable standards).

I know the PureVideo features in my nVidia 6800GT (NV40) are all but useless, but I was kinda hoping I would at least be able to use NCQ on my main hard-drive attached to the nForce4 SLI mobo as I have a dual-core processor and often heavily multi-task. I never had any of this trouble with my old KT266A mobo (and it still works perfectly with everything enabled in the BIOS). nVidia's chipset drivers (at least up to v6.70) are rubbish.

By R3MF on 4/20/2006 9:50:47 AM , Rating: 2
one of these would go lovely with a Silverstone LC19 and an X2 3800+ 35W.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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