Print 18 comment(s) - last by Lightning III.. on May 10 at 8:31 AM

NVIDIA's new GeForce 7050PV and nForce 630a finds a home in Biostar's TF7050-M2

Biostar silently launched its latest Socket AM2 motherboard based around NVIDIA’s latest GeForce 7050PV and nForce 630a chipset, the TF7050-M2. NVIDIA’s GeForce 7050PV and nForce 630a, previously known as MCP68, introduces a new GeForce 7-series derived graphics core and HDMI output capabilities to AMD’s Socket AM2 platform.

The new GeForce 7-series based graphics core offers two pixel-pipelines, half the amount on AMD’s 690-series IGP product. NVIDIA clocks the GPU at 425 MHz. New to the GeForce 7050PV and nForce 630a is native HDMI output capabilities.

Biostar equips the TF7050-M2 with an HDCP compatible HDMI output for Blu-ray and HD DVD video playback. The native HDMI output allows the GeForce 7050PV and nForce 630a to deliver video output resolutions up to 1080p and high-definition audio from a single cable. TV and VGA outputs are also available on the Biostar TF7050-M2.

A Realtek ALC888 audio codec delivers high-definition audio capabilities. The Biostar TF7050-M2 supports eight analog audio output channels in addition to the HDMI audio output capabilities. Other notable features of the Biostar TF7050-M2 include one PCIe x16, one PCIe x1, two PCI, four SATA 3.0 Gbps ports, one IDE and Gigabit Ethernet.

Pricing on the Biostar TF7050-M2 hovers around $89 USD with immediate availability from major online retailers.

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By Aikouka on 5/9/2007 8:15:11 AM , Rating: 2
I like the native HDMI... I wonder if some websites will have reviews on how well it handles some of the tough codecs... such as large (resolution-wise) h264 files using a low-end AM2 processor.

My Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 uses the ALC888DD which supports Dolby Digital and DTS output, so I wonder how good the regular ALC888 is.

RE: Nice!
By aebiv on 5/9/2007 8:31:51 AM , Rating: 2
I just want to know if the sound quality is improving... Never have been a fan of onboard audio...

RE: Nice!
By Odeen on 5/9/07, Rating: 0
RE: Nice!
By Pessimism on 5/9/2007 2:26:51 PM , Rating: 3
If he means what I mean, its that onboard sounds noticably flat, weak, and tinny compared to even an audigy when listening to music. The software based tone adjustments work poorly and make the sound muddy and if pushed very far create bad distortion. The audigy you can almost max out the bass and treble sliders before distortion occurs.

RE: Nice!
By ToeCutter on 5/9/2007 12:17:32 PM , Rating: 3
I just want to know if the sound quality is improving...

According to the spec sheets for the ALC888, quality appears to be improving. It supports high sampling rates, as well as "decent" S/N ratio, but comes no where an X-Fi (109 db vs. 136 db).

The problem is there are something like 3 HT receivers that can accept lossless HD audio over HDMI 1.3. The rest will rely upon good 'ol analog connections to pump the audio to the receiver.

Even the fancy pants X-Fi relies on phono plugs with RCAs to feed 7.1 HD audio to analog receiver inputs. I've been using one for months in this fashion and it works well, albeit with alot of cable clutter.

X-Fi is in a completely different league than integrated audio, definitely worth the added cost if you have decent speakers to feed.

RE: Nice!
By Lazarus Dark on 5/9/2007 8:43:32 AM , Rating: 2
with 8500gt cards at 100$, with full h264 acceleration, price should no longer be a concern for those building an htpc with high def in mind. I seriously doubt this igp will be able to handle titles like xmen3 on bluray, even with the best cpu amd currently offers. Just look at the bluray/hddvd articles on anandtech. If you are really looking at a 90$ mobo with igp, then you will not likely be able to afford a bluray drive any time soon.

However, for standard def or highdef mpeg2 htpc use, I expect this will likely be an excellent choice. It's about time more hdmi with audio was available on the pc. That is, if you are going to run your htpc's hdmi through a reciever. I want to get rid of my reciever and run everything through the pc to 7.1 pc speakers via analog. Though I prefer to use my tv's integrated speakers for talk shows and news, no need for surround watching the daily show with jon stewart.

RE: Nice!
By dmce on 5/9/2007 10:19:19 AM , Rating: 2
Spending 90$ on a motherboard doesnt mean BluRay/HDDVD drives arent an option. Why spend more when there is the possibility of an integrated solution providing the power needed (1080P).

Granted that probably wont be the case.

RE: Nice!
By CorrND on 5/9/2007 10:47:35 AM , Rating: 2
I've got a 690g mobo with a 4400+ brisbane and it rips through all of my VC-1 HD-DVDs just fine. This mobo should be great as well. I don't expect to have a problem until h.264 really comes into vogue. That still looks to be a ways off, at which point an appropriate upgrade should be more reasonable.

RE: Nice!
By Aikouka on 5/9/2007 11:03:23 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention what some of the other users have posted, but switching to another card can possibly remove one of the nice features of this card: built-in HDMI (with sound). Personally, that's the aspect that I like.

RE: Nice!
By Odeen on 5/9/2007 9:31:39 AM , Rating: 2
My Gigabyte 965P-DQ6 uses the ALC888DD which supports Dolby Digital and DTS output, so I wonder how good the regular ALC888 is.

All codecs support Dolby Digital and DTS output if the source material is encoded with DD or DTS (i.e. HDTV streams or DVD's)

The neat thing about your codec is that it can take real-time multichannel audio (which you're only likely to get in video games), and then compress it and output it as a multichannel DD or DTS stream over a standard SPDIF connection.

This is relevant if your PC is _creating_ multichannel audio (again, likely only during video games). Media you receive or download already includes a stereo or multichannel soundtrack, which gets passed by the digital output of your sound system unaltered.

24-Pin ATX Power Placement
By mezrah on 5/9/2007 8:42:15 AM , Rating: 2
Can anyone comment on the placement of the 24-pin power? That seems like an odd place to put it.

RE: 24-Pin ATX Power Placement
By Odeen on 5/9/2007 9:19:29 AM , Rating: 2
Not too long ago, that _was_ the standard place for the ATX power connector. Before the 4-pin "Pentium 4" power connector was introduced, the CPU ran off of the +5v line, which necessitated the ATX power connector being close to the CPU socket.

RE: 24-Pin ATX Power Placement
By neon on 5/9/2007 10:57:17 AM , Rating: 2
Granted the power plug is usually located near the socket, but there are plenty of designs that locate it near the top edge of the motherboard, rather than right in the center of the board.

A plug in the center is a little more annoying, because it requires routing the PSU cable around the CPU socket.

By Lightning III on 5/10/2007 8:31:09 AM , Rating: 2
really try mounting this in an antec aria sff case and then tell me where you want that 24 pin power connect. I swear I can almost smell your P-900 from here.



Video and HIGH DEF audio from a single cable?
By Odeen on 5/9/2007 9:23:37 AM , Rating: 3
The native HDMI output allows the GeForce 7050PV and nForce 630a to deliver video output resolutions up to 1080p and high-definition audio from a single cable.

So does that mean the chipset supports HDMI 1.3?

The 690G boards can't output anything beyond standard SPDIF over HDMI, which limits you to uncompressed 16bit 44.1khz stereo, or compressed DTS or DD 5.1 or 7.1.

High definition audio, which goes beyond 16/44.1, requires the latest HDMI version, which can pass uncompressed multichannel audio at beyond 44.1khz sampling rate and 16-bit resolution.

By sotti on 5/9/2007 11:54:49 AM , Rating: 3
Not true HDMI v 1.1 can do 7.1 LCPM 24b/96khz.

v1.3 only adds the ability to push DDTHD and DTSHD across HDMI in it's encoded form to be decoded by the reciever. Not really much of a feature if you ask me. Software decode is just as good as hardware decode for the audio codecs. The digital to analog step you want to happen in your audio gear, but there are plenty of recievers that take HDMI audio in at verions 1.1 and 1.2a.

By RyanM on 5/9/2007 11:48:34 AM , Rating: 2
Great feature set, but what an awful pcb layout. Yeah, let's make you snake your ATX and 12V cables across your HSF.

By BPB on 5/9/2007 9:16:27 AM , Rating: 1
I certainly don't have either the new AMD/ATI setup or this new nVidia setup. But from what I'm reading the AMD/ATI setup seems to have won this round. I expected a tad more from nVidia this time around. But like I said, I have no personal experience to make this comment, it's just an opinion based on AMD/ATI reviews and what I'm reading here.

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