Today marks the launch of Nvidia's MCP73 line of chipsets - the company's first line of integrated graphics solutions for Intel platforms.
While integrated graphics may not sound exciting to some, the MCP73 boards feature both HDMI and DVI connections with HDCP support as standard. Other features of the chipset include: PCI Express, RAID capabilities, 3Gbps SATA connections, integrated Gigabit Ethernet connection, integrated HD audio sound, and will support up to 4GB of DDR2.
Biostar and Inno3D are poised to be the first manufacturers to ship MCP73 motherboards out the door - at least, they're the first to drop announcements into our inboxes. Biostar is offering up the TF715U-M7, TF7050-M7, and GF7050V-M7 while Inno3D offers the SL73UM-HDMI.
All four motherboards are in the micro-ATX form factor and have two DDR2-800 DIMM slots, four SATA 3Gbps ports, a single PATA port, four USB ports on the rear panel, DVI connection, VGA connection, and an HDMI connection.
Starting with Biostar's offering, the top-end TF715U-M7 will use the GeForce 7150/nForce 630i chipset combination and support processors with a 1,333MHz FSB, four rear and six front USB connections, and an independent gigabit Ethernet controller.
Stepping down one notch, the TF7050-M7 will have most of the features of its big brother but it will use the GeForce 7050/nForce 620i combo. Missing from this board will be two front USB connections and an independent gigabit Ethernet controller. It will use the chipset's gigabit Ethernet controller instead of featuring an independent one.
At the bottom of the list sits the GF7050V-M7 which will use the GeForce 7050/nForce 610i chipsets. The board will only support 1,066MHz CPUs but will be overclockable up to 1,333MHz. Ethernet connectivity will be slightly downgraded as it will only have a 10/100Mbps connection.
Inno3D's SL73UM-HDMI uses the GeForce 7050/nForce 620i chipset combination which supports a 1,333MHz front side bus and sports two additional USB ports on the rear panel with four more on the front. Like the TF7050-M7 from Biostar, it will use Nvidia's integrated gigabit Ethernet controller.
There's been no discussion of the board's media playback capabilities in any of the documentation we've received. However, given that the boards feature HDMI and DVI ports in addition to HDCP support, we dug a bit deeper. After speaking to Nvidia, we learned that the mGPUs (motherboard GPUs) don't feature the company's VP2 video processor for accelerated HD video playback. As a result, HD playback will depend on the speed of your processor - this is something we'll have to test once we get boards in-house.
Prices aren't currently available but don't expect them to break your wallet.
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