XFX nForce 630i GeForce 7150 Motherboard

7 thumbs up

XFX nForce 630i GeForce 7150 (MG-630I-7159)
Closer Look

At first glance, the MG-630I-7159 seemed like a really good option for home theater PCs (HTPCs) because of its size and onboard video connection options. When we took a closer look, we couldn't help but feel like our first impressions were spot on. Since this is a micro-ATX board, though, you can't expect to put three or four TV tuners in an HTPC with this board due to the limited expansion slots. As you can see in the picture below, the board has a green PCB, features all black connectors, and sports a black heatsink on the MCP.


Overall, we found the MG-630I-7159's layout to be logical and easy to work with. Despite its small size, the board packs in quite a few connectors. Additionally, there is plenty of space around the CPU socket for big coolers. For expansion options, XFX included two PCI slots, one x16 PCI Express slot, and one x1 PCI Express slot. To the left of the x16 PCI Express slot, you can see one of the four fan headers on the MG-630I-7159.


Just like many of the boards available today, the MG-630I-7159 features four 3Gb/s SATA ports, which are all nestled in a corner. Next to the SATA ports is the speaker, the case connections header, and a two-digit debug LED, which shows POST codes to help users troubleshoot problems. We always like to see this feature added to boards as it can save time if the system doesn't boot properly. As we move down the board, you can see the floppy and PATA drive connectors (one of each, which is also fairly common nowadays). The second picture below shows the 24-pin ATX power connector, the 4-pin CPU cooler fan header, and the two DIMM slots. Recall that the memory operates in single-channel mode.


There are several other aspects of this board worth pointing out. As you can see in the first picture below, XFX included a power and reset button on the MG-630I-7159, which can definitely come in handy. To the left of those buttons, you can see two of the four fan headers. The final connector that we wanted to focus your attention on is the eSATA connector in the second picture. It is located directly behind the external USB and eSATA connectors (near the middle of the picture).


Before we end the tour of the board, we need to take a look at the rear I/O panel. The MG-630I-7159 includes the following connectors: PS/2 mouse, PS/2 keyboard, HDMI, SPDIF out, DVI, VGA, four USB 2.0, eSATA, LAN, and six audio ports. We think that HDMI connector is just begging to be hooked up to a huge HDTV.

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Dang, that intergrated graphics chip sucks.  Yeah, yeah, I know it's not made for high end gaming.  But it's not good at all.  The AMD 780G chipset is a little faster, comparing the benchmarks in Company of Heroes with the Asus and Gigabyte boards you guys reviewed.  Sure the systems aren't identical, but considering Core 2 Duo CPUs are usually better, you can tell that the 780G is responsible for AMD's superior onboard graphics performance.

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well integrated graphics arent really meant for anything other than os uses and other various tasks. ig is for people on budgets, and 90 dollars is a good price for this motherboard, plus xfx is a good company.

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No dual-channel memory support? Yuk. What were they thinking...

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I reacted that way too, Super Dave, but as you can see, the single-channel memory doesn't really affect performance as much as you might expect.

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I understand that this is a budget board, but how much do they save without dual-channel memory support? Heck, they incorporated LED POST code error reporter, but that is just a luxury IMO. I would never buy a board that only ran single-channel. I am an XFX fanboy, and I purchased a 7800GS and a 6600GT OC from them back in the day when they were top-dawg (and expensive). XFX has a wonderful Double Lifetime Protection Warranty on their video cards, but I wouldn't buy this motherboard even if it had that same warranty. Sorry, but I consider dual-channel to be mandatory. I hope someone from XFX is reading this!

 

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Hm ...

nice review.

First a little remark for all complaining on single chanel memory:

This is not XFX fault, this is the chipset feature. This is the low-end/HTPC chipset and really no need for more expensive dual channel memory controller. Soon Nvidia goin to release MCP7A intel chipsets that will replace all 7xx0 chipsets. They will support dual channel DDR2/DDR3. DX10, more SATA II and more USB ports.

As for the review:

I really miss this board compared to other board based on same chipset with similar features like GIGABYTE GA-73PVM-S2H.

As i remember the eSATA connection is not hardwired (you need to connect it with regular SATA cable from connector behind rear panel to one of the four in the corner) on XFX and it is the real miss. More cables more mess  :) 

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Welcome to the forums nO!

Neat little board for the market segment it caters to IMO.

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Thanks for HOT welcome :)

Neat is exact thing that this board does not fit with its eSATA ugly thing.  I actually thought to build an HTPC since i had all parts (left from upgrades of the main) except mobo and case. I'm nvidia fan (reasonable, i wont by something that isn't good) and after some research i came to this one at newegg. Nice one, but after going through reviews, I found this thing about eSATA. Then i found GIGABYTE board and it was looking better build quality. But after all, the HTPC idea was dropped and replaced by PS3 (much more cost effective and the only thing to replace was HD). I've installed linux on PS3 and mow it is small, nice HTPC with blue ray and after reboot it can be game console (but i really prefer PC gaming)

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PC gaming is awesome, but console games are deffinately getting WAY better lately.

So far Uncharted is 1 of the best games I've ever played on any platform and GTA IV is going to be incredible... I'm sure of it!!!

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I'm FPS guy :)

Titles like ETQW still not released on consoles. And do not forget resolutions.

I have two Full HD panels. 24" Dell for PC and 42" Toshiba for HT. Somehow I do feel the difference in favor of PC in image quality. The Cell BE paired with XDR + RSX inside PS3 is a monster but can't compare with overclocked to 3.6 Q6700 (FSB 1600) in sync mode with 2x2GB of DDR2 800 @ 4-4-3-12-1T + pair of  8800GT on 680i :)  Actually i'm planing to do benchmarking PC vs PS3. But to do this i have to make systems run same OS and this is not easy task since my main running on Gentoo x86_64 and the PS3 32 and 64 versions of Gentoo considered Experimental (which mean lot of time to spend on solving strange problems). I'll probably do it next time i'll get sick :)

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