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First Look: VIA K8T900

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Tim S 22nd November 2005, 11:56 Quote
Just a quick update, Scott at TechReport managed to get SLI working with two GeForce 6-series video cards. As we stated in the review - it was possible, just not with GeForce 7-series cards, and you're also limited to older drivers with less support.
Bindibadgi 22nd November 2005, 13:09 Quote
Nice! Good to know.

I was confused because I thought VIA released the '51 southbridge when they released the K8T890 a year ago, because it was on their press release for it. But it seems they opted for a paper release and not actually launching it in the end which would explain why everyone used the very old '37 southbridge instead. It wasnt just the fact that the virtually only market penetration the 890 had was at mid-range so would make more sense to use the cheaper '37 southbridge.
But now they have actually released the '51 with an updated featureset by the looks: SATA2 and RAID5 etc
Sathy 22nd November 2005, 13:45 Quote
And again a nice, thorough article, or a preview anyway. Pretty detailed I might even say - for a preview!
In a way it's nice to read about other choises (besides NF4) for new MB's for AMD, but still I'm too accustomed to the nf4 and SLI ideas that I would even consider anything with VIA on it at the moment. But maybe that's just because I haven't had a chance to get familiar with their solutions.
But then again, if the prices are right, this VIA stuff might not be a bad choise (atleast looking at the performance) for those who are looking for alternatives for pci-e based system.

Off-topic:
I couldn't find any section in the forum where one could suggest ideas for reviews, that is, if there is any way for the BT staff to make a difference - as in ask manufacturers if they would like their products reviewed. I just wanted to say that it would be pretty nice to read a proper Bit-Tech review of Asus's A8N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard.

And yes I'm aware that there are some reviews, but they're not BT! =]
Tim S 22nd November 2005, 13:50 Quote
We have an A8N32-SLI Deluxe in-house, it's in the Queue at the moment. ;)
BuuRMaN 22nd November 2005, 13:59 Quote
I agree with Sathy about the review of the A8N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard.

On-topic:
Love to read such reviews/previews. It's refreshing to read about other chipset manufacturers. Only problem with this chipset (as mentioned) is the lan speed 10/100 instead of 10/100/1000.

Also read a review at [H]ardocp about the ATI Radeon Xpress 200 chipset, that chipset dont get so much credit till now.

Hopefully there will be more competitors for Nforce so there will be more choises for the public.
RotoSequence 22nd November 2005, 15:12 Quote
Interesting; I dont know if this chipset will see too much use; Nvidia has gotten rather popular with enthusiast chipsets; with how popular SLI is, its unlikely 900 chipset boards will see much acceptance without the ability to run your graphics cards in parallel without extensive driver hacks.
Tim S 22nd November 2005, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RotoSequence
Interesting; I dont know if this chipset will see too much use; Nvidia has gotten rather popular with enthusiast chipsets; with how popular SLI is, its unlikely 900 chipset boards will see much acceptance without the ability to run your graphics cards in parallel without extensive driver hacks.
Yes, that's my only worry. VIA aren't just fighting against nForce4, they're also fighting against the SLI brand name.
Bindibadgi 22nd November 2005, 15:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuuRMaN
I agree with Sathy about the review of the A8N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard.

On-topic:
Love to read such reviews/previews. It's refreshing to read about other chipset manufacturers. Only problem with this chipset (as mentioned) is the lan speed 10/100 instead of 10/100/1000.

Also read a review at [H]ardocp about the ATI Radeon Xpress 200 chipset, that chipset dont get so much credit till now.

Hopefully there will be more competitors for Nforce so there will be more choises for the public.

Thing is: who actually has gigabit switches in their house? And who would really benefit from it?? Sure it'll be faster but most SOHO or homes will survive on 100M ethernet.

I also seem to the be the only person in the world who's had continual good experiences with the Xpress200 chipsets

VIA have to offer something over SLI for people to buy a 900 board and try and hack SLI or Crossfire on to it. It's not as if the S3 division can compete with ATI or NV so VIA have to come up with something pretty special for enthusiast acceptance. Having said that, the money is in the main stream.
perplekks45 22nd November 2005, 15:48 Quote
Pretty nice preview of a pretty nice board.
But I have to agree with what was mentioned about VIA's ability to compete with nVidia's SLI. Performance seems to be not that kinda problem but no SLI? That kinda irritated me... is this a MultiChrome-only board? And what are the definit numbers of MC? Are they anyhow competitive to ATI or nVidia?
// edit: Forgot to agree with Bindi... :D 1 Gb/s ethernet seems to be good for LANs but at home I don't know anybody really using full 1 Gb/s.
thale02896 22nd November 2005, 17:46 Quote
Nice review. But I was wondering if any overclocking was attempted? It would be interesting to see if the board clocks up well.
Tim S 22nd November 2005, 18:05 Quote
The board has limited overclocking ability with it being a reference motherboard. The tools aren't there to lower multipliers, and I don't have a CPU that clocks 'wonderfully' at its default multiplier, because it's too high and I get close to the limits of my cooling solution before I get to the limits of the CPU. :)
Kipman725 22nd November 2005, 18:45 Quote
shame NVIDA won't release an unsuported "open" SLI driver (like coolbits with nice dire warnings).
RotoSequence 22nd November 2005, 18:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigz
The board has limited overclocking ability with it being a reference motherboard. The tools aren't there to lower multipliers, and I don't have a CPU that clocks 'wonderfully' at its default multiplier, because it's too high and I get close to the limits of my cooling solution before I get to the limits of the CPU. :)

Bring back the phase change! :D
Noggin2k1 22nd November 2005, 19:17 Quote
Cant see it competing with nf4 in real world sales tbh, everyone knows top end board goes to dfi, and dont think theyre going to change it for a chip thats probably not even as fast, missed the high end sli band wagon me thinks!
frodo 22nd November 2005, 23:05 Quote
sli and crossfire on one board... now that would be sexy!

shame about the time its all coming out, cause im upgrading after ********* *unless this appears to be a sure hit* to an sli-d and a single 7800gt (and will get another at a later date :P)
[-Stash-] 23rd November 2005, 03:12 Quote
I think it's really nice to see VIA with a completely competitive chipset. Wish it had come about earlier, but I for one am *really* happy to see RAID5 in a mainstream mobo solution. The fact that this ref board keeps up with or beats an NF4 is very impressive, and if they really can bring these in £20+ cheaper than the NF4s then I reckon they could see them selling well.

If ATI really do allow Crossfire to work on this chipset (would be cool) then NVIDIA are going to come under pressure to allow SLI to work under other chipsets eventually as well. Of course, that requires both the chipset and GPU 580 chips being out the door with tangible goods ASAP, cos atm crossfire's a joke.

This Xpress 200 board I'm using until my DFI NF4 board comes back sucks in performance and the USB is horrible, just horrible. Really.
The_Pope 23rd November 2005, 08:06 Quote
I have a little more info for everyone. Basically, if you weren't already aware, NVIDIA added some extra code to their graphics drivers recently that locks out SLI if the chipset ID doesn't equal nForce. If you use older, pre-block drivers, SLI should work, as Tech Report found. However, this is why Tim couldn't get 7800 SLI to work.

For everyone who thinks this is a MAJOR downside, stop for a second and think hard about just how likely it is that you're going to spend £700 on 7800 SLI before you dismiss this chipset. If you say "ah, but I might want to run 66GT SLI" then true, you'd be stuck, but then, why not just get a single 7800 instead?

I'm not allowed to reveal any more, other than to say that obviously VIA are just as aware of these drawbacks as we all are, and I'm sure will be working to figure something out, if possible. :)
Nature 23rd November 2005, 09:06 Quote
Does anyone else think the Sli slots look a wee bit too close together? Looked to me like there'd be no way to get dos 7800 512's on there...
Tim S 23rd November 2005, 09:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nature
Does anyone else think the Sli slots look a wee bit too close together? Looked to me like there'd be no way to get dos 7800 512's on there...
They won't work in SLI anyway, so it's a non-issue issue. ;)
Nature 23rd November 2005, 11:24 Quote
Okay, but there are heat issues with Sli cards being to close, and GTX's like the ASUS EN7800GTXTOP/2DHTV/256M with beefy coolers would definitly pose a problemo.
Tim S 23rd November 2005, 13:16 Quote
There are no 7800 GTXs that will work in this board in SLI - you need GeForce 6-series cards if you want to use both slots.
Nature 23rd November 2005, 15:38 Quote
I guess that's why it says "Whats a Dramel?" under my handle
JrRRr 27th November 2005, 10:11 Quote
What I find interesting is the performance vs heat! nVidias chipset uses active cooling (passive cooling with heat-pipe) and performes just a wee-bit better than the VIA-900 that uses a small passive cooling heatsink. :) And if VIA is cheaper than nVidia, I see no problem in bying this mobo since I don't need dual-graphic-card setup afterall.. ..I just want a good-perfoming, silent PC!
BTW: I assume the memory can be set in dual-mode?

I too see no big deal in having a gigabit LAN, but the price on 1K-LAN equptment is nearing 100-LAN rapidly, so it will be a prefered feature in the next few years..
Tim S 27th November 2005, 12:12 Quote
Hi there,

Yes the board supports dual channel memory as the memory controller is located on the CPU die.
JrRRr 28th November 2005, 05:38 Quote
Aahh! Good to know! Thanks!
The MB I've set my eyes on up until now is the ASUS A8N-E nF4 Ultra, since I don't need SLI - and then swap the NB fan with a passive heatsink. But if I can do without souch a swap, I'd much rather have the K8T900 since I want a silent (ànd cooler) PC
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