VIA's K8T900 Chipset - HotHardware

VIA's K8T900 Chipset

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With the adoption of PCI Express as a next-gen I/O technology, all of the major chipset manufacturers worked hard to bring compatible chipsets to market.  Naturally, Intel was first on the scene with the 900 series chipsets. But on the AMD side, VIA was first to market with its K8T890 Chipset.   Building on the successes of the K8T800, which competed on the same level as nVidia's nForce 3 250 and nForce 3 Ultra, VIA aimed to take things to the next level with new features and improved overall performance.  By coupling the K8T890 Northbridge with the promising VT8251 Southbridge, VIA's first PCI Express ready chipset aimed to deliver a number of new features, the most notable being the first dual-PCI Express graphics implementation with DualGFX Express. 

Since the release of the K8T890 back in September of 2004, however, VIA has become virtually silent about the K8T890.  When we scan the major players' product lines, we see a few K8T890 models being offered by such companies as Abit, ASUS, EPoX and MSI, but none were equipped with the VT8251 Southbridge, nor were there any Pro versions with DualGFX Express as planned.  As it turned out, VIA had some major difficulties perfecting the audio and RAID 5 functionality of the VT8251.  In fact, VIA had to rework the design of the VT8251 five times before ironing out all the kinks. Now, over a year later, VIA is ready to bring the VT8251 to market in conjunction with a re-worked Northbridge.

In the time it took to retool the VT8251, VIA made some design changes to the K8T890 Northbridge as well, bringing to light the new K8T900, which we will be discussing today.  The new K8T900 adds further enhancements to the PCI Express implementation, aiming to deliver increased performance over the competition while offering dual-PEG slots as well.

Specifications: VIA's K8T900/VT8251 Chipset
Picking Up Where the K8T890 Left Off
Support for the latest AMD Opteron, Athlon64, and Sempron Processors

VIA RapidFire Technology
dual PCI Express x16 slots
Reduced Latency and Improved Signal Quality delivers increased performance for high-bandwidth graphics solutions
Lower Power Consumption

VIA Flex Express Architecture
·PCI Express x16 Graphics
·PCI Express x1 High Bandwidth Peripheral connections

Asynchronous Bus Architecture
·allows easier tweaking of the CPU

Hyper8 Technology
·Full 1GHz/16-bit implementation of HyperTransport bus link between CPU and chipset

DriveStation V-RAID
·Support for RAID 0, 1 and 0+1 arrays

V-MAP architecture
·Industry's most scalable system architecture
·Unified driver base

VIA Flex Express Architecture
·Industry's most flexible PCI Express chipset implementation
·Multiple device configurations
·Motherboard Manufacturers and SIs can meet the needs of various market segments with one scalable solution

Expanding PCI Express to Mature Platforms
·Bringing PCI Express connectivity to mature platforms Distributed PCI Express Bandwidth
·South Bridge bandwidth increasingly taken up by IDE/SATA drives, peripherals and multimedia devices
·Peripheral bandwidth distributed across chipset's North and South Bridge to minimize bottlenecks

Flexible PCI Express Configurations
·The shift to PCI Express is creating some compatibility headaches for the industry
·New standards, bus architectures, interfaces and connectors to deal with

VIA's unique Flex Express Architecture designed to make the transition easier
·With up to 22 PCI Express lanes, the industry's most flexible chipset implementation allows multiple configurations
·Flexible, pin-compatible design approach across VIA chipsets minimizes motherboard design process and time-to-market
·Motherboard partners can cover multiple segments with single core board design

 


 

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