Feature Comparison & Conclusion
As we mentioned earlier, the VIA K8T890 will be available in two flavors, the standard VIA K8T890 and the K8T890 Pro. Here's a breakdown of their distinct features and target audiences. Both the K8T890 and K8T890 Pro support the same Southbridge, so they share many of the same features and capabilities.
·_PCI Express x16 Graphics
·_4 PCI Express x1 Peripherals
·_Up to 4 PCI Express x1 high bandwidth peripheral connections make it a suitable platform for entry level server market
·_World's first chipset to bring support for latest PCI Express x16 Graphics cards to AMD64 platform
·_Advanced users and PC Enthusiasts
·_OEMs wishing to offer first generation PCI Express solutions for the AMD Athlon 64 platform
|VIA K8T890 Pro
·_DualGFX Express Graphics
·_2 PCI Express x1 Peripherals
·_VIA Dual GFX Express delivers exceptional single application performance and powerful multitasking support
·_Supports 2 applications on different screens and up to 4 displays
·_Support for Dual Opteron processors
·_Ideal platform for workstations in engineering, scientific and medical environments
·_Creative professionals and power users
The main differences between the K8T890 and K8T890 Pro lie in the Pro version's Dual GFX capabilities, the use PCI Express lans, and the Pro's support for dual Opteron processors. While the K8T890 Pro will have many gamers salivating at the ides of running dual NVIDIA GeForce 6x00's in an SLI configuration, professionals looking for a high-end dual-processor workstation should also take notice.
The VIA K8T890 and K8T890 Pro chipsets are a necessary evolutionary upgrade to the AMD64 platform. The lack of PCI Express support for AMD processors makes many potential customers pause. They simply don't want to upgrade because they fear their graphics cards and motherboards could soon be obsolete. Now, with the K8T890 and K8T890 Pro these users can upgrade without this fear. The K8T890, in it's various forms, is a very full-featured solution that should satisfy both gamers and professionals alike. We hope to have retail-ready motherboards from a few manufacturers in the weeks and months ahead, to assess the real-world performance of the K8T890 in a variety of scenarios. Abit, for example, has already announced their AX8 - you can check it out right here. We also fully expect NVIDIA to make some noise of their own. Their next generation nForce chipset should be a direct competitor to the K8T890 series of chipsets, and may even offer some features that haven't previously been available on the PC. We'll let you know more as the information trickles in...or when the NDAs expire, which ever happens first!