VIA's K8T900 Chipset
VIA's VT5925A K8T900 Reference Motherboard
The motherboard we received for this review was a reference design that is not necessarily indicative of what full retail models will represent. Component layout was not ideal and the board lacks any "sex appeal". With that said, we're not going to spend a lot of time on the physical features of the board or the BIOS. Nonetheless, we thought we'd drop in a few snapshots to show what hardware we had to work with along with some BIOS pics and overclocking.
The reference board came with two PEG slots, two along side two PCI slots. Note that power connections are in a less than perfect position when it comes to cables draping over the CPU cooler. VIA did add passive cooling to the Northbridge, which was warm, but not piping hot, under load. Note the four SATA ports lined up next to a vertically mounted BIOS battery. The board also came with only one IDE connection and was equipped with onboard power and reset switches which we found handy for testing.
The BIOS of the VT5925A was labeled "Not for Production", as we commonly see with engineering samples, but we fired off a few pics to show what was under the hood. Overall, the menus were standard fare with a familiar look. Performance options were all typical for the most part and we suspect retail boards will follow a similar layout.
As you can see, the reference hardware is not equipped with the necessary BIOS for serious overclocking, with a peak register setting of 232MHz. Nonetheless, we gave overclocking a shot anyway. Knowing the peak setting was well within the scope of what our processor can handle, we jumped right to 232MHz from the first try with no voltage adjustments whatsoever. This pushed our Athlon 3700+ from 2.2GHz up to 2.55GHz without a hitch and the system booted straight into Windows unscathed. We'll have to wait for the full retail boards to reach the market, however, before we see what the K8T900 can really do in the overclocking arena, but this was a good start.