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VIA K8T800 Chipset Preview - Dual Opteron in Action - K8T800 and VT8237 taking charge

It has been a long time coming but we are finally reaching the beginning stages of 64-bit mainstream computing. AMD has been the first to bring a 64-bit processor to the market with any true support in the Opteron. VIA is one of the key chipset companies supporting AMD64 and today Shawn "Toxic" Baker takes a preview look at their new K8T800 chipset with AMD Opteron 242 and 244 processors. 64-bit computing is boarding - don't miss the train!

By: | AMD CPUs & APUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Aug 25, 2003 4:00 am


- K8T800 Northridge


The K8T800 carries everything you need to not only create a beastie server or graphics workstation but also everything the most hardcore of gamer could ever ask for out of a system.


We see everything that we would need to build the latest high-powered server or gaming rig. One problem that a lot of server oriented motherboards have is that they do not come with an AGP slot, the K8T800 supports AGP 8X which gives people the ability to run the latest GeForce FX 5900 Ultra or Radeon 9800 Pro without any issues, just like we saw when testing.


Since the memory controller is built into the processor, there isn't a whole lot to write about the Northbridge. By the sounds of it, companies are looking at creating Hyper Transport buses which could potentially communicate directly with each part of the system and from there the use of a Northbridge could become redundant. This is all speculation at the moment and we are not saying that the Northbridge is just going to stop existing - it's probably far from it!


- VT8237 Southbridge


As we mentioned previously, the K8T800 is powered by VIA's latest Southbridge, the VT8237, which was also seen in the PT800 which we looked at last month. The latest Southbridge carries a host of features. Since we covered the Southbridge quite heavily in our PT800 review, we won't go into too much detail here.


We see all of VIA's latest technologies on the motherboard thanks to the VT8237 Southbridge, including "Vinyl Audio" which carries support for 6 channel and 8 channel audio otherwise known respectively as 5.1 and 7.1 surround.


Also included is support for VIA's "DriveStation" which helps make Serial ATA RAID a lot easier for people thanks to the inclusion of the V-RAID tool.


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