VIA PCI/AGP Lock

When VIA introduced their K8T800 PRO chipset, they also introduced a new feature for VIA - the ability to fix the AGP/PCI frequency for overclocking. This is a feature that enthusiasts had come to enjoy on earlier Intel and nVidia chipsets, and many enthusiasts were staying away from VIA chipsets until this feature was also implemented on VIA chipsets.

The addition of the PCI/AGP lock is, to our way of thinking, a critical feature for VIA to compete with both nVidia and Intel for enthusiast buyers in the motherboard market. We applauded VIA's move to the PCI/AGP lock in our launch review of the K8T800 PRO. While we found this feature did work on the VIA Reference board, it didn't work very well. The feature also worked on several K8T800 PRO Reference boards that we have tested, but we also realize these are highly optimized and verified before we ever see these Reference Boards at AnandTech.

We figured that we would be seeing working competitive PCI/AGP locks on shipping K8T800 PRO chipsets, but that has not really materialized. In fact, we are very disturbed at the chaos that seems to surround the VIA implementation of the PCI/AGP lock at the manufacturers that we have talked with here at Computex. Some have proclaimed the feature is so unstable that they will not include it in VIA K8T800 PRO boards, while others say the feature is actually broken in the majority of the chipsets that they are currently receiving from VIA.

VIA themselves acknowledge that there is a problem with the AGP/PCI lock feature on the K8T800 PRO chipset, though they state the feature does work for limited overclocking in shipping chipsets - and will be quickly and completely fixed as soon as they can determine the factors that are causing the instability and inconsistency in the current PCI/AGP lock. The fact that VIA still does not know what exactly is wrong with the PCI/AGP lock on K8T800 PRO does not bode well for a quick fix.

Socket 939: Chipsets and Motherboards How Does the VIA PCI/AGP Lock Work?
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  • Filibuster - Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - link

    Via will support Athlon 64 with PCI-Express with the K8T890 chipset.

    Nvidia chipset plans are less clear. The only thing I've seen is a Inq. article saying Q4'04. :(
    Hopefully it is sooner.
    Reply
  • WileCoyote - Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - link

    After all the buildup in the first few pages of this article I was kind of disappointed by the very close benchmarks. All the chipsets perform within a couple percentage points of each other. Reply
  • ripdude - Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - link

    <quote>
    2 - Posted on Jun 2, 2004 at 1:55 AM by Brian23
    What's the deal with the orange PCI connector?
    </quote>
    the orange PCI connector is, AFAIK, excepted from the PCI bus bandwidth and is directly connected to the chipset.

    <quote>
    3 - Posted on Jun 2, 2004 at 3:07 AM by adntaylor
    Nice review but... still no tests of the AGP optimisations for the GeForce FX and 6 series cards on the nForce chipset.
    </quote>
    I, too, read about NVidia gfx cards getting a boost on NVidia chipsets, a 6 serie card on nforce-250gb could yield quite some surprises.

    <quote>
    6 - Posted on Jun 2, 2004 at 3:53 AM by Eidolon
    Are PCI-Express mobos using either chipset planned? Any news on when that may be?
    </quote>
    I'm waiting for a good 939 board with PCI-E slots too. With ATI and NVidia announcing PCI-E cards they should be too far behind.
    Reply
  • XRaider - Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - link

    No doubt # 6. Motherbord manufacturers seem to be dragging their feet on this... unless they are waiting for Nvidia and Ati..? I REALLY like the 939 FX53.. but I'm holding out until the PCI express standard gets implemented on the new motherboards, cause I'm not planning on upgrading for awhile after this new system build. :\ Reply
  • Eidolon - Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - link

    Are PCI-Express mobos using either chipset planned? Any news on when that may be? Reply
  • Eidolon - Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - link

    Reply
  • tfranzese - Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - link

    From what I remember the orange PCI slot is specifically for communications. Reply
  • adntaylor - Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - link

    Nice review but... still no tests of the AGP optimisations for the GeForce FX and 6 series cards on the nForce chipset.

    Please can somebody just chuck a card in and see if the GeForce 6800 is boosted by the nForce3 chipset!

    http://techreport.com/reviews/2004q2/nforce3-gefor... - this was the Tech Report's test of the FX 5950, and it delivered some surprising performance boosts. I'm desperate to see if the 6800 reacts similarly!

    I'm interested to know what that orange PCI slot is for too.
    Reply
  • Brian23 - Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - link

    What's the deal with the orange PCI connector? Reply
  • nycxandy - Wednesday, June 02, 2004 - link

    With the 939 CPU's already shipping, when will the 939 motherboards show up in stores? Reply

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