For the Thunderbird introduction, we asked manufacturers to send us their KT133 Socket-A boards so we could get an idea of what type of motherboard support the Thunderbird and Duron would be receiving at launch time. Three manufacturers, FIC, Gigabyte, and MSI had samples available and arrived in the AnandTech lab by June 5, the day of the Thunderbird launch. VIA also provided a KM133 reference board and AMD's evaluation system included a Compaq OEM motherboard.
This preview is designed to show a bit about what we can expect on the Socket-A platform. All of these boards are pre-production and specifications are bound to change. We decided against performance and stability tests on such early boards, but rest assured we'll have individual reviews and a roundup of Socket-A boards as soon as final evaluation samples are available.
Unlike the original Athlon release, motherboard support for AMD's Socket-A CPU's should not be a problem at all. Just about every motherboard manufacturer has announced a Socket-A solution this week at Computex 2000 in conjunction with the Thunderbird launch. The summary at the end of this article also includes a bit about some of those notable boards announced this week, including a board from QDI that claims to disable the Thunderbird / Duron multiplier lock. We'll have complete Computex 2000 coverage next week, with even more Socket-A motherboard previews among quite a few other things.