When the Opteron was introduced about a year ago, VIA and nVidia began their battle for the best chipset and motherboards for the AMD Athlon 64. It appeared early on that despite the lower 600 HyperTransport, the nVidia nF3-150 just might win the first round with a PCI/AGP lock, which was missing from the otherwise superior VIA K8T800 chipset. On Socket 754 single-channel boards, nF3 and K8T800 were basically a toss-up in performance, but K8T800 definitely was the better performer on the Socket 940 Dual-Channel platform. Later, when we discovered that the PCI/AGP lock also did not work on most nF3-150 boards, the supposed advantage for nVidia disappeared.

Recently, there have been many changes in the chipsets available for the Athlon 64 family as manufacturers are gearing up for round 2 - the Socket 939 wars. nVidia introduced their upgraded nFoce3-250Gb chipset with 1000HT, working PCI/AGP locks, and a feature set that finally was competitive with the excellent VIA K8T800, or perhaps even better. The K8T800 PRO is VIA's answer as they also gear up for Socket 939. Based on the excellent K8T800 core, the PRO version finally adds a PCI/AGP lock to the VIA features, and HyperTransport is raised to the new 1000 speed that we will see in AMD Athlon 64 Socket 939 processors.

VIA will price the new PRO chipset version exactly the same as the previous non-PRO version. This means that you will quickly see the K8T800 PRO replace the K8T800 in every Athlon 64 configuration - Socket 754, Socket 940, and the new Socket 939. The chipset will be the same in all configurations, meaning 1000 HT and PCI/AGP lock will soon be available even in Socket 754 boards for current Athlon 64 chips that are based on the K8T800 PRO chipset.

A Closer Look at VIA K8T800 PRO


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  • bigtoe33 - Thursday, May 6, 2004 - link

    Come on guys its the first look at a reference board.Reviews will come with all boards compared etc.

    The question you should ask is why abit hasn't implemented the lock on the new pro board they just released?
  • ceefka - Thursday, May 6, 2004 - link

    #2 quite right

    Question: Will Firewire suffer from the fact that it is not on-board? Will anything else suffer from the fact that Firewire will then have to be supported with an additional chip?

    To stretch the importance of Firewire for the home-user. I believe that a lot of people own MiniDV camera's in and a year or so most analog videocams will be replaced with digital cams. Most of them work best with Firewire. I haven't seen any models that work explicitly with USB 2.0 so far.
  • Cygni - Thursday, May 6, 2004 - link

    There arent any Socket 940 boards based on the 250 chipset in the open market right now. Reply
  • wicktron - Thursday, May 6, 2004 - link

    im disappointed that it wasnt compared against nf3-250 boards. Reply
  • wicktron - Thursday, May 6, 2004 - link

    weeeeee Reply

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