Basic Features: VIA K8T800 PRO Reference Board


 Motherboard Specifications
CPU Interface Socket 940 Athlon 64
Athlon 64 FX and Opteron
Chipset VIA K8T800 PRO/VIA VT8237
HyperTransport Auto, 1Ghz, 800MHz, 600, 400, 200
Bus Speeds 200MHz to 255MHz (in 1MHz increments)
PCI/AGP Speeds Automatic, Async at 66.8 or 75.4
Core Voltage No Adjustments
DRAM Voltage No Adjustments
AGP Voltage No Adjustments
Memory Slots Four 184-pin DDR DIMM Slots
Dual-Channel Configuration
Registered ECC/Non-ECC Memory
to 4GB Total
Expansion Slots 1 AGP 8X Slot
5 PCI Slots
Onboard Serial ATA RAID VIA 8237 (2 Drives, 0, 1)
Onboard IDE Two Standard VIA ATA133/100/66 (4 drives)
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394 8 USB 2.0 ports supported by 8237
No Firewire
Onboard LAN VIA VT6122 Gigabit LAN
10/100 LAN by VIA 8237
Onboard Audio VIA VT1616 codec AC '97 2.3
6-Channel with UAJ


As a Reference Board, there's not a lot to say about the board layout. Reference Boards are designed for testing and qualification and will not likely see production as a retail product. Having said that, VIA has done an outstanding job of including a full complement of features and VIA chip additions to demonstrate what the K8T800 PRO can do.



The K8T800 PRO Northbridge is the only real change in the PRO.



VIA continues to use the very competent 8237 Southbridge, which first brought the Athlon 64 feature set to Intel 865/875 levels.



The K8T800 PRO Reference Board was equipped with the VIA VT1616 Vinyl Six-Trac audio chip. The 1616 is the 18-bit junior member of the audio family. Manufacturers could also use the top-line Envy24 for a premium audio setup. The 1616 is cheaper, but still very capable, providing 6-channel audio that exceeds Microsoft's WHQL logo requirements. VIA provides detailed information on the Vinyl Six-Trac capabilities at the VIA web site.

"The VIA Six-TRAC is a complete solution supporting the AC'97 2.2 specification with S/PDIF extension compliance. Enabling 6 channel outputs with 18-bit resolution the VIA VT1616 can support full 5.1 surround sound enabling theatre-quality home audio systems. For optimum playback performance the Six-TRAC analog mixer circuitry integrates stereo enhancement to provide a pleasing 3Ds surround sound effect for stereo media. Further provisions in the hardware allow for downmixing of 6-channel inputs such as DVDs into 4-channel, or even 2-channels outputs.

An 18-bit independent rate stereo ADC enables 5 stereo and 2 mono analog line-level inputs allowing recording from sources such as microphones, CDs, line-ins etc. With sample rate converters on all channels the VIA Six-TRAC can be adjusted in 1Hz increments allowing exacting audio manipulation. To maintain full digital audio paths the VIA VT1616 has an IEC958 line driver for S/PDIF compressed digital or LPCM audio outputs."




Gigabit LAN is provided by another VIA chip - the VT6122. 10/100/1000Mb data transfer rates are supported, but this LAN solution is basically on the PCI bus, with the limitations of that arrangement. In real-world terms, this is not very significant today, but it will matter to some buyers. nVidia's on-chip gigabit LAN, by comparison, is completely removed from the speed limitations of the PCI bus. VIA's on-chip LAN is 10/100 Ethernet, and gigabit LAN is provided by an additional chip.



While this is a Reference Board, VIA has provided a complete complement of rear IO ports, including both 10/100 and Gigabit LAN. While IEEE1394 firewire is not a part of the K8T800 PRO chipset, VIA provides accessory chips for adding firewire capabilities to motherboards using the K8T800 PRO chipset.

A Closer Look at VIA K8T800 PRO BIOS Features: VIA K8T800 PRO Reference Board
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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?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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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