If you want to build a PCI Express based Athlon 64 system, VIA has some news that will make you happy.
The K8T890 Pro also adds support for dual Opteron processors with SLi support – this could be an interesting option for graphics workstations. VIA is also planning to release the K8M890 some time later this year which adds integrated graphics for low cost Athlon 64 or Sempron systems. It does still offer an x16 slot but only two x1 slots for add-on cards. The interesting part here is that VIA claims it will have a DirectX 9 compatible 3D core ready for the K8M890, but the information so far is vague at best on how this will be implemented. It should however be capable of supporting two monitors as well as TV out and DVI, which is something that so far has been a rare sight on motherboards with integrated graphics.
You might wonder where VIA’s chipset for the new Pentium 4 chips has disappeared to, especially as the company originally announced that it was to be VIA’s first PCI Express product. It is still in the pipeline, but no release date has been set as yet. Interestingly the name has changed to the PT880 Pro and should offer support for both AGP and PCI Express graphics cards if all goes according to plan.
There will be a further range of Pentium 4 chipsets called the PT894 and PT894 Pro with no AGP slot and support for DDR2 memory as well. Again very little information was released about these products, but the Pro version will support VIA’s DualGFX Express.
So far only ABIT has pre-announced a product based on the K8T890 chipset, but I would expect a raft of new products to be announced today by just about every Athlon 64 motherboard manufacturer.