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There are still about three weeks before AMD unleashes its 64-bit desktop processor – dubbed Athlon 64 – but mainboards for the newcomer already start appearing for sale! Micro Star International, a company that started to sell its i865P and i865PE-based mainboards earlier than others in April this year, started to sell its VIA K8T800-based device for Socket 754 AMD Athlon 64 CPUs. Even though you can hardly get a 64-bit desktop microprocessor from AMD in retail at this point, MyInfinity.com web-site offers you to get your MSI MS-6702 mainboard already now!

The fact that a mainboard for AMD Athlon 64 appears for sale weeks before the launch of the chip itself means that the industry and mainboard makers are ready to meet the newcomer from the Sunnyvale, California-based firm. There will not be a lot of 64-bit desktop chips from AMD this year, but, in general, the quantity should be enough for enthusiasts and interested software developers.

Specifications of MSI MS-6702 are pretty obvious for a higher-end mainboard coming out Fall 2003:

  • Supports Socket 754 AMD Athlon 64 processors;
  • VIA K8T800 + VT8237 core-logic;
  • 3 DIMM slots for up to 2GB of PC2100, PC2700 or PC3200 DDR SDRAM;
  • 5 PCI and 1 AGP 8x slot;
  • 2-channel integrated ATA-33/66/100/133 controller;
  • 1-channel ATA-33/66/100/133 controller (Promise 20378);
  • 4 Serial ATA-150 ports with RAID 0, 1, 0+1 support (there is an additional 20378 controller  from Promise);
  • 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet adapter;
  • 8 USB 2.0 ports;
  • 2 FireWire (IEEE1394) ports;
  • Integrated AC`97 6-channel audio solution with SP/DIF connectors;
  • Loads of additional functions and technologies from MSI, including Live Update 3, D-bracket 2, MSI Corecell Chip, MSI Corecenter, DOTand so on;
  • Overclocking and tuning functions;
  • ATX Form-factor.

The cost of MSI MS-6702 mainboard is just $179, quite nice for an unannounced mainboard for a highly-anticipated AMD Athlon 64 microprocessor.

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