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FOLLOW UP: ASUS Denies VIA K8T890 Mainboard Cancellation

The world’s largest maker of mainboards, ASUSTeK Computer, said in an interview with a German web-site that it has no plans to introduce a premium-class mainboard based on VIA’s latest chipset for AMD64 processors with PCI Express interconnection support because the core-logic is not “that efficient” as NVIDIA’s nForce4 product is.

In an interview to Hard Tecs 4U web-site an ASUS representative said the company currently has no plans to utilize VIA’s K8T890 core-logic, VIA’s first chipset with PCI Express interconnection for AMD Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX and Sempron processors. Later, according to the report, the world’s leading mainboard company may reconsider its positions and include a product based on VIA’s K8T890 core-logic into the product family. Current plans of ASUS include adoption of NVIDIA nForce4 chipsets, including NVIDIA nForce4 SLI core-logic, one of the world's most advanced media and communication processors.

VIA Technologies, the world’s No. 2 maker of chipsets, formally announced its VIA K8T890 chipset in late September. Neither then, nor now, the chipset’s performance and market availability are clear. The K8T890 chipset supports AMD Athlon 64, AMD Sempron and AMD Opteron processors in various form-factors, including chips with 800MHz and 1000MHz HyperTransport bus. The main peculiarity of VIA’s latest chipset is support for a PCI Express x16 lane for graphics cards and support for 4 PCI Express x1 lanes for other kinds of add-in cards by the North Bridge. VIA’s K8T890 can operate with outdated VT8237 I/O controller, or yet-to-be-launched VT8251 South Bridge.

In case VIA’s K8T890 is considerably slower and/or less stable compared to NVIDIA’s nForce4 product series, VIA may lose numerous designs with mainboard makers as well as its positioning among enthusiasts. Historically NVIDIA offered faster chipsets compared to VIA’s products, but was not really popular among mainstream end-users and system builders with its nForce products because of higher stability VIA could offer. However, if NVIDIA had tackled all possible nForce4-related issues, customers may now shift to NVIDIA because of higher speed and more sophisticated I/O features.

VIA, who has been traditionally leading chipset market of AMD processors, currently pins a lot of hope on AMD64 market because of higher margins.

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