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After some misunderstandings between ASUS’ divisions, the company has started to actually ship its first A8V-E Deluxe mainboard based on VIA’s K8T890 core-logic, creating some choice on the market for those, looking for PCI Express-supporting mainboards for AMD64 processors.

ASUS A8V-E Available Today

ASUS A8V-E Deluxe mainboard, one of the first mainboards to support PCI Express interconnection on an AMD64 platform, is equipped with plethora of advanced capabilities, a natural peculiarity of ASUS Deluxe mainboards. The platform sports a PCI Express x16 slot, 2 PCI x1 slots, 3 PCI slots, 4 DIMM slots for PC3200 DDR memory, 2 Serial ATA-150 ports, 2 Parallel ATA-33/66/100/133 ports, onboard Gigabit Ethernet, onboard Wireless LAN 802.11g controller, USB 2.0, FireWire and other modern features. Additionally, the mainboard boasts all the latest technologies from ASUS, including AI NOS, AI NET2, PEG link, as well as numerous of overclocking enhancements.

The A8V-E Deluxe mainboard is sold for $170 - $180 in Tokyo, Japan, according to Akiba PC Hotline web-site. In the USA and Europe there were no popular stores to sell, or take orders on the part at press time.

Earlier this month ASUSTeK and VIA denied reports about the possible cancellation of the A8V-E mainboard. Certain sources claim there was an internal misunderstanding between various ASUS divisions and there were no plans to cancel plans to use the VIA K8T890 core-logic, and the only decision was to stop sending the A8V-E Deluxe to reviewers because of lower than expected performance that was a consequence of faulty BIOS version. A VIA representative called the information “completely untrue” and assured X-bit labs the company has strong relations with ASUSTeK.

ASUS also recently began to sell its A8N-SLI Deluxe mainboard based on NVIDIA nForce4 SLI core-logic.

VIA to Strongly Push K8T890

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.

VIA, who has been traditionally leading chipset market of AMD processors, currently pins a lot of hope on AMD64 market because of higher margins. It is now unclear when mainboards based on VIA K8T890 are expected to emerge in retail. Mainboards with PCI Express and designed for AMD64 chips based on NVIDIA’s nForce4 and ATI’s RADEON XPRESS 200 are expected to be available commercially in December, 2004, or January, 2005. Typically VIA tends to be the first, or in-line with other chipset designers, with its products that offer certain innovative functionality.


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