VIA Technologies on Friday said its latest K8T890 chipset for AMD Athlon 64 processors did not support AMD Athlon 64 X2 chips with two processing engines. The firm did not reveal any further details on the matter and did not explain the reason behind incompatibility, but indicated intention to launch a chipset that supports AMD’s latest chips shortly.
“We are aware of incompatibility of the K8T890 chipset with dual-core AMD processors. We have fixed this with the latest chipset silicon which is going to be available and shipping to the mainboard vendors very shortly,” VIA’s spokesman Michal Lisiecki told X-bit labs.
Earlier on Thursday German web-site ComputerBase reported a claim made by ASUSTeK about incompatibility between VIA K8T890 [and the company’s A8V-E-series mainboards] and AMD Athlon 64 X2 processors caused by “chipset limitation”. Currently ASUS supplies a family of mainboards that can work with AMD Athlon 64 X2 processors marked with a special sticker.
VIA K8T890-based mainboards have not been very popular on the market. Only several mainboard makers have commercially launched products powered by the core-logic. AMD Athlon 64 X2 processors that cost from $537 to $1001 are generally unlikely to become really widespread on the market. That said, incompatibility issue of the K8T890 and AMD’s latest chips may not turn out to infringe interests of many computer users.
It is unclear what the exact reason behind incompatibility of VIA’s core-logic and AMD’s dual-core processors is. AMD Athlon 64-series processors use Hyper-Transport bus, which is an industry standard that does not change from revision to revision, that ensures interoperability between variety of mainboards and processors, even despite of actual speed-bin. Furthermore, AMD64 processors integrate memory controller and arbitration logic for dual-core chips called System Request Interface, which make AMD64 platforms very flexible when it comes to chipset support.
“From VIA K8 chipsets only K8T890 is affected, K8T800 and K8T800 Pro do support AMD Athlon 64 X2 processors,” Mr. Lisiecki added.
Earlier this year a web-site published a number of news-stories in regards of alleged incompatibility of the AMD Athlon 64 revision E with different mainboards shipping to market then, particularly those based on popular NVIDIA nForce3 and 4 chipsets. Both NVIDIA Corp. and AMD said that there were no issues on the chipset side, but several mainboard makers did not design their products according to AMD guidelines, which caused general incompatibility.