Users always looking for the ultimate performance for their PC will get yet another opportunity to upgrade the horsepower and torque of their system. Tyan said it is shipping its Thunder K8QW (S4881) motherboard that will carry up to four Opteron 800-series processors and up to eight chips, if customers decide to upgrade the board with the available add-on modules HT4881 and M4881.
Such a system will support up to 128 MByte of DDR400 or 256 MByte of DD266 memory. Other features include two PCI Express ports (x16 and x4), three PCI interfaces, dual Gigabit Ethernet with a built-in ATI Rage XL graphics card. Pricing of the board has not been announced, but we would assume. Pricing for Opteron 800-series processors currently starts at $698 for the model 840 (1.4 GHz). Ofcourse, users can also choose to use dual-core Opterons and equip their system with up to 16 physical processor cores.
iWill announced a similar product that uses two boards several weeks ago. While Tyan's and iWill's boards offer an opportunity to increase system performance, two-board solutions are hard to maintain: One board always needs to be removed in order to be able to access a processor or memory units. At least iWill will move from a two-board to a single-board solution with the next generation 8-way board. (THG)