AMD's Socket 939 Offers More with Much of the Same

VIA K8T800 Pro

K8T800 Pro is currently the chipset to beat. Paired with the VT8237 South Bridge, it offers VIA Vinyl 8 channel audio, gigabit Ethernet support, eight USB 2.0 ports plus two Serial ATA ports. Those can be upgraded to a total of four ports using VIA's SATAlite interface. Afterwards, the basic RAID capability (mode 0 and 1 are incorporated into all major chipset components today) will also include RAID 0+1.

The Pro version definitely is the better choice in contrast to the non-pro version, as it does not only support the 1 GHz HyperTransport speed, but also allows for asynchronous operation of the AGP and the PCI bus. This is, of course, a highly important feature for overclocking.

The K8T890 will hit the market late in the summer, finally bringing PCI Express support to the world. In contrast to SiS, VIA decided to implement the x16 PCI Express port for graphics plus four additional PCI Express lanes that could be used for mass storage or networking devices - that sounds like a nice extra. Also, VIA's roadmap shows support for AGP 8x, too, which would be an incredibly strong argument to go for this chipset. Why not keep using your AGP 8x graphics card until new PCI Express generations clearly outperform it?