Mobo makers ready Athlon 64 boards

Socket 754 and 940 parts coming soon

Gigabyte is preparing three motherboards to support AMD's upcoming Athlon 64, two based on Nvidia chipsets, the other on VIA technology.

Details of Chaintech's Athlon 64 offering have also emerged.

The VIA-based product, the GA-K8VNXP, uses the VIA K8T800 chipset and will support Socket 754 Athlon 64s. The board will support up to 3GB of 266, 333 or 400MHz DDR SDRAM through three DIMM slots. It integrates an ATA 133 RAID controller, Gigabit Ethernet and 1394, in addition to the Serial ATA and USB 2.0 support provided by the chipset. The GA-K8VNXP also features S/P DIF digital audio I/O, and five PCI slots and one AGP 8x slot for expansion.

The Nvidia nForce 3 Pro 150-based G8-K8NNXP board also supports Socket 754 Athlon 64 chips, and essentially offers the same specs. as the VIA-based product.

For higher end customers, the GA-K8NNXP-940 uses the same Nvidia chipset to support 940-pin Athlon 64 FX chips. The spec. is broadly the same as the other boards - 1394, Gigabit Ethernet, ATA RAID, S/P DIF I/O, USB 2.0, five PCI and one AGP - but this time the board offers a dual-channel memory bus supporting 266, 333 or 400MHz DDR SDRAM on registered DIMMs.

Gigabyte's data sheet says up to 3GB of memory is supported using three DIMM slots, but given it's a dual channel board, that has to be an error: 4GB supported with four DIMM slots seems more likely.

All three boards are expected to be made available on or shortly after the Athlon 64 launch on 23 September.

Chaintech's ZNF3-150 is also based on the nForce 3 Pro 150, this time supporting Socket 754 Athlon 64s. The board will support up to 3GB of 266, 333 or 400MHz DDR SDRAM in three slots. Storage options featured include two ATA 133 channels and four Serial ATA ports with RAID. I/O is provided by a Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet controller, six USB 2.0 ports and three 1394 connectors. There's an S/P DIF port, too.

Expansion opportunities are provided by five PCI slots, one AGP 8x slot and Chaintech's own Chaintech Multimedia Riser port, which ship complete with a Chaintech multimedia card. ®