VIA today introduced its long-awaited AMD-oriented desktop chipset with multi-GPU support, the K8T900.
It's a high-end part pitched as pro, gamer and enthusiast buyers. It's these kinds of users who will appreciate the chipset's RapidFire technology, VIA reckons. RapidFire reduces latency in the connection between card and controller and, according to VIA, boosts signal quality. It manages both while also reducing power consumption.
The K8T900's North Bridge can host a single x16 PCI Express connection or a pair of 8x connectors to support two graphics cards. It also has four x1 lanes available for high-speed peripherals such as HDTV tuner cards. The chipset's South Bridge, the VT8251, has two more PCI Express lanes - that's 22 lanes in total.
VIA said the chipset will work immediately with its S3 Graphics subsidiary's MultiChrome multi-GPU system, but company spokespeople say they expect it to work with other such technologies, including ATI's CrossFire and Nvidia's SLI.
The North Bridge connects to the host Opteron, Athlon or Sempron CPU across a 2GHz HyperTransport bus, and to the South Bridge by VIA's own V-Map bus. The VT8251 supports VIA's Vinyl HD audio sub-system. It can also host up to four Serial ATA drives and four ATA-133/100 peripherals. It incorporates an eight-port USB 2.0 controller and a 10/100Mbps Ethernet link. In addition to the two PCI-E lanes, it can host seven PCI cards. ®