2P Opteron Motherboards: Tyan and MSI
MSI K8D Master
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.At the Opteron launch in New York MSI was the only motherboard manufacturers to have a retail ready motherboard ready for use and for show. The AMD packets included pamphlets from MSI touting the K8D Master as the first motherboard to be AMD Recommended.
In many ways, the MSI and Tyan motherboards are very similar in layout and features, but the differences that they do have stand out. The MSI K8D Master-F motherboard is based on the eATX standard and is 13” x 12” in size.
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The MSI board also allows for the use of single or dual processors and supports the full 12 GB of Registered DDR memory in 200/266/333 MHz speeds. And again, the first processor access four DIMM slots and 8 banks of memory while the second processor gets the remaining 2 DIMM slots / 4 banks.
The MSI K8D Master uses the AMD-8111 I/O Hub as well for the legacy PCI bus that lets them add on features like the legacy PCI slot and standard IDE channels, USB and the rest of those kind of peripherals. Here, however, MSI has included two legacy PCI ports instead of the single one that Tyan used.
The AMD-8131 PCI-X Tunnel is used by MSI as well to provide the motherboard with three PCI-X slots that support 100/66/33 MHz expansion cards. There are also two bridges on their implementation one, with a 16-bit wide bus and the second one with an 8-bit wide bus.
The storage options that MSI includes are lacking when compared to the Tyan UGNR showing. MSI has included two channels of IDE and a single floppy port, betting that most buyers of this board will either have their own storage solution or are able to get their own if the need more than standard IDE. Seeing a SCSI solution on the board would add a lot to the K8D Master I feel, as most workstation and server users have a need for a higher speed data medium than IDE.
MSI did include the same two Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet channels that we saw on the Tyan Thunder K8S motherboard. The ATI Rage XL on-board video solution is also included with 8MB of on-board memory connected to the legacy PCI bus.
The same power consumption issues apply to the MSI K8D Master as the Tyan board, and thus the EVS12V power supply is required for this board. And again, the one that Antec provided did the job well.
And lastly we can see the connectors on the MSI K8D Master add a standard LPT (printer) port to the mixture that Tyan shows on their board