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Reviewed by: Norman Tan [08.01.05]
Manufactured by: Tyan


The Motherboard

Tyan was one of the first manufacturers to create motherboards for the Opteron so it comes as no surprise that they are one of the first to introduce a 2200/2050 chipset motherboard. With the dual 16x PCI slots, the k8WE is aimed squarely at the workstation market. Let's take a look at the motherboard.

As you can see, this is one impressive board! The board conforms to the E-ATX standard and measures 12" * 13" which means you'll need to have a compatible case to use it. Let's take a closer look!

Board Layout

In addition to the dual 16x PCI slots, we see a lone 32-bit 33mhz  PCI slot tucked in between the two video slots. Those of you with expansion cards that only work in that slot (certain TV tuners come to mind) will have to keep that in mind when choosing your next video card. Slots 4 and 5 are PCI-X 100mhz slots (an m-audio will work no problem in these slots) and finally we have the full speed 133mhz PCI-X slot in the 6th position. Given the relative lack of PCIe devices on the market today, it makes sense... for now.

Right on the edge of the motherboard, we see the white header for the firewire pin-outs which is where they should go; right on the edge and out of the way.

Going around the side, we can see two of the four SATA-II ports. Why Tyan decided to put them sideways, I'll never know, but it certainly made things difficult in certain cases. To the top right, you can see the floppy and a single ATA133 port. Below it is where the SCSI port would go.

The other two SATA-II ports are found along this edge here. Also visible are the two USB headers to the left of the white SATA-II ports and right behind the black ones to the top right. It would have been nice if they were all on the edge so the Tyan will lose a one or two points for that.

One thing you might notice about the fan headers is that they have four pins. To date, we've only seen them used on the prescott fans, but if/when they come, the Tyan motherboard will support it.

Next Page: (Board Layout Cont'd)