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Tyan Tomcat K8E

Michael Larabel

Published on 25 April 2005
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 8 - Comment On This Article

ATI RAGE XL graphics controller, PCI Express x16, NvRAID SATA-II, nTune, four DDR DIMM sockets, 4-pin fan connectors, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and Cool 'n' Quiet are just a few of the features packed into Tyan's new single AMD Socket 939 motherboard. This new motherboard, the Tomcat K8E (S2865), sports the NVIDIA nForce 4 AMD Chipset. Like with most of Tyan's products, the Tomcat K8E is available in multiple models. The two models presently available are the S2865G2NR and S2865AG2NRF. The difference between the two models is the audio and Firewire support. As Tyan gears their motherboards toward the server and workstation environment, rather than focusing their efforts on gamers and enthusiasts, overclocking is generally an area we have seen Tyan lack in the past. However, even while running stock speeds we have generally seen above average performance in the past. Will the K8E be any different and offer magnificent overclocking abilities while retaining great onboard features?

Features:

Processor
· µPGA 939-pin socket; supports AMD Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX 939 processor
· Up to 1GHz Hyper-Transport link support

Chipset
· nVIDIA nForce 4 core-logic; SMSC DME1737

Memory
· Dual memory channels
· Supports up to four DDR-400/333 DIMMs
· Up to 4GB of unbuffered, ECC/Non-ECC memory

Expansion Slots
· One x16 PCI Express connector for graphics
· Four 32-bit 33MHz PCI v2.3 slots
· Two x1 PCI Express interface
· Total of seven usable expansion slots

Back Panel I/O Ports
· Stacked PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports
· COM1 connector
· One 15-pin VGA port
· One 25-pin SPP/ECP/EPP parallel port
· Four audio jacks
· Stacked two USB v2.0 ports and one RJ45 (Marvell 88E1111-CAA PHY + nVIDIA MAC) 10/100/1000 Base-T port w/ link/activity LED
· Stacked two USB v2.0 ports and one RJ45 (BCM5721) 10/100/1000 Base-T port with link/activity LED

Integrated I/O Interfaces
· One floppy connector
· Four USB v2.0 ports (via cable)
· One COM port (via cable)
· Tyan 2 x 9 front-panel pin header
· 2 x 25 pin SMDC pin header
· One Parallel pin header

System Management
· SMSC DME1737 w/ hardware monitoring
· One 4-pin CPU fan and five 3-pin system fan headers, (four with tachometer input and five with auto fan control)
· Temperature and voltage monitoring
· Watchdog timer
· Port 80 code display LED

Integrated PCI IDE
· Dual-ch. master mode supports four IDE devices
· Supports for ATA-133/100/66/33 IDE drives and ATAPI compliant devices

Integrated PCI Graphics
· ATI RAGE XL PCI graphics controller
· 8MB Frame Buffer of video memory

Integrated LAN Controllers
· One Broadcom BCM5721 GbE controller
- Operating at x1 PCI-E interface; ASF 2.0 support
- Pin headers for front panel LAN LED
· One CK8-04 integrated MAC with Marvell 88E1111-CAA GbE PHY
- 32bit PCI v2.3 interface
- IEEE802.3 compliant, WOL/PXE support
- Pin header for front panel LAN LED

Integrated SATA Controller
· Serial ATA Host controllers embedded
· Supports four Serial ports running at 3.0Gb/s
· RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and JBOD support
· SATA activity LED connector

Integrated Audio
· Realtek ALC655 5.1 channel audio CODEC
· AC'97 Rev.2.3 supported; CD-in connector
· 2 x 5 pin header for front panel audio connector

Integrated PCI 1394a (FireWire)
· VIA VT6307 PCI FireWire (1394a) controller
· Two 1394a ports (via cable)

BIOS
· Award BIOS 8Mbit Flash
· Supports APM 1.2 & ACPI 1.0
· PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0 Power Management

Power
· ATX12V support, on board 4-phase VRM
· Universal 24-pin + 8-pin power connectors
· 4-pin auxiliary power connector

Form Factor
· ATX footprint (12" x 9.6"; 305mm x 244mm)

Regulatory
· FCC Class B (Declaration of Conformity)
· CE (Declaration of Conformity)

Contents:

Originally, we we're looking at presenting this board here at Phoronix in late 2004, then early 2005, and now today in April we finally have the boards in our hands. One of the reasons this motherboard is a late bloomer to the nForce 4 competition, was due to an accessory change with the motherboard. Below are the contents of what's inside the Tyan Tomcat cardboard container we received, and should be identical to the retail version available to consumers. Unfortunately, with our initial K8E motherboard we were presented with the wrong I/O panel, as the cutouts weren't of proper size or location for the rear ports. After speaking with Tyan, this was a simple mistake made at their factory and is corrected for retail versions.

1 x Tomcat K8E motherboard
1 x FDD cable
4 x SATA cable
2 x Molex to SATA power cable
2 x Ultra-DMA 100/66 IDE cable
1 x IEEE1394a (Firewire) cable
1 x USB2.0 cable
1 x Tomcat K8E manual
1 x Tomcat K8E quick reference guide
1 x TYAN driver CD
1 x NVIDIA NVRAID Driver Disk
1 x I/O shield
3 x Expansion port headers

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