Tyan Tomcat K8E-SLI S2866
Written by Michael Larabel in Motherboards on 3 December 2005. Page 2 of 10. Add A Comment

Board Layout:

Beginning our examination of the Tyan K8E-SLI S2866, which closely resembles the K8E S2865, there are the four DDR-400 DIMM slots running parallel to the expansion slots at the rear of the motherboard. These slots support ECC and non-ECC memory up to 4GB of un-buffered DDR-400/333 memory. Above the memory slots, running along the top edge of the PCB, are two fan connectors. Differing from a majority of the other Athlon 64 motherboards on the market, Tyan's K8E series use 4-pin fan connectors rather than the traditional 3-pin design. The 4-pin interface is identical to what is used on Intel's LGA-775 motherboards with PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), and of course, these headers remain compliant with 3-pin fans. Underneath the DIMM slots is the CPU socket area. Looking around the socket area, it was virtually free of any obstructions that would hinder the installation of any large heatsink fan or waterblock. Supported by the K8E-SLI is the AMD Athlon 64/FX series as well as the Athlon 64 X2 and Socket 939 Opteron 100 series. Lying adjacent to the CPU socket are an additional three 4-pin fan headers and one of which is specified for CPU use.

Below the three fan headers running along the edge of the PCB is the single IDE ATA-133 connector as well as the four onboard SATA connectors. The onboard NVIDIA Chipset powers these SATA connectors. The nForce Professional SATA controller supports SATA2 at 3Gb/s as well as NV RAID 0, 1, 0+1, and JBOD. In addition, the K8E-SLI features a SATA activity LED connector along with cross controller RAID to interface both SATA and PATA drives in a single array. Near the SATA connectors is the NVIDIA nForce Professional 2200 Chipset. This Chipset supports 20 flexible PCI Express lanes and SLI in x8 mode, rather than x16 mode that are offered by the newer nForce4 SLI X16, as well as offering support for MediaShield Professional Storage, TCP/IP Hardware Offload, RAID Morphing, ActiveArmor, and Gigabit networking. The nForce Professional 2200 Chipset indeed is the same Chipset used by the Socket 940 Opteron 200 series processors. Either Tyan has implemented this high-end workstation Chipset due to a lack of nForce4 SLI availability or in order to boost the K8E-SLI benefits in the workstation arena but whatever the precise reasoning may be, it will be interesting to see how the nForce PRO 2200 performs on the Socket 939 Athlon 64 front. Cooling the Chipset is a small aluminum passive heatsink that is attached to the PCB via two pushpins. Also in the near vicinity of the Chipset are the CMOS speaker and battery as well as several headers for various components. Approaching the bottom of the motherboard is the Super I/O controller that is manufactured by SMSC with a part number of DME1737-NR.

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