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

Rather than having the front panel headers positioned along the front edge of the motherboard for easy reach, the connections have been recessed to almost the expansion slot area. Accompanying the headers is the floppy disk connector as well as the BIOS chip and in the corner of the motherboard's PCB is the SMDC connector. The SMDC (Server Management Daughter Card) header supports interfacing with one of Tyan's accessory cards for improved monitoring of the system performance in a server environment with the fans 1-3 and CPU fan supporting tachometer readings. When it comes to the expansion slots, there are the two PCI Express x16 slots for SLI usage as well as three standard PCI slots. Unfortunately, due to spacing constraints, no PCI Express x1 slots managed to make their way onto the K8E-SLI. There is also one SO-DIMM socket for use with Tyan's SLI card to specify whether one or two (SLI) PCI Express graphics cards will be used in the system. In addition, for keeping the two graphics cards in sync is the Tyan SLI Bridge which connects the two graphics cards via the NVIDIA Scalable Link Interface connector on supported GeForce cards. Next to the second PCI slot on the Tyan motherboard is a VIA VT6307 Firewire controller that supports two IEEE-1394a ports using the onboard headers. In this location on the S2866G3NR model is a XGI Volari Z7 16MB onboard graphics adapter, which has replaced the ATI Rage XL for Tyan's integrated needs. Above the first PCI Express x16 slot on the K8E-SLI is a Broadcom BCM5705KFB 10/100/1000 networking ASIC as well as a 4-pin molex connector for providing additional power to the motherboard if your PSU doesn't come equipped with a 24-pin and 8-pin connectors.

Filling up the PCB area between the rear I/O connectors and the CPU socket area is a mass amount of power circuitry in addition to another 4-pin fan header as well as the Realtek ALC655 audio codec. In addition, the second Gigabit LAN controller is located in this area, which is the Marvell 88E1111-CAA. Moving onto the top of the motherboard, the ATX 24-pin and 8-pin power connectors can be found. Skipping to the I/O connectors, at the rear on our S2866A2NRF SKU was two PS/2, one COM, three audio, two Gigabit, and two USB connectors. We would have enjoyed seeing additional USB ports, as the nForce Professional 2200 supports ten USB 2.0 ports, but two should be sufficient for server purposes. Overall, the S2866 PCB is very much well laid out and nearly identical to that of the S2865 with the exception of the additional add-ons.

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