ASRock Unveils VIA KT880 Mainboard with AMD64 Upgradeability@ 2004/08/24
K7Upgrade-880 and K8Upgrade-760GX mainboards from ASRock expected to release shortly will provide users ability to upgrade to more advanced AMD64 processors in PGA754 and PGA939 packaging respectively. It is noteworthy that the K7Upgrade-880 mainboard is intended for AMD Athlon XP processors for Socket A infrastructure and is based on VIA KT880 chipset, while another mainboard is powered by a chipset supporting AMD64 processors.
ASRock’s upgrade concept is incarnated through special add-in cards that should be bought separately and plugged into the above mentioned mainboards. So far there is no much information on technical realizations of ASRock’s initiative, though it is clear that upgrade from an AMD Athlon XP chip to an AMD Athlon 64 central processing unit will require an AMD64-supporting core-logic or a specially-developed bridge chip that will manage operations of AGP 8x bus along with I/O controller.
Brief specifications of both mainboards correspond to today’s requirements and include support for AGP 8x, Serial ATA-150 and Parallel ATA-133 with RAID capability, USB 2.0 connectivity, 6-channel audio and so on. The Socket A K7Upgrade-880 mainboard is based on VIA KT800 chipset, the Socket 754 platform is powered by a core-logic from SiS.
ASRock is a mainboard maker that generally aims at cost-effective segment of the market. Still, the company quiet frequently offers rather unexpected and technologically savvy mainboards to its customers.
Pricing and availability dates of ASRock K7Upgrade-880 and K8Upgrade-760GX mainboards were not touched upon in the report. The cost of upgrade modules for such mainboards is also unknown.