Above we can see the initial reference design that NVIDIA used and to the right is what tier-1 workstation designer TYAN came up with. The image shown of the TYAN S2895 leaked out on the web a week in advance and is the TYAN production samples. Today we also bring you pre-production, beta images shown below of two TYAN workstation solutions that are also being launched today.
The board on the above right was called the TYAN S2895, but the commercial version will be known as the Thunder K8WE. The K8WE is a dual AMD Opteron platform sporting nForce Professional 2200 + 2050 + AMD-8131 chipsets that offer a handful of features like PCI Express x16, 100MHz & 133MHz PCI-X, integrated SATAII, IEEE 802.3 Nvidia MAC 1000/100/10 Ethernet, integrated FireWire (IEEE 1394a) controller and integrated AC’97 2.3 compliant audio, among others. Below is a block diagram of the TYAN Thunder K8WEX (S2895) mainboard which you can use to see how all these chipsets and technologies work together!
The board on the above left is the Thunder K8SRE (S2891), which is designed to be used in servers. The Thunder K8SRE is 1U optimized and reverse butterfly compatible. This board does not use the nForce Professional 2050 MCP, but rather only the Professional 2200 MCP and an AMD 8131 PCI-X Controller. The K8SRE is a dual AMD Opteron board featuring a single x16 PCI Express slot, a Tyan TARO SO-DIMM connector on a dedicated PCI-X 133 bus, 1 PCI-X 100/66MHz slot, 2 integrated dual port SATA II Controllers to support up to 4 SATA drives, and 2 Gigabit LAN ports usign one Broadcom 5704C network controller. The Tyan TARO SO-DIMM connector can be used to support the optional U320 SCSI card or optional SATA cards with RAID 0, 1, 0+1.
TYAN Thunder K8WEX Block Diagram
News From TYAN
Now, you may be wondering how soon boards will be sporting the new nForce Professional 2200/2050 MCPs. Well, according to Teir-1 manufacturer Tyan, the Thunder K8WE and Thunder K8SRE are currently only sampling at the time of this launch. However, they are sampling the final revision that will feature the production layout. So, they are expecting these boards to start becoming widely available sometime in the mid-February to early-March timeframe. Tyan also wanted to mention that we may not see the Tyan name in the solutions brought to market in Q1 by third party system builders, but more than likely, one of the boards pictured above will be in there.
When asked about any cool features not listed in the literature we received, Tyan responded! Most companies avoid that question, but here’s what we found out from Tyan. Tyan plans to support nTune. Tyan said NVIDIA is working with Phoenix’s BIOS team and Tyan R&D to ensure complete compatibility with their performance modifier applications. They mentioned that by the time the board is being shipped, the support should be built-in, or have free upgrades available through the Tyan website.
Tyan also brought up that there have been some questions on where consumers can get their hands on the SLI bridge in order to enable SLI on their boards. The question has been, will Tyan carry it, or a third party like PNY carry it? Tyan answered this question by stating that they are working on a solution to provide the bridge on request in case a customer could not get the bridge elsewhere. Most likely, Tyan will have it for sale through one of their regular channels and when it is available, they will announce it through the media channels. Another key piece of information is which video cards will Tyan ensure compatibility? Well, the answer will be listed on their website at http://tyan.com/support/html/video_support.html. Here, you will find a listing of all the compatible video cards that Tyan promises will work with their Thunder K8WE after working with several SLI third party companies.
Tyan did not tell us everything, however. The last line of our response from Tyan simply stated, “Lastly, we have a few more surprises for this product, but those plans are still under wraps until later this year.” If you would like to know the complete listing of the two Tyan boards we have shown and talked about above, you will be able to visit Tyan’s website at the following links:
The nForce Professional 2200/2050 brings a much needed refresh in NVIDIA’s workstation/server chipset market. This is only the second NVIDIA chipset launch since the release of AMD’s Opteron Processors! Now that NVIDIA has their SLI technology to market, the 2200/2050 combo on a board brings SLI technology to a new level by offering 2×16 PCI Express lanes. Currently on the desktop chipsets, SLI is operating on a single x16 lane, which is usually denoted as 2×8 PCI Express lanes for two PCI-E slots. On a workstation board that offers one 2200 MCP and three 2050 MCPs, it will be possible to have 4×16 PCI Express. This will allow 4 graphics cards to be installed at once, which will offer support of up to 8 monitors off of 4 high-end graphic cards! This would be a graphic developer’s dream, and it is now becoming a reality!
The multitude of new technologies that NVIDIA is offering in their new MCPs is simply-put: Amazing! Dual GPU Support, PCI Express, Mediashield Professional Storage, ActiveArmor, SATA-II with NCQ and Hot Plug, and the list goes on. Any board based on these new nForce Professional chipsets paired with an AMD Opteron processor will satisfy any workstation user’s needs, as well as most of their wants!
Now, to talk a little bit about Tyan’s solutions: from what we have already mentioned, Tyan is once again bringing a state-of-the-art solution for servers and workstations. It seems like the Tyan Thunder K8WE will be Tyan’s flagship mainboard for the workstation market and full production is only about a month away! And for Tyan to say that more surprises for this board are in the works means to me that Tyan is not holding back on this solution at all! This really means a lot to the workstation and server users if you think about it. Tyan is one of the few Teir-1 manufacturers for server and workstation motherboards, and is probably the most “well-known.” So, I think it is safe to say that Tyan has a good chunk of the market in this area and I can guarantee that Tyan knows this! So the take-home point here is that it is comforting to know that a company like Tyan is planning to keep up their reputation by bringing to market yet another full-featured, balls-to-the-wall solution for high-end workstation users!
NVIDIA’s nForce Professional 2200 paired with an nForce Professional 2050, like one of Tyan’s solutions, will bring your workstation up-to-date with all the new technology that has been released to the desktop market, as well as a “refresh” in technology from the server market — all at once! PCI Express, SATA-II, and SLI are just a few!