..:: Introduction ::..

Well, it has certainly been quite some time since we last had the pleasure of taking a thorough look at a motherboard based off of an AMD platform. Over the course of the Athlon64 series of processors, AMD has been able to expand their user base, and impress more consumers with their technology than many would’ve expected. With the upcoming release of the various Athlon64 supporting chipsets that will feature PCI-E support, there’s no doubt many will want to upgrade to this new platform if they’re looking for the best of the best. What we have for you today is MSI’s K8T Neo2-FIR, a motherboard based off of the VIA K8T800 Pro chipset. Although this won’t be the absolute best option available here in a matter of weeks, it also poses a good buy considering prices on these boards will drop as soon as the newer K8T890 and nForce4 boards begin to hit the market, especially if NVIDIA can keep to their schedule. Let’s see what VIA has to offer in the K8T800 chipset, and what MSI can do with it.

..:: K8T Neo2-FIR Specifications ::..


  • Supports 64-bit AMD K8 Athlon 64/Athlon 64 FX Processor. (Socket 939)
  • Supports 64-bit AMD K8 Athlon 64 3500+ and higher CPU.
  • Supports 64-bit AMD K8 Athlon 64 FX processor FX-53 and up.


  • North Bridge : VIA K8T800 Pro
  • HyperTransport connection to AMD K8 Athlon 64/Athlon 64 FX processor.
  • 8 or 16 bit control/ address. data transfer both directions.
  • 1000/800/600/400/200MHz “Double Data Rate” operation both direction.
  • AGP v3.0 compliant with 8X transfer mode.
  • South Bridge : VIA VT8237
  • Ultra DMA 66/100/133 master mode EIDE controller.
  • Integrated dual channel native Serial ATA/RAID controller.
  • Supports 8 USB2.0 ports. (Rear x4/ Front x4)


  • 4 DDR-I DIMM Slots
  • DDR-I 400/333MHz RAM
  • Max: 4GB

Expansion Slots

  • 1 x AGP 8x
  • 5 x PCI
  • 2 x UDMA/133/100/66
  • 1 x IDE RAID
  • 1 x FDD
  • 4 x SATA
  • 8 x USB 2.0 (Total)

Back Panel I/O Ports

  • 1 x Parallel, 1 x Serial
  • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard, 1 x PS/2 Mouse
  • 7 x Audio I/O
  • 2 x IEEE1394
  • 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x RJ-45 Port