We decided to take a little break from a long running spell of performance oriented motherboards to look at what's going on in the entry-level, OEM-based community. While it is always exciting to see high-end motherboard innovations or performance graphics breezing through the latest games, not every PC you come across is a pure-bred FPS churning monster. Mainstream PCs still make up the bulk of the marketplace and unlike the industry no less than five years ago, even mainstream motherboards today can support a host of advanced features and powerful processors. One such example is the recently reviewed ASRock 775XFire-eSATA2. As such, we wondered what kind of value would one be able to get today with a true entry-level motherboard and the perfect candidate seemed to be Chaintech's lesser known MK8T890, based on VIA's mainstream PCI Express based K8T890 chipset.
Although Chaintech has recently been focusing more on their graphics card business, they've had a reasonable measure of success in the mainstream motherboard market with the tried and true ZENITH VE series of motherboards built on the foundations of various chipsets in the NVIDIA nForce4 family. The MK8T890 however, like most other boards using third party chipsets, has been eclipsed by the green giant. Its specs aren't anything to shout about (remember we are talking about entry-level here), but when we last reviewed a VIA K8T890 motherboard, we actually found a decent performer that could still give its competition a good run for its money at the low-end.
The MK8T890 comes bundled with the bare necessities and they are as follows:-