by December 6, 2001 0 comments



SiS uses a conventional two-chip design

SiS 645 Reference Motherboard
Meant for: High-end users 
Features: Supports newer P4 processors, supports a maximum of 3GB of PC133/DDR266/DDR333, up to six PCI and USB ports, AGP 4x, ATA 100 
Pros: Good performance
Cons: None
Contact: Silicon Integrated Systems. www.sis.com.tw

After P4-based systems with expensive RDRAM failed to pick up in the market, Intel introduced the i845 chipset based on cheaper SDRAM. Now, the successor to SDRAM is also here. Called DDR-RAM, the memory offers twice or more bandwidth than the conventional SDRAM. We reviewed a reference board from SiS, based on the SiS 645 chipset, which supports the P4 as well as DDR 266 and 333 RAM.

Unlike the 735 chipset, SiS has gone back to the more conventional two-chip design for the 645. The North and South Bridge are interconnected using SiS’s Multi Threaded I/O Link (MuTIOL) bus. This bus operates at 66 MHz, is double-pumped and 16 bits wide, giving it a net bandwidth of 266 MB/s in each direction. The motherboard can take a maximum of 3 GB of either DDR 266 or 333 MHz RAM. The latter version of DDR gives a memory bandwidth of 2.7 GB/s, compared to 2.1 GB/s of the DDR 266 memory. Our reference board came with the Socket 478 interface that is used by newer P4 processors, and of course support for
DDR-RAM.

For our tests we used a P4 2.0 GHz processor, 256 MB DDR333 memory, Asus V7700 GeForce2 GTS display card, and a Seagate Barracuda ATA IV hard drive. The SiS board managed to outperform the Asus P4T-E reviewed earlier, which is based on the Intel 850 chipset in all benchmarks, although by a very small margins. Content Creation Winstone 2001, was the only exception where performance was down by 4.6 percent. To an end user these small differences amount to nothing. So for them, the deciding factor will be the price. Even if SiS decides to price their chipset in the same range as the Intel 850, the comparatively lower price of DDR should give it an edge over
RDRAM-based systems.

  Business
Winstone 2001
Content
Creation 2001
Quark
III Arena 
(1024x 768×32)
3D
Winbench 2000
3D
mark 2001
Serious 
Arena  Sam
(640x 480×16)
SiS645 51.7 55.5 98.6 124 3605 98.1
Intel 850 50.9 58.2 98.1 124 3510 96.3 

Anuj Jain at PCQ Labs

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