SIS 755 Reference
While SIS has been in the chipset game for a long time it seems to have been a while since we last heard from them with any real force. The Athlon 64 seems like a good enough reason to make a come back and for this reason SIS are on the front line with nVidia and VIA fighting for number one spot.
- First Glance
When we first looked at the reference motherboard direct from our friends at SIS in Taiwan, the only word that came to mind was "BIG". It is massive when compared to everything else we have looked at here. It looks like more of a server oriented motherboard and for this reason we quickly assumed that it would be slower than anything else...to say we where amazed with its performance was an understatement.
You have probably noticed the lack of PCI slots as we did straight away but we would assume that this is only due to the motherboard being of reference design. When the chipset finally hits the retail market we see no reason why we wouldn't see 4 or 5 PCI slots compared to the two we have here.
- I/O Ports
Looking at the side of the motherboard we were amazed to find just how much it came with: 6 USB ports, onboard networking and sound as you would expect and to our surprise onboard video and RCA - which is something we didn't expect to find on this motherboard.
- Power / Reset Buttons
Onboard power and reset buttons for someone in this line of work is absolute bliss, as it saves pulling out that trusty screwdriver and running it across all those metal prongs waiting for one to short and power up that motherboard again and again and again.
While hidden down the bottom corner (or top depending how you look at it), we found that it only took a second for these to be spotted. We first saw this type of setup on the DFI LANPARTY line of motherboards and they made testing that much easier.
Please give us more of this Taiwan!
- The Chipset
At the moment the only motherboard with the SIS 755 chipset is the reference motherboard we are looking at today. As we stated above, SIS haven't made much of a splash in the ever competitive chipset market yet - we hope this changes today.
With more high performance and equally competitive chipsets swamping the market, we see better pricing which may not be the best thing for the manufacturers but from a user perspective, this makes high performance platforms a lot more affordable.
- Onboard Video
Another thing that lead us to the conclusion that this motherboard was more server oriented was the inclusion of onboard video. People purchasing an Athlon 64 processor and a motherboard to suit it will NOT be using onboard video.
The onboard graphics revolves around the Xabre series of graphics cards from SIS and while not the best performer it's the kind of thing you would use if you were waiting for that new video card to come out.
No sane person would purchase a system like this and then proceed to use onboard video unless they were really forced too or it was being used in a server environment or something similar.
- Just a reference motherboard
One thing you must remember when looking at this motherboard in our testing is that it is simply a reference product and when retail boards hit the shelf you should see an increase in performance as manufacturers like ABIT, MSI and etc have the chance to tweak more - assuming ABIT and MSI choose to use the chipset, which we hope they will.
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