- The Chipset
It has been a while since we have seen something from ALI and there is no better time to shine then with the release of a new processor. ALI has decided to come from behind that curtain and give us a taste of what they have been working on. ALI isn't a big contender in the mainstream / enthusiast market and has always concentrated on the cheaper OEM market, which of course is always the biggest as far as turn over goes.
The ALI chipset as you would expect doesn't exactly bring the latest and greatest features to the market and gives off somewhat of an "outdated" design feel.
We are looking at the ALI M1687 in the shape of the Soyo SY-K8USA, which almost has less features then a reference motherboard. It isn't the most exciting Athlon 64 motherboard on the market but it helps bring the ALI M1687 chipset to the end user. It will be interesting to see if it can do anything for us later on in the article when we move onto benchmarking.
- Quick Look
Having a quick look around the very reference looking Soyo based ALI M1687 motherboard we don't find anything out of the ordinary but yet another product that features a purple layout. The Soyo K8USA follows the standard 1/5 AGP/PCI design that is seen amongst most motherboards as well as two PATA and two SATA ports for a maximum of six HDD's.
While not being the most exciting motherboard to look at, it has got a simple purpose that it does just fine.
- I/O Ports
One interesting thing that we found on this motherboard was the inclusion of onboard Firewire. While it's not the biggest thing at the moment some people with DV cameras will like the addition. We have the normal Parallel/Serial ports, 4 X USB and onboard 10/100 networking.
Now we've finished taking a look at all four motherboards, let's put them in the ring for one big ROYAL RUMBLE!
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