ULi, formally known as ALi, has been one of the most back burner companies for quite some time. In fact, the last ALi based chipset we can remember hearing much about was the ALi Aladdin Super 7 chipset and back then they were more of a compatibility problem talking point rather than exceptional performance.
ALi changed its name to ULi in order to gain a fresh new start with new technicians and staff to take on the role to build ULi into a chipset power. While the ULi company has put out some chipsets in the past, not many of them have been picked up for even OEM usage, however, ULi hopes to change all this with a new line of chipsets for both the AMD and Intel line of processors.
ULi has only one other chipset for the AMD K8 architecture dubbed the M1689, its features were not that impressive, and with the competitors offering already well established, it was simply a dead running solution.
This time around ULi has pushed ahead and even started to get the jump on one of its major competitors (VIA Technologies) in terms of features to market along with some features that others could take a look at adding. Could this be the start for ULi to become a real chipset competitor? For everyone's sake, we'd love to see competition in the chipset market heated up.
Today we look at the ULi M1695 chipset, fresh from the Computex 2005 floor in Taiwan. We have received this reference sample direct from ULi for some extensive tests and we will pit it against the VIA K8T890 and nVidia nForce 4 Ultra to see just how well this baby can perform against its established competitors.