It has been only three months since ULi announced its first generation PCI Express based chipsets for both the Intel Pentium 4 family and the AMD64 family. ULi has put a lot of effort, money and research into producing a new generation of chipsets that hopefully will bring them from the ranks of the budget chipset manufacturers up to the level of the full blown enthusiast system contenders to battle with ATI and its Crossfire chipsets and nVidia with its nForce 4 chipsets.
Our last look at the ULi offerings was the M1695 chipset, a very impressive delve into the AMD64 market with its ability to support PCI Express x16 graphics and native AGP graphics when paired with the ULi Southbridge containing a AGP controller or a second PCI Express x16 graphics port with ULi's upcoming companion Southbridge.
Today we are looking at a whole new chipset, designed around the principal of the nForce 4 chipset - that is, a single chip solution. These not only save real estate on AMD64 boards but also reduces overall cost, as you don't need to have two chips in order to run the system like VIA and SiS require.
Today we look at the M1697 Single Chip AMD64 solution and reference board from ULi. How will it stack against the M1695 predecessor and the competition from nVidia? Let's find out!