SiS 655FX Chipset Reference
Today we have
the opportunity to take a close and personal look at the newest member of the
SIS chipset family for the Intel Pentium 4 processor; the SIS 655FX. There's more to the 655FX than just a dual
channel memory controller and 800 MHz FSB compatibility though, the brand new
SIS 655FX and accompanying SIS 964 Southbridge each contain some very innovative
technologies developed by SIS. These technologies give the SIS655FX a performance level equal to that of Intel's very popular i865PE 'Springdale' chipset,
and in some cases, to that of the high end i875P 'Canterwood' chipset.
Remarkable you say? Well, that's what we thought
too. As was the case several years ago when VIA
emerged from the shadows of the 'value chipset markets' to produce some truly performance oriented
core-logic, SIS are now doing. With the SiS655FX, the company is now positioned to be a
key player in the Intel chipset market, offering better value to motherboard makers, and
some damn fine performance to consumers.
With the 655FX, SIS are introducing an interesting new technology known
as 'HyperStreaming'... but more on that in a moment. By default the SIS 655FX supports Intel Pentium
4 processors running on a 400-thru-800 MHz FSB. The chipset also packs
in a dual channel PC3200 memory controller, meaning it can provide the
Pentium 4 with up to 6.4GB/s of bandwidth.
SiS's proprietory MuTIOL technology there's also another 1GB/s of bandwidth
between the Northbridge and Southbridge to ease up on any possible bottlenecks.
That's a lot of bandwidth considering the Intel i875P/i865PE northbridge and
ICH5/R southbridge only has 533 MB/s bandwidth between it to communicate. See,
we told you this was going to be good!
This reference motherboard is not based on the ATX
standard, and you will not be able to buy it in your local shops. Motherboards
based on the SIS655FX chipset are available from most major motherboard makers,
such as the Gigabyte 8S655FX Ultra which PCstats
has previously reviewed. What is really important about
this review, is that it represents a stable platform to
illustrate how the SIS 655FX chipsets performs under reference
standards. So let's find