There's No Stopping Them: SiS Beats AMD & Co

In Detail: Reference Board Specifications

Manufacturer SiS SiS
Model 635 735
Processor Platform Socket 370 Socket 462
Northbridge SiS 635 SiS 735
Southbridge n/a n/a
Form Factor ATX ATX
max. Memory (MByte) 1536 MB 1536 MB
DDR SDRAM Slots 2 3
General Features
Dimensions (LxW) 26,6 cm x 24,1 cm 28,5 cm x 24,1 cm
max. ISA Slots 0 0
max. PCI Slots 3 3
AGP 4X 1 1
AGP 4X (Pro) 0 0
AMR / CNR /ACR no/no/1 no/no/1
parallel 1 1
serial 2 2
USB ports external 2 2
USB ports onboard 4 4
IDE Channels (UltraATA/33/66/100) 2x (yes/yes/yes) 2x (yes/yes/yes)
SCSI (68pin/50pin) no no
Fan connectors 1 x CPU, 1 x System 1 x CPU, 1 x System
Other Features
AC'97 Sound WM9704 AD1881A
Audio connectors external
Line Out/In/Mic
yes/yes/yes yes/yes/yes
Audio connectors internal
Number of Line in
2 3
Wake on LAN (WOL) yes yes
Wake on Modem (WOM) yes yes
Fast IrDA yes yes
Chassis Intrusion no no
Thermal sensor for CPU yes yes
extra UltraATA/100 interfaces no no
Piezo speaker onboard yes yes
System Clock adjustable Bios Bios
Frequency Range for FSB 66 - 166 MHz 100 - 133 MHz
1 MHz speed steps for System clock no no
CPU Core voltage adjustable no no
Range for CPU Core voltage - -
Steps for Core voltage - -
0,5X steps for Clock multiplicator yes yes
Multiplicator adjustable 1.5 - 8.0 X 1.5 - 8.0 x
BIOS and Revisions
BIOS Phoenix Phoenix
tested with BIOS-Version 635p42d (08.03.2001) 735p38p5 (02.05.2001)
tested with Board Revision 1.0 1.0
Clock Generator Winbond (W83194BR-640) Winbond (W83194BR-740)
SCSI Controller no no
Network adapter no no

It's A Fact: The SiS 735 - Faster And Cheaper Than AMD & Co

The performance results are enough to convince one that the SiS 735 is faster than the much more expensive AMD 760 chipset. Nor can the VIA Apollo KT266, the VIA Apollo KT133A and the ALi Magik 1 compete with the 735 in terms of performance. Our comprehensive tests on both reference boards have clearly proved this. SiS also gives itself a technological advantage: While the competition continues to work with two chips, this manufacturer has integrated all the functions into one module. This solution not only saves on production costs but also does away with the use of additional components on the board. It also should not be forgotten that the use of a single chip leaves more room for other components. The long connecting paths common in conventional designs are no longer to be found in the new SiS.

Admittedly, our positive evaluation only applies to the SiS 735 chipset, which supports all the AMD processors (Athlon and Duron). On the other hand, the SiS 635 for the Intel platform (socket 370, for the Intel Pentium III, Celeron I/II and VIA Cyrix MIII) is not a good choice. However, this is mostly due to the Intel processors themselves, which do not undergo any noticeable increase in speed as a result of DDR-SDRAM memory.

A Call To Arms: Preparing For The Challenges Ahead

It won't exactly be easy to establish the SiS 735 in the market. To a certain degree the SiS brand has a negative image attached to it, at least in Germany. The major PC manufacturers will certainly wait to see what happens, reacting much later than, for example, the fast-paced end-user market. And then there is always the question: has SiS planned to supply large quantities to the retail market? Or will most of the chips end up with the system integrator and OEM? This chipset is almost too good for it to be damned to obscurity inside a PC from "PriceWar". The alarm bells should finally be ringing in Taiwan, now that the 735 chipset has proved to be far ahead of the competition. The time is ripe to wrest away market shares from its main competitors, VIA and AMD. Some motherboard manufacturers, such as Asus, Chaintech and Elitegroup, will be bringing boards with the SiS chipset onto the market within the next few days.

Finally back to my doctrine once more, which is particularly appropriate for SiS: Good marketing is when a product sells of its own accord and nobody knows why. Bad marketing is when a good product sells poorly and still nobody knows why.

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