A Lost Chance? SiS 735 Motherboards For The Athlon

The Boards

Chaintech 7SID

Board Reivision: M101

BIOS Version: June 12, 2001

The Chaintech board 7SID is a typical MicroATX model. It comes with three PCI slots, AGP 4x, one CNR slot, two DIMM sockets and an AC97 sound codec with three line-ins. There are two standard fan headers plus a smaller connector labeled 'chip fan'. This one can be used to attach any additional (small) fan, e.g. for a graphics chip or chipset cooler. Also, there is a connector that provides two additional USB ports. Chaintech does not include an adapter cable, so you will have to get one yourself.

This motherboard was trimmed in order to reach the lowest price possible. That's why it does not feature a network interface although the chipset comes with all the required hardware functions.

Inside the box, we found a floppy and an 80-pin IDE cable plus a short manual.

Unfortunately, the board did not prove to be absolutely stable. Though the whole SPECviewperf suite ran smoothly, it took four runs for the SYSmark 2000 to complete all applications. Also Quake III dropped several before I could obtain the final result. Mercedes Benz Truck Racing refused to start, and the benchmark terminated with an abort message.

The BIOS dated June 12 is 'quite old' now; I could not find a newer one at Chaintech's website. I hope that they are preparing a stable updated version, since I couldn't solve the reliability issues with either another type of memory or with slow memory settings. As you will see in the benchmark section, this board is basically able to compete with AMD760-based motheboards.