The M1697 Concludes The ULi Portfolio

ULi's EV970 Reference Motherboard

The reference motherboard by ULi will never become commercially available, but it's a fully-capable technology demonstration sample. Hence, it comes with all the available chipset features. There is one x16 PCI Express slot for graphics plus three additional slots running x1 mode. Two of these, however, physically are PCIe x4 slots, so they can accommodate add-on cards such as storage controllers while not offering ideal bandwidth. We found it to be running slightly overclocked at 201.9 MHz, even though we manually set a base clock speed of 200 MHz.

Our benchmarking could be done without any problems. The only "issue" that we found relates to the chipset's RAID capabilities. While it's possible to set up a RAID 5 array using the storage controller's BIOS configuration utility, Windows won't recognize it as such. After installing ULi's Integrated Driver set version 2.12 - later versions would probably be the same - the array would be recognized as one drive under Windows. People who don't know or simply forget to install the chipset drivers would run into trouble even when setting up a simple RAID configuration such as RAID 0 or RAID 1.