Twice The Power: SiS655 With Dual DDR333

Gigabyte SINXP-1394

Board Revision: 1.0

BIOS Version: F4 (February 17, 2003)

The Gigabyte SINXP-1394 is colorful and feature-laden, although the choice of colors does not make a great deal of sense. Only the colored DIMM sockets perform any useful function by showing how the memory should be fitted. The color-coding of the connector panel is unchanged and this greatly simplifies locating the right pins.

This board offers a good basis for a small file server at home or a well-equipped multimedia workstation. In addition to the chipset's two Ultra ATA/133 ports, Gigabyte has fitted an ATA/133 RAID controller (iTE) and a Serial ATA chip (Silicon Image 3112). If you are so inclined, you can connect up to 10 drives.

Gigabyte is the only manufacturer here to install Intel's Gigabit Ethernet controller. An AC97 Codec provides the sound.

The board stubbornly refused to run DDR400 modules at 333 MHz memory speed. It insisted on working at 400 MHz - something that SiS has never officially approved. Moreover, the actual performance at this speed is lower than with DDR333, although there were no stability problems. This phenomenon obliged us to use DDR333 memory for the test, and this ran perfectly normally.

The benchmark results are not very convincing in many respects; there was no improvement over the Granite Bay chipset in any area.

The photo shows the IDE RAID controller from iTE (GigaRAID) and the Southbridge, the SiS963.

An old friend: the Silicon Image Sil3112 Serial ATA controller.

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