SiS 645DX - Is This The Best Chipset For The P4?
Conclusion:SiS 645DX With DDR333 Beats Intel 850 With PC800
In this comparison of various P4 platforms, the results are surprising: in 10 out of 16 benchmark disciplines, the SiS 645DX outperforms the Intel 850. In particular, the new chipset is notable for its high I/O performance, and in addition, is accompanied by a low CPU load. The impressive benchmark results attest to the fact that the Taiwanese manufacturer has reworked the memory interface of the Northbridge.
And don't forget: in contrast to its rival VIA, who does not have a license from Intel and offers its chipset almost illegally, SiS has made all the necessary contractual agreements. This clears the way for SiS to take on the mass market, which has waited a long time for an alternative to the expensive Intel 850 plus RDRAM.
SiS is ahead of the game by about two months, or at least until Intel brings out its 845E with 133 MHz support. Nevertheless, it must be said that it is only when used together with special DDR33 memory that the SiS 645DX reaches the performance levels measured in our tests and poses a real threat to Rambus. It remains to be seen how the price for DDR333 modules (CL2.0) will develop, because currently, RDRAM (PC800) can be had for the same price as DDR266 (CL2.0). Because of pricing considerations, a few OEM manufacturers will combine the SiS 645DX with DDR266 (CL2.5), so it will no longer be ahead in terms of speed.
Those who buy SiS boards will have to do without a few of the latest features: the current Southbridge only supports Ultra-DMA/100 as well as USB 1.1. In the future, support for ATA/133 and USB 2.0 would be an advantage.
Asus and MSI stand ready to offer the first boards with SiS 645DX. With this chipset, SiS offers a convincing component that will hopefully be available on the market very soon. The competition from VIA faces an uphill struggle - motherboard manufacturers are wary of offering a board with a component that is not officially approved of by Intel, and is subject to ongoing litigation.