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SiS Enters The Fray: The SiS 756 PCI Express Chipset For Athlon 64

Conclusion: The Chipset Is Good, But Is That Enough?

The reference board running the new SiS756 chipset finished our benchmark testing with a satisfactory result. In a direct comparison with competitors, the board landed in the middle of the pack with our gaming benchmarks, but the performance difference in all other benchmark areas was so minimal as to be insignificant.

SiS has taken charge in the area of performance, even though NVIDIA can still have the last laugh: if every last quantum of graphics performance counts, there is currently no way around an nForce4 chipset. We haven't yet gotten hold of enough boards with VIA's K8T890 to run a comparison test, though.

Realistically speaking, the functions SiS currently offers are precisely what is necessary: four SATA ports, which should be enough for the time being, especially since DVD drives with SATA are still few and far between. The fact that SATA II is not yet supported is not a problem either, at least for now, though command queuing would be nice. Two full UltraATA channels are offered, same as the competition. SiS takes the lead over VIA with its integrated Gigabit network chip, lowering costs for all manufacturers who would like to offer this functionality.

So in some ways, it is déjà vu all over again with the SiS756: SiS has brought chipset products onto the market before that have been in no way inferior to those of competitors, or that have even offered better value. The SiS756 is without doubt the least expensive PCI Express product in the Athlon 64 camp. The performance is there, and the range of functions is sufficient for the majority of users. Ultimately, however, the success of the 756 mainly depends on how many board makers decide to use it in their products.