As VIA and SiS seem to be declining in the chipset arena, ULi continues an aggressive push to capture a larger share of the chipset market. This is particularly true in the AMD arena, where ULi has produced the innovative AGP/PCIe M1695/M1567 chipset, and where ULi recently introduced the M1575 South Bridge for the ATI RD480 Crossfire chipset.

ULi also produces a single - chip Socket 754/939 chipset called the M1689, which is used by Gigabyte and other board makers for entry level AMD boards. However, the M1689 looks fairly basic in today's feature wars, which is exactly why ULi is introducing the M1697 single-chip for AMD Socket 939, 754, and 940.

The M1697 is ULi's answer to "What would you do to improve nForce4?" nForce4 is the other single chip AMD chipset, and the ULi M1697 can be considered very similar to NVIDIA nForce4-SLI - with the significant addition of 7.1 High Definition (HD Azalia) audio. The advantage of a single-chip chipset is there is no need to worry about the communication speed of the North Bridge to South Bridge. ULi also communicates with the AMD processor (64 or 64x2) by means of the 16 x 16 HyperTransport bus, which delivers continuous throughput of up to 8GB/sec. This ensures that the processor/ chipset link provides sufficient speed so that it does not become a bottleneck in system performance.

Please keep in mind that this is not a board review. We are evaluating a ULi M1697 Reference board, and Reference boards are designed for qualification - not production. The Reference board will give you a very good idea of the features and capabilities of the M1697 chipset, but it is not useful to look too closely at board layout or overclocking controls, unless they are exemplary as in recent ATI Reference designs. In the case of the M1697, the Reference board is clearly designed for qualification, and feature demonstration. It is not a board that will be copied in production.

This is particularly true in the overclocking arena. While the M1697 has basic voltage adjustments and an excellent range of memory adjustments, there are no memory voltage adjustments at all on this board revision. As a result, we decided that it was not reasonable to do any overclocking tests on this Reference board, since we could not use our standard test methods to evaluate OC capabilities. This was an easy decision, since Abit and other manufacturers have assured us that we will be receiving ULi M1697-based motherboards for review in the very near future.



ULi M1697 Chipset
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  • semiconductorslave - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    I was replying to the first comment on the post, "Why do all the new motherboards have all these PCIe slots when there is nothing available to stick in them."

    I made the assumption that since this person said there was nothing availible, that he or she did not make any effort to search. My example of Newegg and Google was narrow on purpose, showing how easy it is to find out what is availible when one starts looking. I was only trying to make a point that people instead of asking right away, could spend a little effort and maybe say something like, "I found these cards, are there any more?"

    But saying, "YOU don't have the ability to see how the information's presentation is relevant." is quite an assumption on your part about my abilities.
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Thursday, December 15, 2005 - link

    Not an assumption at all, it comes straight from what you wrote, and yes it was in the context of what you'd replied to. Reply
  • semiconductorslave - Thursday, December 15, 2005 - link

    You say, "you need to learn to think for someone other than yourself" but I didn't see you list any cards, where I at least did search and made a comment about how one should at least attempt to look for themselves before making comments like there aren't any PCI ex cards. Are you daft? You must just be trying to get my goat. I was trying to make a point but if you want to go on the attack, that isn't a productive debate anymore. I would suggest you don't take your own advice and try to think for anyone else since I don't think you can spare the mental energy.

    You can now have the final word as this is going nowhere.
    Reply
  • Ozz1113 - Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - link

    SCSI, raid drive controllers... Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - link

    Gigabit Ethernet PCIe x1 controllers. Reply
  • Missing Ghost - Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - link

    tv tuners Reply
  • ceefka - Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - link

    PCI-e Firewire 400 and 800 cards by SIIG and Belkin Reply
  • Calin - Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - link

    The new Creative xFi cards are PCIe 1x Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - link

    quote:

    The new Creative xFi cards are PCIe 1x

    Sad to say, they are not, they're plain-jane PCI. People had hoped they would be, but Creative is unlikely to do PCIe until its next-gen card after the X-Fi. Even with the X-Fi and todays most advanced games that can use its features, there isn't enough data being transferred to saturate the PCI bus.
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - link

    ... isn't enough data to saturate from this one lone card, but seldom does a board only have one PCI slot. It's not the audio card that's the issue, it's when the audio card interferes with OTHER cards. Reply

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