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
POST A COMMENT

51 Comments

View All Comments

  • Scarceas - Thursday, December 15, 2005 - link

    I presumed that ULI provided Anandtech with the sample to review... if you think about it, there are some wierd angles on that... A big deal like that isn't hammered out in a couple of days. ULI "brass" knew the sale was coming.

    It's kind of wierd, IMO, to send out stuff for reviews as you're going under.

    I suspect that nVidia will sit on any tech they acquire, and not implement it. I was sorely disappointed that they sat on the GigaPixel technology a few years back, and there was of course more from the 3dfx acquisition that they never implemented.
    Reply
  • IRQ Conflict - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    Too bad this chipset is doomed before it even gets implemented LOL!http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_28250.html">Link Reply
  • Puddleglum - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    https://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_28250.html">https://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_28250.html Reply
  • Torched - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    Bad link on above post. You can read about Nvidia buying out ULi http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=28333">here Reply
  • IRQ Conflict - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    wierd, it was working yesterday? Oh well nVidia's following M$'s lead again. I can still smell the embers of the 3dfx acquasition. Reply
  • Peter - Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - link

    And yet again, we're seeing Anandtech experts (?) evaluate the RAM controller properties of an AMD64 chipset.

    Hello?

    The RAM controller is in the CPU, folks. Time to acknowledge that and skip that step in a chipset review.
    Reply
  • Puddleglum - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    Peter, this is what you were referencing:
    quote:

    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.
    I don't see the words "controller" or "chipset" in there, and yet you say that the article evaluates the RAM controller properties of the chipsets. What he said about the lack of memory voltage adjustments was not referencing the chipset, but the method that Anandtech uses to overclock their boards.

    How did you come to think that the article mentioned the RAM controller?
    Reply
  • Peter - Thursday, December 15, 2005 - link

    I'm referring to the following statements on page 4:

    >Memory Stress Testing: Since this is a new chipset, the best setting for tRAS was first determined.

    >This means that any setting from 6 to 11 tRAS will work well with this chipset.

    >*7T was determined by MemTest86 benchmarks to deliver the widest bandwidth with the ULi M1697 chipset.

    For anyone who's looked at the block diagram on page 2, it should be bleeding obvious that the RAM isn't the chipset's business at all.
    Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - link

    Uhhhhh... havent used many A64 boards lately? ;) The ability to run low latency timings is very highly regulated by the board and chipset. You cant just drop any stick of ram in any board and get identical timings.

    The memory controller may be on the chip itself, but this doesnt eliminate the board and chipset from the equation whatsoever.
    Reply
  • Peter - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    AMD64 architecture totally eliminates the chipset from anything that is even remotely to do with the RAM bus. That's the point, and you're not getting it either. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now