Move over VIA, SiS is back

In the later Socket-7 days, there were three competing chipset manufacturers that all had solutions for your K6, K6-2, or Cyrix processors.  While quite a few motherboards were still shipping with the Intel TX chipset, VIA, ALi and SiS were all fighting for a piece of the pie that Intel had left over when they abandoned the Socket-7 market.  VIA had their Apollo line of chipsets with the MVP3 eventually becoming the platform of choice for many.  ALi had the first official Super7 platform with their Aladdin V, but even before the MVP3 and the Aladdin V had the chance to run through their initial revisions, SiS was there with the 55xx line of chipsets. 

The 5591 from SiS was the last we had heard from them before they disappeared over two years ago.  On the MTech R581-A the 5591 made its debut as the first platform capable of running at the 90MHz FSB setting, which for a Socket-7 platform was incredible (these were in the pre-100MHz FSB Super7 days).  However, there was a lack of support for the 5591 and SiS in general, and eventually the company faded away along with ALi. 

At the end of November we declared ALi back in the game with the release of their MAGiK 1 chipset for the Athlon, and today SiS is back as well with their 730S.  However, unlike ALi, SiS isn’t attempting to get back into the game with a chipset aimed at the performance segment.  VIA already has a tight hold on that market for now and competing with the KT133 as well as AMD’s recently released 760 DDR chipset will be very difficult for a company that has had no experience with the Athlon platform. 

Instead, SiS is attempting to go after the market that has been completely ignored by ALi, AMD and VIA but is obviously present judging by the continued success of the Celeron.  We have been strongly hinting at this market for the past few months and throughout the introduction pages of this review.  We’re obviously talking about an integrated platform for the Duron and Socket-A processors in general, and that’s exactly what the SiS 730S is.

Index A chip called Homer

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