ABIT SR7-8X (SiS 648): DDR400-Poweredby Evan Lieb on August 20, 2002 3:07 AM EST
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From the moment we started testing retail SiS 648 boards as well as SiS's own 648 reference board, it has been quite clear that the 648 chipset offers leading DDR performance for the Pentium 4 platform. Granted, the SiS 648's performance lead is pretty minor, but the 648 does bring some significantly improved features over from its predecessor the SiS 645DX (as we've covered several times before). So taking everything into consideration, it's pretty easy to see that the combination of cutting-edge DDR Pentium 4 performance, an impressive features-set, and dirt cheap prices leaves the SiS 648 as one of the most desirable Pentium 4 chipsets on the market.
Besides Intel, SiS's main competition in the Pentium 4 market is VIA and their P4X400 chipset, which still has yet to impress us with its DDR400 performance. Even though VIA and SiS both tell us that their latest chipsets don't officially support DDR400 (i.e. they're not fully validated for this unapproved memory type), so far SiS has been able to get the "fake" DDR400 that's available on the market to work with their "unofficial" DDR400 648 chipset. As was quite plainly illustrated in our recent 3-way P4 DDR400 article, our retail P4X400 and SiS 648 boards were simply unable to reliably run DDR400 memory. The 648 reference board SiS sent us was the only board able to reliably operate DDR400 memory at the time.
Fortunately, you won't need a SiS 648 reference board to make DDR400 work with a SiS 648-based board any longer. Meet the ABIT SR7-8X, the first retail SiS 648-based motherboard that actually works with "unofficial" DDR400 memory.