Our Take

There are several questions that really need answering in our first look at the new ULi M1695/M1567 chipset. First and foremost, how does it compare to the excellent performance of the NVIDIA nForce4 chipset? Our brief testing here confirms that the ULi competes very well against NVIDIA, and is a performance drop-in to the NVIDIA performance levels. This is very good news for those shopping for Athlon 64 Socket 939 boards. ULi is a solid choice and competition means better buys for you. It will likely still be a month to 6 weeks before you will see retail M1695/M1567 boards for sale, but make no mistake that the ULi is a very good choice, featuring excellent performance.

Second, there is the unique question of ULi AGP on this PCIe board. How does it perform? We are glad to say that ULi AGP is the first AGP on any PCIe board that doesn't require compromises. Those of you who want to take your high-end AGP card to a new PCIe board will be ecstatic over the performance of your AGP video card on the ULi board. It will work extremely well, as will a future PCIe card or a PCI card or any other combination of these three. This is absolutely unique, and it makes the compromise solutions, which derive AGP from PCI with degraded performance, totally obsolete. You do not need to compromise AGP performance just to get a PCIe board with this ULi M1695/M1567 chipset.

Next, there is the question of where ULi may be positioned in the marketplace. This is a tough call because we have seen excellent chipsets, like those from SiS, that have been relegated to the bargain bin because no manufacturer will support them. ULi has a bit more promise that we might otherwise see with their new chipsets. First, there is the fact that ATI selected ULi as a development partner for their South Bridge chips on the new Crossfire platform. That alone carries tremendous weight in getting manufacturers to take the new ULi chipsets seriously.

There is also the fact that ULi has some very unique and flexible solutions among their new offerings. The ability to do x16 or 2 x8 with a BIOS switch and riser card will appeal to many. In fact, x16/2 x8, AGP and PCI could all be theoretically combined on the same board. With a soon-to-be-available South Bridge, ULi is also saying that they will support Dual x16 lanes for a Workstation/Server type solution at a mainstream price. That will certainly appeal to many looking at the video high end. There is also the ability to interface with AMD's PCI-X workstation chips in an even more amazing array of options. This flexibility should make ULi attractive to many manufacturers and to a wide range of buyers.

The new ULi M1695/M1567 chipset is both unique in its full-blown AGP support on a PCIe board and fully competitive in performance with the best Athlon 64 solutions currently available. PCIe performance could use a bit more tuning, but it is already competitive. If ULi can bring PCIe performance to the levels that they currently enjoy with AGP on this same board, this could well be the fastest Athlon 64 chipset that you can buy. We could wish for SATA 2 support and integrated Gigabit LAN, but even those are coming with the M1575 South Bridge slated for September/October production.

ULi did a great job with their new PCIe/AGP chipset. If you are in the market for a new Socket 939 board, then boards based on the ULi M1695/M1567 should definitely be on your shopping list. If you by chance plan to use AGP on your new PCIe board, then ULi M1695/M1567 is the only board that you should have on your shopping list. This AGP on PCIe really works, there are no compromises, and you will not be disappointed.

Gaming Performance
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  • Jalf - Saturday, July 16, 2005 - link

    Sorry if I missed this, but any word on when we're going to see this chipset in retail? Reply
  • mino - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    I believe there are many typo's. A least this:
    "...Ventilation was just able..." should be
    "...Ventilation was just NOT able..."
    and
    "... 5°C higher temperature..." should be
    "...5°C higher temperature than outdoors in average..."
    Reply
  • mino - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    #59 Yeah, thats right. I just didn't want someone to fell in mistake by believing val on his 20W figure. I have to explain this a lot of times and it is sometimes hard to undo the damage done.

    val: actually I live in central Europe and here 1kWh costs ~ EUR 0.15 which IS cheap in Europe. I have made my own measurements and the problem is only 6xx series chips consume some reasonable amounts of energy. If they tested some older 5xx series model teh idle consumption easily reaches 120W with i865G while our AMD systems on SIS755/R9200 consume about 70W in C'nC mode and those are 130nm Newcastle chips !.
    Try this: place 30 of those machines in classroom without clima and here is the difference:

    Prescotts(Q3/04 530's) are overheating any time you trow something heavier o them. This poorly insulated room is ~30°C in the winter with heating OFF(outdoor -10) !!! Despite they bought LCD's to conserve space, after this summer courses they had to install clima for about 1/4 price of the whole IT instalation bought last year. The room was simply unusable anytime outdoor temperature reached 20C or more. Ventilation was just able to come around the problem since many could not work in the wind.

    This happened on another faculty we are sharing building with. In similar room (+/-0.5m, same situation) we have 30 A64 3000+ Newcastle chips w/Radeon 9200 passive cards. The machines are (except heavy multitasking which is rare there) equally powerfull but more responsive _and_ more reliable. The enviroment is also ways better, in the summer there only about 5°C higher temperature in average with moderate ventilation(one window). Clime would certainly help, but we consider investing into another IT room more important at this time. Now I'm happy my arguing last year time brought some fruits

    The prescott machines have to date(3/4yr timeframe) about 30% failure rate. Mainly caused by underrated power circuitry on MB's and PSU's. I know, they should have bought better PSU's. But that would only extend the price delta of 10% at the time of purchase (same suplier). I still remember how my friend from IT dep. of that faculty laughed at me then how stupid I am by using so underdog and unreliable config for our project.

    To sum it up:
    1) Prescott will have to cost $50 less to assure same reliability system at the same price/perf as A64
    2) If 1) is fulfilled(i.e. some Dell machines) such a system could a good buy for causual use and definitelly a sngle choice if heavier multitasking is a must.
    3) However for larger and especially for dense envirements prescott-based solution colud be a real pain in the ass.

    4) 6xx somwhat improve this but after arrival of 90nm A64's just com pensate for AMD's improvement in power consumption thus the absolute delta remains approx. the same, the relative one even worsens.

    5) On hugely positive aspect of prescott's existence is undoubtedly the fact that it forced even the cheapest case manufacturers to make some arflow in the case. I believe this could not have been achieved byt any other means that prescott. For that we should all be really thankfull.


    huh, jet another novel ;-(
    Reply
  • Jep4444 - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    why are you people arguing over power consumption, its irrelevant to the topic Reply
  • val - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    München last year wasted only for people's comfort (more often street train than would be needed) over 270 MW hours.
    This means 1.000.000 people gaming whole year 3 hours a day. For stupid people comfort.
    Reply
  • val - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    #54 one mid size advertising panel on building takes about 20000W, you have in USA them on one street more than we have people in some villages.
    And i hope that you and all your hippie friends are not using plasma TVs or worse CRT TVs and monitors to screw my nature.
    Reply
  • val - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    #54 i know, but i am trying to tell you, that one useless powerplant only for military researches will cover milions of people possible waste. Who cares power plants, you change nothing.
    What i am saying is, that if it would be important, people should first STOP USING THEIR CLIMA, change the bulbs to energy efficient ones, do YOUR MATH.

    Minos bulbs harm the world much more than mine pc!
    And how much takes your clima? Your hot water collector?! use brain please. You cannot tout on intel for poor 100W of average use no more than 2 hours full PC load.
    Your car damages nature and costs you more than difference to me having some VIA cpu to save your nature. Get it to your head.
    So stop talk like hippie.
    Reply
  • SilverTrine - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    So can this board handle 2 ATi cards if one is a crossfire or it just for Nvidia SLI? Reply
  • nserra - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    #52

    200 euro for you, but 200 euro x 10.000 people is 2.000.000€.
    I win 800€ month, make the 2.000.000€/800€ how many months of salary is it?

    Isn’t just 20W as you say, it's 20W to 100W. You are right that people aren’t playing games the all day, but is the all day idle? , in fact put some complex 3D screen saver and you will see how idle it is.

    Also 20W for you but 20W x 10.000 people is 200.000W (best case scenario), but if it's 100W x 10.000 people its 1.000.000Watts!!!

    So do you your math, because the world isn’t just you!
    Reply
  • val - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    #50 while intel usually works from first release when the mobo brand quality is not underestimated. Reply

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