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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  • val - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    #47 mino, you are pushing arguments which have nothing to do with real world. UV radiation in that level makes no harm, do not forget to hide your self on the sun. AMD fanboys started to talk about heating and all this crap, 100W bulb heats your room with 86W you wise guy.

    And energy efficienty? Close to here is powerplant for military research which have dedicated 2x400MNW power plant. So who cares? This is 10.000.000 PCs which is amount of families here and caring for that no PC runs 100% load all the time.

    Costs? I dont know about you, but i am just out of school and even when it would be 200 euro per year difference, I CANNOT SEE THAT! And again! Show me somebody who have gaming PC running games 24/7.

    So caring for energy and heat more than for stability and reliability is just finding nonsense weakpoint of platform YOU dont LIKE because you just want to be different and saying that popular "MAINSTREAM BS".
    So calm down fanboys, AMD will never get market share their owners dreams they deserves.
    Reply
  • PhoneZ - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    I would almost never run a system without the chipset drivers. a VIA system could go down at any random point without the 4in1s, you need the Intel INF Updae to install the SMBus, and Windows doesnt have drivers for any of the nForce chipset hardware. Bbut I will admit that i won't install the SIS IDE cause that can cause system to becoe unstable. nForce can be very stable but has alot of bugs that can destroy yer OS if you dont disable certain features(ie firewall). Reply
  • nserra - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    All platforms are good, but i admit the drivers suck. Keep the default OS ones and all runs good.

    I have the default XP drivers on my SIS board and all runs stable and fast.

    This new Uli is looking good, specialy for my 9700 card.

    My ex nforce2 took 1 year and half to get stable, and to get the sound card working right.
    Reply
  • Cygni - Friday, July 15, 2005 - link

    Wtf, Nforce is unstable? Wow. Could have fooled me... havent rebooted for a few weeks.

    Honestly, the Intel vs AMD fanboy attacks are hillarious, because both know approximatly nothing.

    Both platforms are rock solid, period. Stability isnt even a legitimate argument anymore.
    Reply
  • Xenoterranos - Thursday, July 14, 2005 - link

    Hey, now I can update to skt 939! Reply
  • mino - Thursday, July 14, 2005 - link

    #34;#44;#45 You're an idiot. No appologies.

    If Intel system uses 180W idle and AMD system 100W idle, it is NOT 20W difference.

    And about your "energy efficient bulb" You forgot to mention that these bulbs emit UV radiation unlike traditional edison-style bulbs. So the light You get from them is NOT the light you get from traditional ones. In PC world, however the performance of A64 and P4 is interchangeable.

    I don't believe You will get it.
    But someone had to try...
    Reply
  • mino - Thursday, July 14, 2005 - link

    #27 Don't insult Uli, we have yet to see good driver support from NVIDIA. VIA,SIS,Intel is the league Uli is playing in as far as driver support is concerned. ATI/nVidia have ONLY performance and ATI has good integrated graphics givers. Reply
  • val - Thursday, July 14, 2005 - link

    #37 my prescott is not throttling, i can install cooler correct.
    " Anand said he had no problems at all with his reference board" they are testing it few hours at most, this is not prooven platform. nForce is still being good rated in newspapers, and look how crappy it is. Not talking about VIA.
    "You must save tons of money on your electric bill in the winter." No, 20W makes no difference either for electric bill or warm in room. Go back to school. 70W i save by changing my bulb from 100W to energy efficient 20W one.
    Reply
  • val - Thursday, July 14, 2005 - link

    #38 maybe you should next time give somebody 50$ to build and install computer for you if you are so LAME that you cannot build stable pc. And you believe me, that i didnt expected any other claim from AMD fanboy, and i know that you would say this even when it is not truth. Reply
  • stmok - Thursday, July 14, 2005 - link

    Forgot to add...

    The ASRock mobo is estimated to come at end of July! (Assuming no delays).
    Reply

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