Several weeks ago, we took a closer look at ULi's newest AMD chipset in FIRST LOOK: ULi M1695 PCIe/AGP Socket 939 for Athlon 64. We were impressed with what we found - a chipset with competitive performance that fully supported PCI Express and AGP 8X.

The combination of the ULi M1695 HyperTransport PCI Express Tunnel Chip for AMD Athlon 64 platforms with the M1567 South Bridge turned out to be uniquely suited to current AGP owners. Some other chipsets and boards have found ways to combine PCIe and AGP on a PCIe board, but there were always performance compromises with AGP performance, which was normally derived from the slower PCI bus. The ULi M1695/M1567, on the other hand, provided AGP performance without compromise, as well as competitive PCIe graphics support.

ULi promised even more, as they told us a second M1695/M1567 Reference Board would soon be available that supported all the modes of the first board plus Dual PCIe graphics and the possibility of SLI mode on release boards. With all the pluses of the original ULi Reference Board, the follow-up with dual 8X PCIe slots plus AGP was an exciting prospect! As soon as we got our hands on ULi Reference Board 2, we quickly ran it through its paces to bring you our test results.

As promised in Part 1, performance of the ULi chipset features was also evaluated. ULi is also the south bridge choice for some ATI Radeon Xpress 200 motherboard makers. This makes it important to compare the performance of on-chip features like USB.

Basic Features: ULi M1695/M1567 Reference 2
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  • AMDScooter - Friday, August 5, 2005 - link

    ^^^ Same. My OC'd S754/Clawhammer plays all current games fine. Seeing as none of the titles I play currently can take advantage of SMP now anyway I am really in no rush to migrate. That combined with the fact my X800 XTPE on the AGP bus still has plenty of bandwidth to spare. Also, the lack of NV drivers for all games to be able to take advantage of 2 video cards makes me lean more for the ATI chipset soloution anyway. My2c..
  • MarkB - Friday, August 5, 2005 - link

    How about using the OCZ memory volatage booster card for the overclocking tests.. would be crazy to see performance at 400 FSB and high clocked ram.
  • SpaceRanger - Friday, August 5, 2005 - link

    I thought the OCZ Memory thing was just a voltage stabilizer, not a booster. Maybe I am getting the 2 modules confused..
  • Lonyo - Friday, August 5, 2005 - link

    Nah, I'm fauirly sure it adds voltage adjustments up to either 3.2 or 3.5v.

    "The OCZ DDR Booster with patent-pending PowerClean technology supplies “cleaner” power to the installed memory modules and allows increasing their voltage above the rated one"">

    "in the extreme right position, the memory receives a voltage of 3.9v."

    It would be a little unfair since no other tests have been run with the booster, but it would be nice to get a sneak peek at possible performance of very high speed RAM with AMD64 and a high FSB. Some nice OCZ VX in there with the booster and 3.5v or so would be something worth seeing.
  • nserra - Friday, August 5, 2005 - link

    Wesley Fink there are some questions unanswered, yet.

    The performance in IDE and SATA is impressive.
    Does it have SATA NCQ?

    You should also ask about this riser card, because the final version must have 3 PCIe 16X slots, with 2 working has 8X, I doubt that the riser card is a good working solution, because if I put the board in a case how can I connect the monitor cables or even insert the cards on the riser ?

    Also how does it have 2 PCIe x4 (or x2) if it has only 20 PCIe lanes, or does this mean only one will work in 4X mode and 2 in 2X mode?

    Also ask about when we should expect mobo’s with those chipset start selling?
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, August 5, 2005 - link

    Yes, ULi tells me this south bridge board does support NCQ - as do the coming M1573 and M1575 south bridges.

    I do not know the final solution on the riser card. This is a Reference Board for qualification. Manufacturers will decide what they wish to implement. As I stated in the review I do agree the riser is not a likely production feature.

    As you can see in the BIOS picture on page 4, the options are 1 x4 or 2 x2 - total 4 lanes added to the 16 equals 20. ATI actually has 22 lanes in their chipset and use the extra 2 lanes for communication between north/south bridge.
  • joex444 - Friday, August 5, 2005 - link

    Notice that in the BIOS screenshot it says:
    1x16 1x4
    1x16 2x2
    2x8 1x4

    So, you have a choice of running 1 x4 card or two x2 cards.

    Can you run x4 cards in an x4 slot at x2 speed? Heck, where are the x4 cards anyways, can't say I've actually seen an x4 slot on a board before, either.
  • jpkomm - Friday, August 5, 2005 - link

    I asked ASrock's US sales division the same thing. They said the "939Dual-SATA2" motherboard will not be available in the US market. Of course, I'm not too sure if that is unshakable or not. They may or many not release it here; however, they may do it but just in a different flavor. Your guess is as good as mine. I love the reviews pumping up this chipset, but I have yet to find anything solid as to US releases. Guess I will just sit patiently and wait.
  • lsman - Friday, August 5, 2005 - link review this board as these jumpers are for
    "FUTURE_CPU_PORT"...Socket M2..
    so may be the board to look for..">
  • Xenoterranos - Friday, August 5, 2005 - link

    Anyone know where/when to get one of these. This is exactly what I need, as I and probably thousands of you have an AGP card and don't want to spring for PCIe yet.

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