|AT (w/ AT & ATX PS Connectors)
|50 / 55 / 60 / 66 / 68 / 75 / 83 MHz
|1.5x / 2.0x / 2.5x / 3.0x / 3.5x / 4.0x
|2.8 / 2.9 / 3.2 / 3.3 / 3.4 / 3.5
|2 168pin DIMM
2 72pin SIMM Slots (EDO/FPM)
|4 PCI Slots
3 ISA Slots (1-Shared / 1-Full Length)
|AWARD PnP BIOS
|PCI EIDE Controller:
2 EIDE Channels
1 FDD Channel
2 Serial /1 EPP
|At a quick glance, the 5SIM looks like any normal baby AT based motherboard. Upon closer inspection the large "LX-sized" SiS 5582 chip becomes a prominent marker of the 5SIM's glory. Outfitted with 4 PCI and 3 ISA slots to accent the 2 SIMM and 2 DIMM slots, the Chaintech 5SIM manages to pack quite a punch for its size. Don't let its colorful box and harmless appearance fool you, the 5SIM is a force to be reckoned with. Based on the SiS 5582 chipset, Chaintech's 5SIM doesn't feature any low cost integrated video options, nor an AGP slot intended for a much more expensive motherboard. Instead it boasts all the features we know and love from Intel's TX chipset such as Ultra DMA/33 and SDRAM support, while expanding the TX's 64MB Cacheable memory limit to include a more realistic 128MB cacheable memory area. The 5582 was originally thought to be a successor to the SiS 5571 chipset, however the mysterious absence of Linear Burst Mode support by the chipset could lead one to believe otherwise.
|Maintaining that manufacturer/user relationship, Chaintech bundled a handy SiS Busmastering driver diskette with the 5SIM, in spite of the fact that Windows 95 automatically detects and configures the onboard PCI IDE controller as a SiS 5513 PCI IDE Device controller by default. Although many consider VIA's VP2 chipset (found in FIC's PA-2007 and 2011) to be the best competitor of Intel's TX chipset, the SiS 5582 can arguably be given the same title. Not only is the Chaintech 5SIM a solid performer, producing excellent results with the Pentium MMX from 208MHz up to 291.5MHz and with the K6 from 208MHz up to 250MHz, but it is also a very stable motherboard. The only time it crashed was during an attempt to run the K6 at 262.5MHz which unfortunately failed completely even after 5 tries.
|Achieving overclocked CPU speeds with the 5SIM is a breeze in spite of the fact that the 5SIM doesn't feature Chaintech's trademarked SeePU jumperless Setup Utility (it doesn't seem as if any SiS based boards are jumperless). The implantation of Dip Switches into the design of the 5SIM, combined with Chaintech's well written user manual ensures a pleasant and carefree experience with the 5SIM. Chaintech's competitive nature would deem a competitive price almost necessary for the initial survival and eventual success of the 5SIM. Courtesy of the low manufacturing cost of the SiS 5582 chipset the average price of the 5SIM should be very close to the $100 mark. If Chaintech could only perfect their manufacturing process...
The Chaintech 5SIM is only available in an AT form factor, meaning that all of you ATX advocates are out of luck. You will find that the 5SIM's design is quite cramped compared to most, especially if you're installing it in a mini-tower case. The positioning of the dip switches which correspond to the available Bus speeds and clock multipliers are placed directly underneath the drive cage in most standard AT cases, obstructing access to them. Aside from the cramped design the voltage regulator setup and overall engineering quality of the motherboard does have room for improvement. Taking the Pentium MMX up to 291.5MHz required by a 3.2v core voltage setting, and taking the K6 up to 250MHz required a core voltage of 3.4v!