SiS 655FX

Aron Schatz
March 5, 2004
SiS 655FX
SiS makes some great chipsets. The 655FX is the first dual channel SiS chipset for the Pentium 4 platform. It targets the Springdale market, and it does it well. It is even faster than the Springdale! Read on...

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For about two months now, I've had my hands on the 655FX. I just haven't had the time to get down to reviewing the board due to school and work (By the way, expect more Crummy Computers soon). I digress, let's get back to business. <a href="">SiS</a> has sent me two reference boards, so we will get right into the first one based on the 655FX. This one targets the Intel Springdale/Canterwood market, it offers dual channel Memory support and all the other bells and whistles.


No box... moving on.

<B>How it works</B>:

<center>Chipset Diagram</center>

The 655FX offers a multitude of features, comparatively the same as the Intel Springdale chipset. The northbridge connects to the Video card at AGP 8x speeds, it also offers AGP 3.5 Specs. This time around, the 655FX is a dual channel DDR chipset. This was the thing that hurt the 648FX in terms of performance, but now we are on equal turf. The chipset also supports the latest HT enabled Pentium 4s. I have also seen from SiS' site that it will support Prescott as well. The north and the southbridge are connected through a 1GB/s link called MuTIOL.

<B>The board</B>:


Since this is a reference board, I won't go into much detail on this section as I'm more concerned with how the chipset handles itself rather than how it looks.


It looks like a normal board at first, but then you can see the weirdness! First of all, there are connections at the bottom of the board, most likely for testing the chipset and other things. You'll also notice that the Power connector is in the middle of the AGP slot and the PCI slots. Now, this is just me (Wink), but I think board makers will change this on production boards. This board supports four DDR modules.

<center>CPU Area</center>

The CPU area is pretty clean, other than the capacitors around one side. But like I said, let's not get into great detail of the board.


And here we see that the board offers the basic ports that all other boards offer. A quick note, the ethernet card on the board did not work. It sent packets, but didn't receive them. Good thing I wasn't reviewing the board Smile.
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The testing systems:

I used all similar components except for the motherboard to keep the testing controlled.

Standard components:

TwinMOS PC4000 2x256MB DDR (Running at stock) (Review coming soon)
120GB Maxtor 8MB HDD
Pentium 4 CPU 2.4 800MHz
Leadtek GF FX 5600 Det 53.03
HP DVD 100i
Win2k SP4 with all hotfixes and recommended updates.
Running the latest Chipset drivers for both chipsets.

All benchmarks were run at the lowest detail settings on 640x480 except where noted. Blue denotes the SiS 655FX and the Gray denotes a Gigabyte 8IPE100 Pro 2 (Springdale).

<center>3DMark 2K1</center>

First up is the always popular 3D Mark 2001SE. We can see the SiS board has a lead in the CPU subsystem intensive tasks of low resolution gaming.

<center>3DMark 2K3</center>

The SiS board remains the winner in this benchmark as well. I think we can count on this trend continuing.

<center>PCMark 2K2</center>

PC Mark 2002 shows the same thing happening. We can see that the memory is GREATLY increased in speed. Also notice the HDD transfer increase as well.


Sandra also confirms what PC Mark showed. The memory speed is much faster.


Most tests of the SPECviewperf testing suite has also shown that the 655FX is the clear winner in hard calculations.


The last tests are the REAL game tests, In RCTW enemy territory and in X2, you can see the difference in scores pretty clearly. The Comanche 4 game doesn't show it as well. But regardless you know this chipset is faster.

I think we can safely say that the 655FX is faster than the Springdale chipset, which I believe is the main competitor of it. SiS has made a winner with this one.
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Sorry, not on reference boards. On to the conclusion.


This is a great chipset that SiS has made. And since I reviewed it so late, there are boards being made with it that you can buy right now! <a href="">While not every brand is out there</a>, SiS offers a great chipset that is worthy of your hard earned dollar. Stay tuned for a review on the 655TX chipset in a few days!

I'd like to thank Ginno from <a href="">SiS</a> for sending this board.


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