SiS 648FX Reference Board

Aron Schatz
July 14, 2003
The 648FX is SiS' latest Pentium 4 chipset. I take the reference board out for a spin and see how it performs. Read more to find out.

Page 1: Intro, Stuff


<center>Chipset Looks</center>

Another piece of hardware graces my desk here at the house of ASEville. As you may or may not know, <a href="">SiS</a> is a major supplier of chipsets, competing easily with the likes of VIA and Intel. Today, I'll be test driving the latest single channel chipset from SiS, the 648FX. All this comes on a very special board called reference.

<B>How it works</B>:

This is another first for the site and I want to take this time to explain the SiS 648FX. I won't go into boring detail either, so it will be an easy read.

<center>How it works</center>

Above shows how this board works. The SiS 648FX itself is the northbridge only and it is a single channel Pentium 4 chipset. Included in the chipset is a multitude of features. Hyper-Threading is supported as is the new 800Mhz FSB Intel Pentium 4 CPUs. The chipset also supports 3 sticks of RAM, but only 2 when in DDR400 mode. AGP 8x and MuTIOL 1G (Meaning quick transfer to the southbridge and back) are included as well.

The Southbridge is equally impressive, supporting USB 2, ethernet, modem, audio, and more. Onboard is the serial ATA controller (The SiS 180).

Now ask yourself when you read all the technical babble if you really care how it works? You basically care that it works! And that's what we will be doing.

<B>No Box</B>:

Skipping this section due to the fact that this is reference board. Doh!

<B>The Board</B>:


I really don't want to over indulge on this section of the review, after all, it is a reference board. Now, let me just let you know of the fun I had with this thing. First of all, it is overly large. BIG! Take a gander at this one.


This board did not fit in any case I had, so I had to use my patented on the desk technique.


Here we have the actual 648FX chipset in all its glory. There is no heatsink on it. I'll reserve judgment on the board features until I receive some retails boards from manufactures.


This is the 963 southbridge, connected to the northbridge by the extra large pipe. In the old days, the northbridge and the southbridge communicated by the PCI bus (at 133 MB/s). Today, that is painfully slow.

<center>Socket Area</center>

This is the area around the CPU socket, as with all Intel motherboards, the heatsink retention thing makes the socket area nice and clear. There are a nice array of capacitors around the left side of the socket, but if you don't have an extra large heatsink it should be fine (and this is a reference board and you'll never be buying one).

<center>Memory Area</center>

Here are the memory sockets, remember that you can only use two slots in DDR400 mode. I'm not sure if this is the same on other boards, we'll see.

<center>IDE Ports</center>

The IDE ports and how you turn the board on are located here! The little push buttons are the reset and power switches. Interesting isn't it?


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