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Article - Comdex 2002

Written by Harry Lam and Edward Chang

November 25, 2002


At Comdex, SiS delivered a presentation detailing their four newest chipsets, as well as their Xabre 600 GPU.  SiS showcased three chipsets for the P4: the 648, the R658, and the 655.   Unlike VIA, SiS has obtained a license from Intel for all of their Pentium 4 chipsets (including the ones that were showcased at Comdex).  On the AMD end of things, the SiS755 chipset was unveiled, which basically is SiS's solution for the AMD Hammer.


SiS P4 Solutions:

The SiS648 has been out for quite some time already, it's not really worthy of too much discussion.  However the two new chipsets for the P4, the R658 and the 655, provide some new features to the Pentium 4 platform.  The SiSR658 has been heralded before as Rambus' last hope; it's basically provides Dual Rambus support coupled with AGP 8x.  The SiS655 combines dual channel DDR333 and AGP 8x with the P4.


Chipset SiS655 SiSR658 SiS648 Intel 845PE
Northbridge SiS655 SiSR658 SiS648 Intel 82845PE MCH
Southbridge SiS963 SiS963 SiS963 Intel 82801DB ICH4
System Bus 533/400mhz 533/400mhz 533/400mhz 533/400mhz
Memory Type (best) Dual Channel DDR333 Dual RDRAM PC1066 DDR333 DDR333
AGP Speed 8x 8x 8x 4x
UDMA Ultra-DMA 133 Ultra-DMA 133 Ultra-DMA 133 Ultra-DMA 100
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0 USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Hyperthreading Support Yes No No Yes


Chipset Intel 845GE Intel 850E VIA P4X400
Northbridge Intel 82845GE GMCH Intel 82850E MCH VIA VT8754
Southbridge Intel 82801DB ICH4 Intel 82801DB ICH2 VIA VT8235
System Bus 533/400mhz 533/400mhz 533/400mhz
Memory Type DDR333 Dual RDRAM PC1066 DDR400(unofficial)
AGP Speed 4x 4x 8x
UDMA Ultra-DMA 100 Ultra-DMA 100 Ultra-DMA 133
USB USB 2.0 USB 1.1 USB 2.0
Hyperthreading Support Yes No No


The SiS 655 in action A slightly different view of the board


Sis755 Chipset:

For the AMD Hammer platform, SiS is releasing their SiS755 chipset.  I whipped up a chart comparing the different chipsets out there for the Hammer, and frankly there isn't much of a difference.  However, those who are just waiting for the Hammer's release will be pleased to know that there are many motherboard manufacturers out there that have already implemented Hammer boards and are in the final stages of testing (as even SiS had working Hammer motherboard and chip).

Chipset SiS755 AMD 8151 VIA K8T400 VIA K8T400M nVidia CrushK8
System Bus 800mhz 800mhz 800mhz 800mhz 800mhz
Memory Type (best) DDR333 DDR333 DDR333 DDR333 DDR333
AGP Speed 8x 8x 8x 8x 8x
Ultra-DMA 133
Ultra-DMA 133
Serial-ATA 150
Ultra-DMA 133
Serial-ATA 150
Ultra-DMA 133
Serial-ATA 150
Ultra-DMA 133
Serial-ATA 150
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0 USB 2.0 USB 2.0 USB 2.0


Working version of the Hammer with the SiS755


Xabre 600:

SiS also released their Xabre 600 GPU (which is manufacturer using a .13 micron process), which is an AGP8x card clocked in at 300mhz/300mhz.  The SiS reps at Comdex said that their Xabre600 GPU was supposed to offer performance comparable to the ATI Radeon 9000.  On paper it has a 1200Mpixels/sec and a 2400M textures/sec fill rate.  We got to take a look at one of their cards up close, and it was running Hynix HY5DU283222F-28 chips running at 2.8ns (350 mhz).

It's a pretty ascetically appealing card Close-up of the GPU and memory chips
Another bird's eye view of the card A close-up from a different angle
Bunch of Xabre 600 boxes The last close-up


SiS Xabre-2 Info:

SiS also dropped some information about their upcoming Xabre-2 GPU that's still in development (the best we could get on a release timeframe would be 2003 =P).  Of course, they were quite reluctant to release very many details, but from what we could gather, it's supposed a DX9 part clocked in at a minimum of 300 core/300 memory (using DDR-2), if not faster.  A rough estimate of it's performance should put it at about the ATI Radeon 9700.  Obviously, since the Xabre 600 is a .13 micron part, the Xabre-2 will have to be .13 micron or lower.

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