Last week, we
reviewed the ULi M1697 reference board (read it if
you have not). Today, ULi launches it flagship product, ULi M1697, a single K8
M1697 features a highly scalable PCI express interface at 1 x16 or 2 x 8
(4GB/sec peak bandwidth per direction) for graphics and 3 x 1 / or 1 x 4 for
high speed I/O. The Hyper Transport between M1697 and the CPU delivers up to
8GB/sec for best performance.
This chipset can also be coupled with the existing M1695 to support a Dual PCIe x16 lanes platform just like Nvidia's NVIDIA nForce4 SLI X16 e.g C51D+CK804.
As you probably are aware, ULi M1695 made waves in the industry as the only AGP+PCIe chipset. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, only one player that is ASrock was able to deliver the retail board ASrock 939Dual-SATA2. At the launch event, 4 customer's boards are on display. They are from ASrock, ABIT, EPoX and Jetway. Although these players are all 2nd tier manufacturers, they serve both a wide and niche market segments. ASrock and Jetway is known for its entry level boards at good price/performance ratio. The surprise would be the entry of ABIT and EPoX. Both companies make overclocking boards in the past. On our news page, you would have seen the specifications of them. Both have a large range of voltages adjustments that will appeal to the overclocking community. Other vendors that have plans for ULi M1697 are MSI, DFI, Gigabyte, ASUS.
At the launch, ULi also demonstrated the eSATA capability of its chipset. eSATA allows connectivity of peripherals externally at 5x USB speed with cable up to 2 metres. At another corner, it showed a reference board running Dual SLIx16 using M1695+M1697 with dual 7800GTX running in SLI mode.
Dual PCIe x16 slots (m1695+m1697) running SLI mode in 16x+16x
In the next four pages, we present to you the 4 boards from the manufacturers.
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