Abit's SD7533 SiS645 P4 Motherboard and Crucial DDR

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Abit's SD7533 SiS645 P4 Motherboard and Crucial DDR PC2700 DRAM - Page 1

 

The Abit SD7-533 Motherboard With Crucial DDR PC2700 Memory
A SiS645 Pentium 4 board with Abit flare - DDR PC2700 Done Right With Crucial

By, Dave Altavilla
April 23, 2002

 
 

There certainly has been no shortage of motherboard variants on the market, that support DDR SDRAM for the Pentium 4 architecture.  Now that Intel has "the gloves off" as well, with their DDR version of the i845, it is open season for DDR SDRAM standards to ramp in speed and available chipset offerings from the likes of SiS, VIA and of course Intel themselves.  With rumblings of the DDR400 spec being nailed down by the JEDEC committees and even word of a Dual Channel DDR SDRAM chipset on Intel's roadmap, we thought it was high time to pull the trigger on our last SiS645, DDR333 based motherboard overview, this time from our old familiar friend, Abit Computer.

Silicon Integrated Systems, known as SiS in the chipset market, was the first chipset supplier to bring to market a product that had full support for the then upcoming DDR333 standard, now known as "PC2700".  There was one small fly in the ointment however (well OK, maybe a large fly), lack of DDR333 compliant DRAM in the market place, at the chip level from the likes of Micron and other major semiconductor suppliers.  So, the good folks at SiS were sort of like "a man without a country".  That is to say, they had the platform nailed down, they just didn't have official support for it.  Actually, we should applaud companies like SiS for helping to "drive" DDR333 into the mainstream.  There will soon be others to follow like VIA, with their P4X333 chipset.  However, a major hurdle has now been cleared, that being available PC2700/DDR333 memory, like that which is now readily available from Crucial Technologies, Micron's sister memory module company.

In this HotHardware re-take of the SiS645 chipset, we're pairing two products together that were designed for each other,  in an effort to show you the proper system architecture that was originally intended when SiS released the 645 chipset.  Abit's SD7-533 along with Crucial's new DDR PC7200 DRAM, will give us a look into what the platform is capable of, under the proper configuration with compliant components.  Let's dig right in.

Abit's SD7-533 - SiS645 Based Pentium 4 Motherboard
A little "plain vanilla" for an Abit board

Abit's SD7-533
   


CPU
Support for Intel Pentium 4 Socket 478 processors with 400MHz (100MHz QDR)CPU Front Side Bus
Chipset
SIS645/961
Supports Ultra DMA 33/66/100 IDE protocol
Supports Advanced Configuration and Power Management Interface (ACPI)
Accelerated Graphics Port connector supports
AGP 2X(3.3V)and 4X(1.5V)mode (Sideband) device
Supports200/266/333MHz (100/133/166MHz Double Data Rate) Memory Bus Settings
Memory
Three 184-pin DIMM sockets support PC1600/PC2100/PC2700 DDR SDRAM module
Supports up to 2GB DRAMs for unbuffered DDR PC2700 modules
Supports up to 3GB DRAMs for unbuffered DDR PC1600/PC2100 modules
Audio(Optional)
C-Media 8738 /PCI-6CH PCI-Based HRTF 3D Positional Audio Chip
Supports 6 Channel Audio - Dolby 5.1 Compliant
Professional digital audio interface supporting 24-bit SPDIF IN and OUT
System BIOS
SoftMenuIII Technology to set CPU parameters
Supports Plug-and-Play (PNP)
Supports Advanced Configuration Power Interface (ACPI)
Supports Desktop Management Interface (DMI)
Write-Protect Anti-Virus function by AWARD BIOS
Multi I/O Functions
Two Channels of Bus Master IDE Ports supporting up to four Ultra DMA 33/66/100 devices
Audio connector (AUX-IN, CD-IN, Line-in, Line-out, Mic-in, and Game Port)
On board 2 USB connectors
Miscellaneous
ATX form factor
1 AGP slot, 5 PCI slots
Hardware monitoring - Including Fan speed, Voltages, System environment temperature
Built-in IrDA TX/RX header

 

     


The first thing that came to mind, when we first unwrapped the SD7-533, was "yawn".  Frankly, we've been a little spoiled as of late with boards like the Soyo P4S Dragon Ultra.  Furthermore, Abit has no one to blame but themselves for being one of the OEMs starting the trend toward higher levels of integration in the motherboard market, with lots of bells and whistles for the power user.  Sizing up this board, we were left a little flat, with no on board Highpoint RAID or other "Abit Engineering" features as we have seen in the past, on the TH7II-RAID, for example.  However, more of a "glass is half full" mentality in this regard, will point you to the fact that the SD7-533 retails on line for well under $100.  Compared to the aforementioned Soyo board, that is at least a $50 discount that will stay in your pocket, if you don't need the RAID and on board Ethernet functions of the P4S Dragon Ultra.

Beyond that, you get support for up to 2GB of PC2700 DDR memory and 3GB of PC2100 and PC1600 DDR.  Additionally, the on board audio technology that Abit chose to run with on the SD7-533, is the full featured C-Media 8738 chip.  This chip supports HRTF 3D Positional Audio effects, 6 channels of analog output for Dolby 5.1 support, as well as EAX and Direct Sound standards.  Finally, there is the Winbond 83697 Health Monitoring chip on this board, that will give you indications of fan speed, voltages, and system and CPU temperatures.

Let's take a gander at Crucial's PC2700 DDR DRAM.


A quick look at Crucial's DDR PC2700 sticks and system setup

Tags:  DDR, Motherboard, SD, SIS, Crucial, P4, Abit, board, CIA, AR, and

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