ASUS P4S8X SiS 648 Motherboard Review

ASUS P4S8X SiS 648 Motherboard Review - Page 1

ASUS P4S8X SiS 648 Motherboard
AGP 8X, Serial ATA and More!

By: Chris Angelini
December 16, 2002

Manufacturing chipsets for AMD's Athlon XP is one thing.  SiS, VIA and NVIDIA all vie for market share by focusing on different areas, be it price, performance or features.  Contending with Intel in the Pentium 4 chipset market is quite a different story, though.  Between the i850E, i845PE, and latest E7205 Granite Bay chipset, Intel has maintained a commanding position in the Pentium 4 chipset market.  VIA has tried, with limited success, to attract attention with its P4X266 and P4X400 chipsets, but Intel has been quick to file suit, claiming VIA doesn't possess the necessary bus license.  SiS does have that license though, and has received favorable reviews for its 645 chipset family. 

The newest SiS flagship is its 648 Pentium 4 chipset, which incorporates support for 400/533MHz front side bus processors, includes AGP 8X compatibility and official DDR333 (unofficial DDR400) memory support.  Surprisingly, boards based on the 648 core logic, are demonstrating impressive performance numbers that compare favorably to Intel's i845PE and even rival the venerable i850E.  Moreover, SiS 648 boards are significantly less expensive than their Intel-based competitors.  We've been kicking the ASUS - SiS 648 based P4S8X, around the lab for a while now, to see exactly what it's capable of and we've gotten some interesting results.

Specifications and Features of ASUS' P4S8X
Fully Loaded



  • Supports Intel Pentium 4 Socket 478 processors with 400/533 MHz FSB (No HyperThreading support)


  • SiS 648 North Bridge / 963 South Bridge

  • Supports Ultra DMA 33/66/100

  • Accelerated Graphics Port connector supports AGP 8X Interface


  • Three 184-pin DIMM sockets (unbuffered Non-ECC DIMM)

  • Supports PC2700/2100/1600 (Max. 3GB)

Serial ATA:

  • Promise controller supports one ATA133 channel and two Serial ATA connectors (RAID 0 or RAID 1)


  • SiS 693 integrated AC'97 audio with C-Media 9739 6-channel software codec

USB 2.0:

  • 6 USB 2.0 ports (4x back panel, 2x header)

IEEE 1394:

  • Realtek PHY with two IEEE 1394 ports


  • SiS 693 integrated 10/100 Mbps Ethernet with Realtek PHY

Internal I/O Connectors:

  • 1 AGP 8Xslot, 6 PCI 2.2 slots

  • Floppy Port supports up to 2.88MB

  • 2 x Ultra DMA 33/66/100 Connectors

  • 1 x Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 Connectors (RAID)

  • 2 x Serial ATA 1.5G bps Connectors (RAID)

  • 2 x USB headers, 1 x IEEE 1394 header

  • 1 x Smart Card Reader connector

  • CD/AUX/Modem audio input

Back Panel I/O:

  • 1 x PS/2 Keyboard, 1 x PS/2 mouse

  • 4 x USB connectors

  • 1 x IEEE 1394 connectors

  • 1 x S/PDIF Out connector

  • Audio I/O

  • 1 x RJ-45 LAN Connector


  • ATX form factor

  • Hardware monitoring - Including Fan speeds, Voltages, CPU and System environment temperature

  • ASUS EZ Plug

  • ASUS AGP warning LED

  • ASUS Multi-language BIOS

  • ASUS BIOS EZ Flash

  • Supports Keyboard and Mouse Power On

  • Supports STR (Suspend to RAM) and STD (Suspend to Disk)



ASUS includes the hardware necessary to take advantage of each of the P4S8X's features.  In addition to the board, ASUS bundles a customized back plate to accommodate the non-standard panel, a floppy cable, three IDE cables, a Serial ATA cable, a serial port header, a header that incorporates a game port and two USB 2.0 ports, and an IEEE 1394 header.  The instruction manual is relatively easy to understand, though it doesn't include much of the detail we'd expect from say, an Abit motherboard.  ASUS does however, add an easy-to-reference sticker that outlines the location and function of each jumper on the P4S8X.

The BIOS, Layout and Quality 

Tags:  Asus, Motherboard, SIS, P4, review, board, view, 4S, IE, AR

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