iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






MSI 645 Ultra (SiS 645) Mainboard

One of the major manufacturers this time released a board on red textolite.


  • Package: an ordinary design for this company;
  • Documentation: a user manual in English;
  • Cables: 1 ATA66/100 and 1 FDD;
  • D-Bracket;
  • Calendar for 2002;
  • CD with software including:
    • drivers;
    • utilities from AMI and Award for the Suspend-To-Disk function;
    • WinFlash from Award for BIOS flashing from Windows;
    • LiveBIOS;
    • Fuzzy Logic 3;
    • PC Alert;
    • GoodMem;
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader;
    • X-Setup - for adjusting most of Windows parameters;
    • PC-Cillin 2000 - popular antivirus packet;
    • 3Deep - for adjusting color balance;
    • VNC - for remote computer access.

The layout has some disadvantages: IDE and FDD connectors are placed behind PCI slots, and audio-ins are located in front of the PCI and AGP. Besides, an audio-in meant for modem is located at a certain angle to the board.

The feed circuits incorporate 7 capacitors of 2200 uF and 5 of 1500 uF.

There are the following controllers: AC'97 codec ALC201A from Avance Logic (audio solution) - the chip supports SPDIF, but the respective connector is lacking, though there is one for audio-outs for the front computer panel.

Non-unsoldered connectors: serial port connector (it will appear on SiS650 based board when VGA will replace one of the connectors on the rear panel).

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 5 PCI/ CNR; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB; dimensions - 305x220 mm.

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up CMOS
BIOS based on v2.01a from AMI Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Timing Setting Mode (analog of the System Performance), MA 1T/2T Select (analog of the DRAM Command Rate)
Setup of memory frequency + DDR200, DDR266, DDR333
Setup of AGP bus -
Setup of PCI bus -
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses -
Manual assignment of interrupts -
Changeable FSB frequency + In 1 MHz steps, 100 - 200 MHz
Changeable CPU multiplier + x8 - x50
Changeable core voltage + Up to 1.85 V in 0.025 V steps
Changeable memory voltage -
Changeable chipset voltage -
Changeable AGP bus voltage -

This inexpensive board shows good but not strikingly excellent speed results. As there were no reliability problems the board will be a good choice for all users except extreme overclockers.

Test results:

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