iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Gigabyte SINXP1394 (SiS655) Mainboard

This is a top model in the line based on high-performance  SiS 655 chipset, and its functionality and accessory pack are perfect. We have received a preproduction sample for the tests. 


  • Package of a new design laminated with plastic with a holographic effect; 
  • Documentation: user manual for SATA RAID in English; 
  • Cables: 3 Serial ATA, 3 ATA66/100/133 and FDD; 
  • Bracket with SATA connectors (two interface connectors and one double-power cable: standard SATA and standard IDE); 

  • Bracket with S/PDIF-Out connectors (Coaxial and TosLink); 
  • Bracket with 4 USB ports; 
  • Bracket with 3 FireWire ports (occupies one PCI slot); 

  • DPS module; 

  • Bracket for the rear computer panel; 
  • CD containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • DirectX 8.1; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • Norton Internet Security 2002; 
    • Gigabyte EasyTune 4; 
    • Gigabyte IA Panel; 
    • Gigabyte Face Wizard; 
    • Gigabyte Windows Utility Manager; 
    • Gigabyte Management Tools; 
    • Gigabyte BIOS Writer. 

The layout is not that bad taking into account its functionality, but there are some standard downsides: audio-ins are in front of AGP, and IDE RAID and SATA RAID are behind PCI slots. It's not easy to handle memory modules because of numerous connectors there. There are no onboard jumpers or switches. 

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 3 capacitors of 3300 uF and 3 of 1500 uF (with the DPS module there is one more 3-channel voltage regulator with 2 capacitors of 3300 uF, 2 of 1500 uF and 4 of 1000 uF). 

Integrated controllers: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset and Avance Logic ALC650 AC'97 codec; 5.1 audio system supported, front audio inputs/outputs and SPDIF connectors provided; 
  • Intel RC82540EM based network controller supporting 10BaseT/100BaseTX/1000BaseT (Gigabit Ethernet); 
  • IDE RAID controller based on ITE IT8212F chip with RAID 0, 1, 0+1 supported through the protocol up to ATA133; 
  • Serial ATA RAID controller based on Silicon Image Sil3112ACT144 with RAID 0, 1 supported through SATA protocol. 

Technologies supported: 

  • DualBIOS (back-up Flash EEPROM chip with BIOS copy); 
  • DPS (external VRM module to make the CPU work more stably). 

Voltage supplied to the memory modules is indicated with the onboard LED. 

Non-unsoldered connectors: none. 

System monitoring is supported by ITE IT8705F chip. It controls: 

  • processor voltage, +1.8, +3.3, +5 and +12 V; 
  • speed of 2 fans; 
  • CPU temperature (built-in sensor). 

There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 2 for unadjustable connection of fans (one of them is connected to a fan on the north bridge's heatsink). 

Brief board's characteristics: memory slots - 4 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 5 PCI; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB 2.0 / 3 FireWire; dimensions - 305x245 mm. 


BIOS based on Phoenix AwardBIOS 6.00PG Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge Time, RAS Active Time
Setup of memory frequency + DRAM (FSB 133) = 200, 214, 222, 240, 266, 300, 320, 333, 356, 400, 446, 536 MHz; DRAM (FSB 100) = 200, 226, 242, 252, 266, 302, 333, 400 MHz
Setup of AGP bus -  
Setup of PCI bus -  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses + AGP(PCIx2) = Auto, 60-100 MHz in 1MHz steps
Manual assignment of interrupts +  
Changeable FSB frequency + 100-355 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x8-x50
Changeable core voltage + Normal, 1.1-1.85 V in 0.025V steps
Changeable memory voltage + Normal, +0.1 B
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage + Normal, +0.1 V

We used the BIOS F4 as the latest available version. 

The solution seems to be flawless; besides, it is assembled on one of the most efficient chipsets. That is why this is a natural choice for everyone interested in high speed and rich functions at an acceptable price. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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