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EPoX EP-9U1697 GLI Motherboard Review - SLI Killer?

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Epox
Tagged:

ULI M1697 Chipset & Specs

When the ULi M1697 chipset was launched a few months back, it had all the traits of becoming a great budget solution with nearly all the features of the AMD nForce 4 chipset and a cheaper price too! With an ULi engineered patch that enabled SLI and reports of being a great overclocker, the ULi M1697 was quickly becoming a poor (or smart) person's solution for a cheap yet fast gaming and overclocking computer.



 


Besides being our first hands-on look at ULi's M1697 chipset here on PC Perspective, today we're also examining the package prepared by the folks at EPoX - the EP-9U1697 GLI motherboard. With NVIDIA just completing aquisition of ULi, the M1697 may be the last of its kind we'll see on the market for a while.

 

The ULi M1697 Chipset

 

The ULi M1697 is unique in the AMD chipset arena as it is the only chipset to natively support SATA-II and HD Audio. There are some compromises however notably in the 10/100 network controller.

 


The following is a summary of current Socket 939 PCI-Express chipsets currently available. These specifications are by no means concrete as different manufacturers may choose to implement a given chipset different to suit their product line (i.e. use AC'97 instead of Azalia).

 

 









































































































































































































































ULi M1697 NVIDIA nForce 4 X16 NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI VIA K8T900 ATI XPress 3200 ATI XPress 200 CrossFire
PCI Express
# PCI-E Lanes 20 40 20 22 40 22
#16X 1 ** 2 1 ** 1 ** 2 1

# 1X

3 4 4 4 4
# 2X 1
Dual Graphics Suppoer Unofficial SLI SLI SLI  - CrossFire CrossFire
SATA-II
# Controllers / Lanes 1 * * * * *
# Connections 4 * * * * *
RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 * * * * *
SATA
# Controllers / Lanes - 2 2 4 1 1
# Connections - 4 4 4 4 4
RAID - 0, 1, 0+1, 5 0, 1, 0+1, 5 0, 1, 0+1, 5 0,1 0,1
ATA-133
# Controllers / Lanes 1 1 1 1 1
# Connections 2 2 2 2 2
RAID No 0, 1, 0+1, 5 0, 1, 0+1, 5 No 0, 1
Audio
Azalia AC '97 v2.3 AC '97 v2.3 Envy 24 Azalia AC '97 v2.3
PCI
? 6 6 5 7 5
USB 2.0
8 10 10 8 8 8


* Manufacturers may choose to add this functionality seperately.
** 16X slot configurable to two 8X slots for dual graphics cards.

 

EPoX EP-9U1697 GLI Specifications


 

The specifications for the EP-9U1697 GLI follows pretty closely to the reference specification of the M1697 chipset. To keep the product in an affordable price bracket, the onboard audio uses a standard AC'97 codec (ALC655) instead of HD Audio.

 


 

The specification mentions dual 16x PCI-E slots which isn't accurate as the EP-9U1697 has a single 16x slot that can be changed to two 8x slots for dual graphcis cards.



























































 

Socket Type:


Socket 939


Chipset:


ULi M1697


Processor:


AMD Athlon-64 and Athlon-64 FX


Max FSB:


2.0 GTs HT FSB


Memory:


4 x DDR SDRAM PC2700/PC3200 Dual Channel, 4GB max.


AGP/VGA Slot:


Single 16x / dual 8x for GLI support*


PCI Slot:


3x PCI, 1x PCI-E x1


IDE:


2 x E/IDE Ultra DMA/133, 4 drives max.


SATA:


4 (SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5)


USB:


8 (4 Rear, 4 Pin Header) USB 2.0


Network:


Integrated 10/100 LAN


Audio:


Realtek ALC65X selectable 2 or 6-CH audio with SPDIF header


SPDIF:


Yes


BIOS:


Award/Phoenix BIOS v6.0


Power BIOS:


Yes


LED Debug:


P80P LED Debug Display


Size:


ATX (305mm x 245mm)


Accessories:


IDE/Floppy Cables, SATA Data/Power Cables, I/O Shield, CD Driver, Manual


(*corrected from "Dual PCI-E x16 for GLi Support")


Source: EPoX's website

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