Matsonic 8308E SiS730s Motherboard Review
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.The most important aspect of this motherboard is the abundance of integrated features that SiS has included in its 730s chipset. First, you have the standard PS/2 and COM ports, though you are limited to one. A standard LPT port is also there for printers and/or scanners.
In place of the second COM port is the integrated video that uses the SiS730s-VGA chipset that is built directly into the main chipset. It is a 128-bit 2D/3D 100MHz host interface AGP graphics accelerator. However, don’t go in expecting to get great frame rates from Quake III with this thing: it just isn’t going to happen. And again, that is not what it is meant for. The on-board video uses shared memory, which means it uses your main system RAM for its own video memory. By setting it in the bios, you can allow the SiS video to use up to 64 MB as a frame buffer. Matsonic claims it supports high resolutions up to 1920x1440 Hi-colors, up to 2048x2048 texture size and Virtual screen up to 4096x4096. While I cannot attest to all of that, it seems reasonable with a 64 MB memory allocation.
Next on the line, above the two standard USB ports, SiS has an integrated NIC solution (Network Interface Card). Using SiS’ own chipset, the 900 series, the integrated network interface is 10/100 compatible and is 100% ready for broadband or other components. I tested this network card out on the internal network here and on an ADSL broadband connection in Cincinnati with no problems at all. This solution should be more than adequate for most home users.
The sound that is located on the motherboard is of the standard AC’97 compatible quality. Using a Realtek chipset and codec, the integrated audio is what you would expect. The sound is clear but do not expect to get the surround effects that many have become use to on Creative Sound Blaster Live! cards. Also, there is no support for more than the standard speaker output.
For those who need more USB ports or the additional COM port, do note that there are connectors on the motherboard for attaching dongles to expand. Finding and purchasing these items may be more difficult than they are worth, however.