The SiS 735 chipset was introduced about three months ago and the prospective performance numbers that were disclosed to the press looked impressive. Since then very few products based on this chipset have actually hit the market and most of the bigger manufacturers weren’t that quick to adopt the new chipset.
As usual we’ve been taking these performance numbers with a grain of salt, especially since SiS hasn’t produced a performance chipset in quite some time. We were however pleasantly surprised when, with some help of Michele at SiS in Taiwan, we were able to get a SiS 735 motherboard, the ECS K7S5A, in our labs and ran a number of tests on it. Although the motherboard lacks somewhat in features it still turned in scores that bested even AMD’s 760 chipset when running at its default settings.
Other motherboards featuring the ever-popular Via KT133A and their new KT266 chipset weren’t able to surpass SiS’ chipset in the majority of our benchmarks, which is rather unique for such a new chipset. And although it lacks a number of features which most of us look upon as standard-issue, it nonetheless packs a mean punch for only $70.
$70? Yes, you’re reading that correctly, this motherboard costs about half that of most other motherboards, yet offers better performance. So what’s the catch? We’re still unsure, it does have a lot less features than most other motherboards, especially when it comes down to overclocking and voltage tweaking. Other than that it ran all the applications and benchmarks we threw at it without a problem. Could the ECS K7S5A be the first motherboard to receive our best price/performance and best value awards? We’ll know later on this week when we’re done running our tests and benchmarks.