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SiS755 in the house
The 755A01 is anchored by SiS's 755 chipset, which is made up of the SiS755 north bridge and SiS964 south bridge.

The SiS755 north bridge...


...and SiS964 south bridge

Since the Athlon 64's memory controller is integrated right onto the processor, there's not much going on in the SiS755 north bridge. The chip features an AGP 8X interface and 16-bit/800MHz bidirectional HyperTransport processor link, but that's pretty much it.

The north bridge hooks up with the SiS964 south bridge via SiS's MuTIOL interconnect, which offers over 1GB/sec of bandwidth between the two chips. That should be plenty of bandwidth for the SiS964's integrated peripherals, which include a two-channel ATA/133 controller, a two-port Serial ATA controller with support for RAID 0 and 1 arrays, eight USB 2.0 ports, and six-channel audio.


Extra Serial ATA from Silicon Image


Realtek's ALC655 codec

Output from the SiS964's audio controller is fed through Realtek's ALC655 codec, which can handle 16-bit audio at a sampling rate of 48kHz. Don't expect much in the way of fidelity, though; the sound quality of integrated motherboard audio tends to be average at best.

To complement the SiS964's integrated Serial ATA RAID controller, the 755A01 also comes with two additional SATA RAID ports courtesy of Silicon Image's Sil3112. Unfortunately, while the SiS964's Serial ATA ports can bask in the glory of direct access to the chipset's MuTIOL interconnect, the Sil3112 is stuck sharing PCI bus bandwidth with other devices.


Gigabit Ethernet from Realtek


VIA's popular VT6307 Firewire chip

Speaking of other PCI devices, the Sil3112 shares the 755A01's PCI bus with Realtek's RTL8110S Gigabit Ethernet controller and VIA's VT6307 Firewire chip. That's three devices on the board's shared 133MB/sec PCI bus already, setting the stage for potential bandwidth sharing issues when multiple peripheral devices are used at the same time, or when additional devices are added to the board's PCI slots.