Third party chipset manufacturers always had a hard time matching Intel's level of performance and stability, and so most choose to compete on the bottom line. Historically SiS, VIA and ALi have always battled it out against each other for the value market, while Intel has had a virtual monopoly in the mainstream/high end markets.
With the SiS 655FX, Intel now has some real competition in the main stream market. The 655FX can go toe to toe with the i875P in the high end desktop arena, and in more than a few cases, even come out on top!
SiS is clearly not an Intel clone, reproducing licensed chipsets under their own brand. They have gone forward and are incorporating many new features of their own design into the 655FX, care of the SIS HyperStreaming engine. From Concurrent Execution to Smart Stream and Multiple data channels, the SiS 655FX is technically advanced. As you have seen from the benchmark numbers, the 655FX is no slouch when it comes to both 2D, and 3D performance! The enhancements SiS implemented into the 964 southbridge really do boost HDD performance, and if you're working with HDD intensive applications, something based on the SiS 655FX/964 will certainly be faster. It's also nice to see SiS modernized the 964 Southbridge with Serial ATA/Serial ATA RAID, and incorporated eight USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 LAN and 1/10 Home PNA (phone line) NIC's.
SiS 655FX based motherboards are available now, and the SIS 655TX chipset should be out soon. PCstats has already reviewed the Gigabyte 8S655FX Ultra SIS 655FX-based motherboard, and the performance trend definitely continues. SIS' reputation for building inexpensive budget-minded chipsets still haunts them, but the 655FX is clearly an excellent, and fast performing core-logic that can change that perception. It's only a matter of time before mainstream and high end users really start to take notice of SiS, and what they can offer the Pentium 4 world.