Ah yes, SiS... they produced some pretty dreadful chipsets back in the day.
I'd also like to mention VIA. They refused to license technology from Intel, such as PCI, AGP, USB etc.
So instead, VIA would try to reverse-engineer it themselves. The result was poor compatibility and often lousy performance.
The only VIA boards I've had any issue with are early P4 chipset boards, and I've used everything VIA from socket 7 to 939 and LGA775. My favorite chipsets by far ar the MVP3 (SS7), the Apollo PRO (S370) and the KT880 (S462). The only hassle back in the day was driver support - some drivers would conflict others - like some versions of via 4 in 1 did not mix well with versions of nvidia forceware (bsods or black screen) but one that's sorted you get a fast and stable system.
As for chipsets I've had problems with:
- intel 420 chipset (socket 3) - I've had to deal with some OEM machines running this chipset and they gave me headaches all the time. For some reason they would corrupt all data written on the HDD.
- early VIA VT82C486 (socket 3) - poor memory read performance, trouble managing L2 cache. Later VT82C486A revision fixed the issue.
- ALi Aladdin V - for some reason I've never been able to get the Aladdin V chipset to work with CPUs faster then 500MHz - and even at 500MHz there are horrible AGP isusues. The MVP3 in contrast is simple - just don't install AGP drivers. Don't get me wrong - I love ALi/ULi chipsets - the M1689 is my favorite socket 754 / 939 chipset by far - I just dislike the Aladdin V.
- SiS 735 - horrid memory support - too bad - I/O and AGP implementations were great.
- Early intel 440 chipsets - oh god the hours I spent trying to get some machines to work correctly - fussy about ram and poor AGP compatibility. The only 440 board I ever liked is my Abit BE6-II, the rest of my 440 boards I consider mediocre at best. I remember trying to get 3dmark99 to run on a 500MHz PIII with the 440BX chipset - it would freeze 5 seconds in. I also remember trying to get Unreal to run on 440 boards with no luck whatsoever (it would only work in GLIDE mode with a voodoo card, nothing else - not even software).
- Intel 810 chipsets - slow, slow, slow and they were expensive at the time too. The Apollo Pro 133 had it for breakfast. AGP performed poorly compared to the Apollo, and even the i440FX.
- VIA KT266 chipsets - for some reason lots of KT 266 equipped boards refused to work with FSB 266 CPUs or were unstable - tough they worked great when paired with a 200MHz FSB duron, even when using 266MHz DDR. The problem was fixed in the later KT266A revision, but too little too late for some of us.
Favorite chipsets of all time:
UMC UM8881 (socket 3) - these things are FAST. Just stay away from the first revision - buggy PS/2 implementation and will only run EDO DRAM when paired with a slow CPU. Late revisions work flawlessly tough.
SiS 85C496 (socket 3) - same as above - fast, and has 66MHz fsb support. Great for overclocking old 486 CPUs (got an intel DX4 100 to 120MHz stable under windows with no voltage increase - and got my cyrix 5x86-100gp to 133MHz (66x2) at 3.75v
Intel i430 (socket 7) - hassle free socket 7 builds - very stable
VIA MVP3 (super socket 7) - my favorite retro chipset by far. ISA, AGP, USB and my Aopen AX59PRO will OC my K6-3+ to 600MHz perfectly stable witch is kind of cool.
VIA Apollo PRO 133 (VT82C694T) - ISA, AGP4x , USB, Tualatin support, somehow a little faster then the 815t
VIA KT333 (socket A) - latest chipset with universal AGP support - great for running your voodoo 5 😜
VIA KT880 (socket A) - this gave the nForce 2 a run for it's money. Great OC, very stable, will run any ram you put in it (in dual channel as well) and really really fast.
Intel i865 - my favorite P4 chipset by far. Comes in socket 478 and LGA775 flavors
ULi / ALi M1689 - favorite socket 754 / 939 chipset - very fast, very stable, great win98 and winXP drivers, excellent overclocking