The Next 'BX': 13 Motherboards For Pentium 4 With Intel's 845 Chipset and Socket mPGA478

AOpen AX4BS Pro

Board Revision: ?

BIOS Version: R1.02 (Oct 8, 2001)

AX4BS Pro is the name of AOpen's i845 motherboard. As do all Pro versions, it comes with black PCB and a cool aluminum heatsink for the MCH. The basic components can be enumerated quickly (5 PCI, CNR, AGP 4x, UltraATA/100, AC97 sound, 3 DIMMs), but there are also several nice features that have been introduced by AOpen some time ago. The first is the Die Hard BIOS, which is basically a backup BIOS. Unfortunately, our test sample was not equipped with the backup chip. The second feature is called Dr. Voice; while the system boots, Dr. Voice tracks all activity and uses the PC speaker to inform you, via voice announcements, why your system does not boot. The language can be set, using two jumpers, to English, Chinese, Japanese or German. This feature may sound funny, but it is definitely the fastest way to locate hardware errors (e.g. ""). There is another debug feature called Dr. LED which provides enhanced LED for system monitoring. You will need the Dr. LED module (for 5.25" bay) from AOpen to make use of it.

The BIOS allows the FSB to be set to one of 31 different clock speeds between 100 and 200 MHz. You can also choose a multiplier between 8 and 24. Last but not least, the CPU core voltage can be altered between 1.1 and 1.85 V.