Athlon Hit Parade: 10 mobos with the nForce2 Ultra400

AOpen AK79D-400Max

Board Revision: ?

BIOS Version: 1.01g (June 2, 2003)

By comparison, the AOpen motherboard is rather unassuming: a conventionally-sized package rather than a voluminous box is quite sufficient. Nevertheless, it includes all of the necessary and desirable features.

An adapter makes it possible to use two FireWire ports (400 Mbit/s); another adapter houses the external gameport as well as two additional USB interfaces. They even thought of audiophile users, as the box also contains a small module with optical and coaxial audio in- and outputs.

The board also includes a Promise Controller and sports two serial ATA ports as well as an UltraATA/133 connection. The Agère FireWire controller can be seen in the top right-hand corner of the picture. The cooler for the MCP-T is another interesting feature: it looks important, but is of no use at all.

The printed material was also quite respectable in terms of its scope and quality: in addition to the detailed and well-illustrated manual (in English), the board also comes with an "Easy Installation Guide" that allows the experienced user to install the board quickly.