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DDR333 for P4: 16 Boards with Intel 845G - Part I

Aopen AX4G Pro: Black, Fast And Lean

Aopen has been making black motherboards for a long time, and for this round, they sent in the Ax4G Pro with the 845G chipset. What's striking about this board are the six PCI slots and the Dual-BIOS function. In addition, there is a network chip and an audio chip, the latter of which consists of a low-cost variation of AC'97.

The Dr. Voice function is an interesting gimmick: users are notified of error messages through a voice (in English, German, Chinese or Japanese) from the piezo speaker. The voice quality is astonishingly good, especially if a small loudspeaker is used instead of the on-board piezo. Another positive point is that the BIOS can be updated from Windows 2000/XP.

For music fans, Aopen has integrated a CD player in the BIOS, so that audio CDs can be played back even if the OS has not started. The CNR is somewhat deserving of criticism, since it is of no use to the end user. Once again, Aopen does without a slot bracket for the second COM port, and it does not offer an additional USB cable, so users will have to buy an expensive one at the electronics store. As far as performance goes, the board reaches just about the same level as the Asus P4B533-V, thus taking second place.

Useful: the Dual BIOS function with the Aopen AX4G Pro.

View of the interfaces on the Aopen AX4G Pro.

Convenient: BIOS Flash under Windows 2000/XP.