Aopen AX4C Max 2: Mid-Range Product With A Few Minor Faults
Intel 875P Chipset
Board Revision N77
BIOS R1.01e (06/26/2003)
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Aopen sent four motherboards to us for the test, with two boards based on the Intel 875P chipset and two on the 865PE. All motherboards are produced using six-layer technology. The top model is the AX4C Max 2. Despite the 875P chipset, Aopen dispenses with CSA LAN and relies on a gigabit chip from Broadcom, which unnecessarily overloads data traffic on the PCI bus.
At the beginning of the test there were considerable problems in connection with the working memory. Especially when Corsair modules (TwinX DDR400) were used, the motherboard refused to carry out the boot procedure and reported a BIOS error. The problem could only be corrected after a BIOS update and contact with the manufacturer. However, the special BIOS version is not freely available, so the user cannot use any Corsair modules.
For noise-free operation, Aopen has installed a fan control device (Silent Tek 2) on the motherboard, which can be adjusted via the BIOS. In addition, the product includes a capacitor microphone, which monitors the volume of the CPU fan and serves as input volume in the closed-loop control circuit. Owing to the confusing description, it is virtually impossible to find the microphone connection. Cables for Serial-ATA and IDE as well as brackets for USB 2.0 and FireWire are included with the product.
The color-coded pin connector is exemplary.
Noise level is measured with the help of a microphone.