Quick and Quiet: Pentium M Desktop Boards by AOpen and DFI


DFI's Pentium M motherboard, the 855GME-MGF, actually arrived at our lab before the AOpen board. It obviously also uses the 855GME chipset, and is targeted more towards professional applications, where AOpen seems to focus on network applications and home users. DFI decided not to use the ICH4 Southbridge, instead deploying the PCI-X-based 6300ESB. As a result, the motherboard supports one 64 bit PCI-X slot, running at up to 66 MHz. In addition, this component features two 32 bit PCI slots and two Serial ATA ports.

The 855GME-MGF has two DIMM sockets, two UltraATA/100 channels and an AC97 compliant sound system. Since the 6300ESB has just one USB 2.0 controller (two ports), DFI placed an additional USB chip (by VIA) on the motherboard, providing four more ports.

There were more cables in DFI's box than AOpen's, as we found two SATA cables and power adapters. In exchange, there are fewer software add-ons.

DFI included a Firewire controller, too.