Socket A Is Coming: Test of 10 Boards

AOpen AK33

BIOS-Version: r103 August 16, 2000

Board Revision: 1.01

We really liked AOpen's Website when we searched for a current BIOS. The pages are well structured, clear and can be viewed in different languages.

The BIOS version from July 21 generates an incorrect device ID for the AGP of the KT133 chipset. As we already mentioned this causes Windows 2000 to address the graphics card without the AGP driver, and the graphics card only runs at PCI level. To avoid this problem you should load the latest BIOS version 1.03 .

Five PCI slots and three DIMM sockets should be sufficient for most applications. The codec chip from Analog Devices enables an AC97 compliant sound system.

An interesting feature is the so-called Dr. LED. Eight LEDs permanently display the system status. Especially during booting this function can quite often act like a debug card and simplify the search for errors significantly.

Luckily AOpen decided against the AMR slot. Appropriate cards are hard to come by anyway. To make everything picture perfect the board only needed the function Wake On Modem that should wake the system from sleep mode for an incoming call. Similar to Chaintech and Epox AOpen specifies a maximum memory of 768 MByte even though the chipset allows twice as much.

Uwe Scheffel