Socket A Is Coming: Test of 10 Boards

Unusable Features

I) AMR-Slot

One year ago nobody really knew about those small AMR slots that are on many motherboards now.

AMR stands for Audio Modem Riser. This slot is for a card with an audio codec chip and/or a modem circuit. At least if Intel has its' way, but Intel's AMR-Specification almost resembles suicide note for manufacturers and users. The first page of the spec contains the important sentence:

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Note that the AMR Specification does NOT define an aftermarket standard I/O expansion slot.

Intel is shooting itself in the foot with this note because there are no plans to offer AMR cards for the retail market. The manufacturers are not interested in it either. Theoretically the AMR cards are supposed to be an "affordable solution", but no manufacturer can offer a cheap AMR card because the costs do not leave any room for adequate support. The only way out is to buy a regular modem and sound card. Of course the end user gets the short end of the stick again. The additional manufacturing costs for the AMR slot are handed down to the customer. He has got to spend money for a useless slot. It is a similar situation with the so-called CNR slots that are found on 815/Solano motherboards. It is supposed to allow network functionality besides audio and modem, but no enduser will be able to take advantage of it. In our evaluation of the motherboards we do not criticize any manufacturer if his board lacks an AMR slot, so he can offer his product at a lower price.

Uwe Scheffel