Basic Features

This board is designed around Intel's flagship i975X chipset with one purpose in mind, the ability to let your Core Duo or Solo processor reach its maximum potential while still maintaining the low noise and power consumption benefits of this impressive processor series. It is the only true ATX size board on the market at this time featuring a non-mobile chipset for the Intel Core Duo/Solo series processors.

If our test results are a true indication of the performance potential of the upcoming Conroe and Merom processors, then we foresee a sizable interest within the AMD community for taking another look at Intel based products in the near future. The Conroe/Merom processors should realize a performance improvement of around 15% above the current AMD lineup. An excellent overview of the Core architecture and comparison to the current AMD offerings is located here - Intel Core versus AMD K8 by Johan De Gelas.

If nothing else, the overall platform performance of the Intel Core Duo and AOpen i975Xa-YDG should convince anyone seriously considering building an ultra quiet performance oriented game or HTPC system to think at length about purchasing this combination.

AOpen i975Xa-YDG
Component Description
CPU Interface Socket 479 - Intel Core Duo or Core Solo
Chipset Intel 975X - Northbridge
Intel ICH7 - Southbridge
Front Side Bus 667 / 533 MHz
CPU Clock 166MHz ~ 199MHz in 1MHz increments
Jumper change allows 200MHz ~ 320MHz in 1MHz increments
Memory Speeds Auto, 533MHz, 667MHz, standard multipliers apply to overclocks
PCI Bus Speeds Locked
PCI Express Bus Speeds Auto, 100MHz ~ 160MHz in 1Mhz increments
Set Processor Multiplier Locked to CPU
Core Voltage Auto, .7375V to 1.5000V in 0.0125V increments
DRAM Voltage Auto, 1.80V to 2.15V in .05V increments
Northbridge Voltage Auto, 1.525V, 1.575V, 1.625V, 1.675V
PCI-E Voltage Auto, 1.500V ~ 1.700V in various increments
Memory Slots (4) x DIMM, max. 4GB, DDR2 667/533, non-ECC or ECC support
Expansion Slots (2) x PCI-E x16
(operates in 2x8 mode in dual graphics or CrossFire mode)
(2) x PCI-E x1
(2) x PCI 2.3
Onboard SATA Intel ICH7 - Southbridge
(4) x SATA 3Gb/s
JMicron- JMB360
(1) x External SATA 3Gb/s
Onboard IDE Intel ICH7 - Southbridge
(1) x 100/66/33
ITE IT8212 IDE
(1) x 133/100/66/33
IDE RAID ITE IT8212 IDE
(2) x 133/100/66/33
RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1
Onboard USB2.0 (8) USB2.0 ports
Onboard IEEE-1394 Agere 1394A - FW3226-100
Onboard LAN Marvell 88E8053 PCI-Express x1
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC-880, 8-channel capable High Definition Audio
Power Connectors 24-pin ATX
4-pin 12V
4-pin ATX 12V
Back Panel I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x IEEE-1394
1 x External SATA 3Gb/s
1 x Optical S/PDIF - In
1 x Optical S/PDIF -Out
1 x Audio I/O Panel
1 x RJ45
4 x USB
Other Features (C.O.O.) - Code of Overclocking System
AOConfig - Windows based System Information Utility
EZ Skin - Windows based Jukebox Player
C.O.O. Paradise Utility - Windows based utility for Remote Control, real time information
Remote Control - I.R. based remoter control unit for basic media player, on/off, and FSB overclocking control
EZWin Flash - Windows Based Bios Update Program
BIOS 1.03b


The AOpen i975Xa-YDG is a member of AOpen's Mobile on Desktop Technology Series product family and as such is a board targeted towards both the HTPC and enthusiast user. The board ships with an accessory package that includes the standard assortment of IDE/SATA cables, power connectors, CPU heatsink/fan, and a unique Remote Control unit. AOpen also includes a driver CD along with several desktop utilities for Windows based monitoring and tuning of your system.





AOpen ships the motherboard and related components in an eye catching box that certainly plays on the Star Wars theme. We will find out shortly if this board is truly worthy of Darth Maul status or if we have another Jar Jar Binks wannabe in the labs.

Index Board Layout
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81 Comments

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  • Gary Key - Friday, May 05, 2006 - link

    quote:

    For example the FX57 with the AGEIA PhysX Hardware, not that it was a bad choice but the only used in the review...


    The card was delievered over the weekend, Derek only had a couple of days and nights to test it. He will be expanding upon this article in the near future as more games are launched with support, not to mention all of our test platforms will undergo a radical change here shortly. ;-)
    Reply
  • goinginstyle - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    quote:

    I was on my Herman Miller Mirra for about 140 hours while completing this article. :)


    Best quote of the day. Ignore that guy as he is just a tool or had his first visit on a computer today.
    Reply
  • ShapeGSX - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    This is a server chip vs a laptop chip. If anything, the AMD server chip had the upper hand in this review, and the little Intel laptop chip bested it in almost every category.

    Though, technically the review was a review of the motherboard, not the CPUs, I think it speaks volumes as a comparison of the K8 vs the Yonah architecture given the identical clocking used.
    Reply
  • Frumious1 - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    "If anything, the AMD server chip had the upper hand in this review."

    Again with the reading comprehension! Look at the chart for Christ's sake. Notice that a bunch say "lower is better"? At 2.8 GHz, the Core Duo sweeps the tests - only in disk controller performance could you potentially level a complaint. At 1.83 GHz, it's a bit closer, but to say the Opty has the upper hand?

    http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2750&am...">http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2750&am...
    Moderate to substantial wins by Core Duo across the benches.

    http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2750&am...">http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2750&am...
    More ties or wins for Core Duo.

    http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2750&am...">http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2750&am...
    Opty wins in Nero Digital Audio... which I have never even used or seen as a benchmark. One win for Opty 165! Woohoo! AMD Rules!

    http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2750&am...">http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2750&am...
    More substantial losses in file compression.

    http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2750&am...">http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2750&am...
    It loses every gaming test by a reasonable margin, with or without CrossFire.


    ONE win for AMD at 1.8 GHz, and that's in Nero Digital Audio. A few ties, but otherwise AMD loses. Boy, I can't imagine why AnandTech would do an article like this. I mean, Intel managing to win almost every benchmark is old news! I remember Pentium II/III spanking K6/K6-2/K6-3 ages ago. Looks like nothing has changed... except for the whole K8 vs. NetBurst era where Intel got the shit kicked out of it!

    Intel looks primed to take back the performance lead. I've been running lots of AMD K8 systems for the past 3 years, but it looks like I will now have a serious reason to consider Intel again. (Before K8, I ran mostly K7 setups. Before that I was always running Intel because they were better. Notice the pattern? Buy the BEST chip, regardless of who makes it!)
    Reply
  • Calin - Friday, May 05, 2006 - link

    What is sad for AMD is the fact that the Intel chip is advantaged by frequency increase. At 1.8GHz, they are more or less at a tie (with few not-so-great exceptions), and the increase in frequency to 2.8GHz favors Intel much more than AMD.
    So, overclockers would choose the chip that will give them a bigger increase in performance for the same increase in MHz (Intel). The situation changed from the Athlon64 versus Prescott days.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    quote:

    "If anything, the AMD server chip had the upper hand in this review."


    His context was in the positive, meaning the AMD had the upper hand going into the review but was outperformed in several areas.

    :)
    Reply
  • ShapeGSX - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    Indeed it was meant to be positive. Thanks!

    Laptop cpus beating server cpus, dogs and cats living together!
    Reply
  • Frumious1 - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    I'm not sure what you read, but I saw a review in which a ~$590 Core Duo + AOpen board was able to basically match a ~$550 Opteron 170 + ASUS board in performance. What exactly don't you like - the fact that Core Duo overclocks more than 50% on the board? Or the fact that Athlon X2/Opteron doesn't win every benchmark?

    Thanks for being such a retard. FYI, Intel doesn't want this type of review, because AT is basically promoting buying their $240 CPU and overclocking rather than buying their $600 CPU. Let me rephrase your post:

    ANANDTECH
    In this review, we'd like to show your how an "Athlon FX-62" compares to a 2.8Ghz Core Duo.

    ..."As you can see, the Core Duo actually beats the FX-62 equivalent on just about every fucking benchmark. AMD's former monster has been humbled, and it looks like the stupid ass AMD fanboys like snorre need to stop snoring and brush up on their god damned reading comprehension! If that's not enough, Core Duo will add another 25-40% performance clock for clock over Core Duo (see Johan's article). Needless to say, even the best AMD is prepared to offer looks to be in serious trouble."

    Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. Comparing this to a THG article is an insult to both parties. THG would have used more hyperbole and run fewer benchmarks, while AT wouldn't accept large cash payment to do an article. Go back to whatever black ole you crawled out of. PLEASE!

    BTW thanks for proving that no matter how good an article is some stupid shit will wander in and bitch about the results. "OMG my eyes! I can't look at a graph and stand to see AMD lose!" The Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory has been proved yet again. (Google that if you don't get the reference.)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    I think I see the problem, frumious. You used some odd text in your post and it killed the colors. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    Note to others: don't use the abbreviation for HardOCP. LOL Reply

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