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:

    Thanks for the reply. Any chance you need an independent review doing on that 750GB drive ;)


    Sorry, being a selfish s.o.b. with this drive, actually I am testing two of them for an upcoming article. :)
    Reply
  • sabrewulf - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    I haven't been following the development of Conroe too closely, but isn't this chip essentially performing like Conroe will? Or am I missing something?

    Some of the tests were impressive, but the gaming tests were certainly not "20-40%" improvement over AMD like everyone is wishing.
    Reply
  • MrKaz - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    And "will" never be.

    Don’t forget Intel was using:
    - Some special ATI driver.
    - Crossfire setup (maybe modified),

    20%~40% that you will never get, unless you have such kind of configuration.
    On non SLI/Crossfire configuration will never be higher than 5%, 10% improvement...

    And thanks that a lot to the 4MB cache, and minor processor (P3 redesign) changes.

    Don’t forget that the Intel dual core with 4MB shared cache can act as one BIG single core processor with 4MB cache and the second core with 0MB of cache for the extra “stupid” calc...
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    quote:

    And "will" never be.

    Don’t forget Intel was using:
    - Some special ATI driver.
    - Crossfire setup (maybe modified),

    20%~40% that you will never get, unless you have such kind of configuration.
    On non SLI/Crossfire configuration will never be higher than 5%, 10% improvement...

    And thanks that a lot to the 4MB cache, and minor processor (P3 redesign) changes.

    Don’t forget that the Intel dual core with 4MB shared cache can act as one BIG single core processor with 4MB cache and the second core with 0MB of cache for the extra “stupid” calc...


    LOL. I always doubt that people can be such a dumb fanboy even I see them over and over again in time.

    How do you explain Xtremsystems benchmark, and all the architectural advantages?? Did Netburst's poor showing really blind you??
    Reply
  • MrKaz - Friday, May 05, 2006 - link

    Fun boy me?

    It's you who calls him self by the stupid nick name Inteluser2000.

    Some time there are complete morons here and you are one of them.
    ME the "fan boy" has to "defend" Intel, a thing that you with your little brain can’t do.

    Read my reply to your fan boy friends, there you will find why conroe will be good, and it's not because it's Intel.... dumb moron....
    Reply
  • redbone75 - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Don’t forget Intel was using:
    - Some special ATI driver.
    - Crossfire setup (maybe modified),


    I don't think it was a "special" driver per se, if I recall the driver had some changes made in order to recognize Conroe.

    quote:

    And thanks that a lot to the 4MB cache, and minor processor (P3 redesign) changes.


    I just love how a lot of people refer to Conroe as a P3 redesign as if it's something so bad. No, it's not a P3 redesign, there are elements of what made the P3 so successful incorporated into the chip, but that's not what makes the chip so awesome. Also, so what if it is ultimately just a "P3 redesign" as you put it? You use what works, and obviously this works. Hey, the K7 core was pretty good, and K8 is so well designed that AMD can ride it for a few more years.
    Reply
  • MrKaz - Friday, May 05, 2006 - link

    "in order to recognize Conroe"

    Why they need to recognize Conroe?
    -Would work?
    -Did work but with inferior performance?
    -Special optimizations?
    -New instruction set (SSE4) support for improved performance?
    Reply
  • Questar - Thursday, May 04, 2006 - link

    Wow, some fanboys are still in denial.

    This is an interim MOBILE chip that just put the smack down on an Opteron. What's going to happen when the real thing comes out?
    Reply
  • MrKaz - Friday, May 05, 2006 - link

    When the real thing come out? That’s easy:

    Core duo plus:
    - 2MB cache (+5%~10%)
    - 2X FSB (+4%~8%)
    - 800Mhz DDR2 (3%~6%)
    - x64 support (0%)
    - Higher clock speed 2.1Ghz to 3.3Ghz (anyone can say 50% performance increase?)

    I’m not a fan boy, it’s you Intel stupid morons that can even read and make some thought why should Conroe be faster than AMD Athlon 64….

    Go back and reread the article about:
    Intel Core versus AMD's K8 architecture

    Don’t expect conroe be very different from core duo... I’m not saying that’s bad…
    Reply
  • Questar - Friday, May 05, 2006 - link

    You forgot a couple of things:

    Addidtional ALU Unit
    Twice the SSE performace
    Better code reordering
    Larger reservation station
    New micro-ops
    Reply

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