Computex 2003 - Day 2: Motherboard and Video Coverageby Evan Lieb on September 23, 2003 11:34 AM EST
- Posted in
- IT Computing
AOpen’s overall product strategy continues to be diversification. Whether it’s AOpen’s motherboards or AOpen’s computer cases, AOpen has a well diversified range of products. While we certainly can’t get into all of AOpen’s products in just one article, we’ll highlight the most significant products and tell you a little bit about them before we review them latter this year.
First up is AOpen’s Athlon 64 motherboard, based on NVIDIA’s nForce3 chipset. Formally known as CK8 (as its codename), nForce3 is a single chip solution, essentially integrating the traditional North Bridge and South Bridge. Since the memory controller is now integrated into the Athlon 64 CPU itself, the North Bridge would basically only contain an AGP controller. Obviously, NVIDIA thought it completely unnecessary to create a North Bridge with just an AGP controller, so they took their MCP-T South Bridge and basically threw in the AGP controller to create nForce3. So far, AOpen believes that nForce3 is the way to go for Athlon 64 motherboards, though their VIA solution isn’t far behind.
AOpen’s Athlon 64 motherboard based on the VIA K8T800 chipset is almost identical to AOpen’s nForce3 motherboard in terms of onboard features. The primary differences are BIOS features, stock and overclocked performance, and price.
Both AOpen’s VIA and NVIDIA Athlon 64 motherboards will be available almost immediately after AMD announces their next generation K8 CPU this week during Computex.
AOpen’s SFF (Small Form Factor), dubbed the XC Cube AV, comes in a sleek black case design and is based on Intel’s 865G chipset. Without giving away too many details before we review this product, we can tell you that the BIOS options and enthusiast potential for this SFF look quite tasty. Everything else about this SFF is also quite appealing, including the onboard IEEE 1394 FireWire, rear SPDIF ports, and the ability to include the largest modern day graphics cards in its AGP slot (Radeon 9800 Pro, GeForce FX 5900 Ultra, etc.), in addition to future AGP video cards. One of the main selling points of this SFF is its radio capabilities, which essentially doubles as an AM/FM radio. There are other additional cooling and silencing features that we’ll go into detail about later in the year when we receive this product.