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
(1) x 133/100/66/33
(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


View All Comments

  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - link

    Why did someone mod this post down? I'm serious: if you put an H in brackets, the AT comments engine interprets that as "turn on white text". No insult was intended towards HardOCP; I'm merely pointing out that Frumious' post turned the text white, unintentionally. Thanks for the negative mod points.... :| Reply
  • Frumious1 - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - link

    Anyone else getting white text? What's up with that?



    Did that help?
  • goinginstyle - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - link

    At least the quote was a bit different this time but still not needed. I thought the article was great and actually one of the best ones I have read lately. It was nice to finally see two like platforms compared against each other with the same cpu speeds and components although AMD2 would have been good to see.
    You really should do more of these comparisons as the reviewing one motherboard against another in the same product family gets boring. You never see much of a variance in the scores so the only question is if it sucks or not. At least this way you review the board and compare it against something you might be thinking about buying if you are a Intel or AMD user. You honestly get to see what works best for you. It was nice to see additional real application benchmarks instead of the same old winstone that or 3dmark this.
    I was disappointed in not seeing any Photoshop benchmarks or something that has to do with graphics, it would round out your audio and video benchmarks nicely. Anyway, keep up the good work and hopefully you can do this same type of article when Conroe gets here against the AMD products.
    In the meantime props to Intel for finally showing some performance improvement without needing a nuclear powerplant for the CPU.
  • goinginstyle - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - link

    Any numbers yet? Reply
  • goinginstyle - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - link

    ....and temperature readings??? Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - link

    We pulled the charts, the AOpen board uses a thermal sensor instead of the on-chip diode so our numbers are off. Once we decide what number to utilize, these numbers will be posted. If you refer to our Yonah Preview article, the power consumption numbers are listed for the 945GM board. I posted a couple of numbers earlier in this thread with the AOpen board. Thanks.... Reply
  • goinginstyle - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - link

    Thank you for the update and hopefully we can see these numbers soon. Reply
  • BigLan - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - link

    "The rear panel contains the standard PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports, parallel port, LAN port, and 4 USB ports."

    Looking at the picture, I don't see a parallel port there and it's not listed on the specs either. Did you mean a firewire port?

    Also, how useful is the external sata connector? Does the board come with a cable to utilise the power connector?
  • Gary Key - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - link

    Sorry about that, yes, it was suppose to be Firewire. I had it corrected on my final draft and missed it twice in the edits.

    AOpen ships an excellent cable that has the drive and power port plugs together. I found the external connector to be very useful during testing on the JMicron chipset. Since I really enjoy HTPC tinkering, it will be of great usefulness for attaching or swapping large PVR drives out without entering the system. The JMicron chipset performed very well in our testing and had no issues handling Seagate's new 750GB drive.
  • BigLan - Thursday, May 4, 2006 - link

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

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