While we did encounter a few issues with the
beta board we received for testing that kept us from including any overclocking
results, this did not affect stability or performance of the system
during stock tests. We're pretty sure this is isolated an issue as well so
it is not going to bear in the final weighting of the results.
we're pretty impressed with what the AOpen AX4SPE Max has to offer. The board
has six onboard USB 2.0 ports (two on a riser), Gigabit LAN, 5.1 audio, IEEE
1394, four Serial ATA/Serial ATA RAID ports and dual BIOS's!
If you feel the need to expand the AOpen AX4SPE MAX
has six PCI slots as well as an 8x AGP port.
seen from the benchmarks, when teamed
up with a Pentium
4 3.0C processor, performance of the AOpen AX4SPE MAX and its' Springdale chipset is
very nice indeed. Most surprising was the performance increases in
the office based benchmarks; SysMark2002 and the Winstone
2002 tests. Depending on the tests, and hardware used, the AOpen AX4SPE Max was
between 5-15% faster then the Abit IT7 MAX2 Rev2 which was
one of the fastest i845PE motherboards on the market!
pretty easy to see AOpen are thinking about the end user with this motherboard. All the ports are
located near the edges of the PCB which allow for easier access. The motherboard
is not quite as well labelled as some of the other AOpen motherboards we
have tested in the past, but even novice users need not worry. The manual is
extremely detailed and easy to use, and quick start guide is done in
colour which can also be rather helpful.
With a retail price of $270 ($194 US) the AOpen AX4SPE is one of
the more expensive i865PE motherboards on the market, but that's expected when you factor
in all the integrated peripherals. Bottom line, AOpen's AX4SPE MAX is a very
good feature loaded board for mainstream desktop PC's - paired with a 800FSB P4
it offers great value in light of the more expensive Canterwood option.
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