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AOpen i915Pa-PLF Motherboard Review

AOpen i915Pa-PLF Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Aopen i915Pa-PLF motherboard is a socket 775 Intel Pentium 4 solution designed for mainstream users getting ready to upgrade a little of everything.
 78% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Aopen Mar 02 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Aopen i915Pa-PLF

Power Master?

Taking AMD's Cool 'n' Quiet lead, AOpen has implemented its new Power Master feature into the i915Pa-PLF motherboard. Basically the motherboard detects the level of CPU load and lowers or raises its clock speed (as well as the fans inside the system accordingly) depending on the task that's being done.

When users work with 2D applications like Microsoft Word or surf the internet, Power Master will lower the CPU clock speed as well as reduce the RPM of the fans that are connected to the system. This helps maintain a quiet working atmosphere. The processor utilization will actually increase slightly compared to normal operating usage, but not enough for a user to notice.

Under extremely high system loads, Power Master will not only increase the system speed to default, it will also automatically overclock the processor and system bus slightly to deal with the demand. Noise levels will also increase since somewhat since the fans will run faster, but in these instances the amount of noise the system makes is not usually an issue.

During testing we found that when the system was idle or under low loads, Power Master worked very well and the system ran nearly silent. Under heavy loads however, the system actually became unstable a couple of times when running Super Pi and Doom 3 benchmarks. It looks like AOpen might have been a bit too aggressive with the high load Power Master settings, and perhaps a BIOS update will correct this issue.

Woo, Overclocking!

AOpen is known for its mainstream-oriented boards, and with that in mind the anticipated overclockability of the i915Pa-PLF was pretty conservative.

Starting at 200 MHz FSB, we slowly raised the clock speed of the motherboard a few MHz at a time. When we hit 213 MHz we ran into a few memory related problems that lowering the memory operating frequency solved. Continuing on, we hit our next snag at 217 MHz when the motherboard would occasionally BSOD when running PCMark04, or while booting.

Increasing the Northbridge voltage to 1.65V stopped these misbehaviours. From here, things went smoothly all the way up to 237 MHz, but anything higher was a no go. Increasing the chipset voltage to 1.675V didn't help either.

I have a feeling that cooling might be the issue. With the 915P chipset on this board lacking active cooling, temperatures were probably getting a little toasty.

Inside the BIOS

In the Advanced Chipset Features section for the i915Pa-PLF motherboard have the usual memory tweaks we'd expect from a modern retail board: CAS Latency, RAS to CAS and RAS Precharge. We can also adjust the memory operating frequency as well as change a few PCI Express options.

The FSB of the motherboard can be adjusted from 200-400 MHz in 1 MHz increments. Maximum CPU voltage can go as high as 1.6V, DDR can be increased to 2.95V and NB can be increased to 1.675V. Not bad at all, and definitely much better than we've seen from AOpen in the past!

PCStats Test System Specs:
Processor:

Intel Pentium 4 3.2E

Clock Speed:

16 x 200 MHz = 3.2 GHz

Motherboards:

Gigabyte GA-8ANXP-D (925X)*
MSI 915P Neo2 Platinum (915P)*
DFI LANParty 875P-T (i875P)**
ASRock 775V88 (PT880)**
Albatron PX925XE Pro-R (925XE)*
AOpen i915Pa-PLF (915P)*

Videocard:

MSI RX800XT-VTD256*
Asus AX800XT/TVD **

Memory:

2x 512MB Crucial Ballistix DDR2-533
2x 512MB Corsair TwinX1024-3200XL Pro

Hard Drive: 40GB Western Digital Special Ed
CDROM: AOpen 52x Combo
PowerSupply: Seasonic Super Tornado 400W
Software Setup

WindowsXP Build 2600
Intel INF 6.10.1012
Forceware 66.85

Workstation Benchmarks

SYSMark 2004
Business Winstone 2004
Content Creation 2004
Winbench 99
SiSoft Sandra 2004
Super Pi
PCMark04
3DMark2001SE
3DMark05
AquaMark3
Comanche 4
X2: The Threat
UT2003
UT2004
Doom 3

* - MSI RX800XT Videocard Used ** - Asus X800XT PE videocard used

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: Aopen i915Pa-PLF
 Pg 1.  AOpen i915Pa-PLF Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Power Master?
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: SYSmark 2004
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, 3DMark2001
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, AquaMark03
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, X2: The Threat, UT2003
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom 3
 Pg 10.  Nice Specs, Nice Speed

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