CPU Support Slot-1 Chipset Intel i440 BX Memory 3 168-Pin DIMMs, Max Mem 768 MB L2 Cache On-Chip (512K, 128K) Form Factor ATX Expansion Slots 1 AGP, 5 PCI, 2 ISA Bus Speeds Supported 66, 68, 75, 83, 100, 103, 112, 117, 124, 129, 133, 138, 143, 148, 153 Multipliers Supported 3.5x-8x BIOS Award
"Just the facts ma'am"
The AOpen AX6BC
Pro is a Slot-1 ATX 440BX motherboard featuring 1 AGP slot, 5 PCI slots and 2
ISA slots. It complies with the PC-99 standard (if you exclude the 2 ISA slots).
So you get the pretty colored connectors in the back so that you don't get
confused hooking up your peripherals. The one thing that stands out when you
first look at the PCB is the gold plated heat sink covering up the chipset. AOpen claims that the gold plating aids in transferring heat more efficiently. I don't particularly buy that, but it looks extremely cool anyway. The board's footprint is relatively small measuring a mere 305mm X 202 mm. Basically it's a bit bigger than a standard 8.5x11 sheet of paper. The board is laid out pretty well. One of my biggest pet peeves is the placement of the ATX power connector on the motherboards in general. It seems that companies such as ABIT like to place their connector in such a way that the power supply wire has to come over the processor in order to connect.
Fortunately that's not the case with this
motherboard. The ATX connector is placed on the edge of the PCB right next to
the last DIMM slot. Of course, the area occupied by the ATX connector on this
board just happens to be the area that's occupied by the floppy drive connector
on just about any other board I've seen. So, where do you think the floppy drive
connector is located on this board? Yep, you guessed it, its located where the
ATX power supply connector resides on the ABIT boards which I have such a big
problem with. So now, instead of having the power supply cable going over the
processor, you have the floppy drive cable going over the processor. Kind of
moronic in my opinion.
But, oh well. The board features 3 DIMM slots for a total memory capacity of 768 Megs. One thing that impressed me about the board was the nine HUGE capacitors concentrated around the processor connector. I had a feeling that stability was not going to be an issue with this bad boy. We'll get to that in a minute.
AX6BC Pro features a jumper less CPU menu setup. From within the BIOS you are
able to set the CPU multiplier and bus speed. This baby supports a plethora of
bus speeds ranging from 66 MHz all the way up to 153 MHz. You can also adjust
the CPU core speed up to a maximum of 2.20 volts. The maximum voltage is not the
usual 2.30 maximum that I've been used to seeing, but I guess AOpen decided to
play it safe on that respect. For the purposes of this review the 2.20 maximum
voltage didn't present me with any problems, but that .1 volt could mean the
difference between a stable and unstable processor when trying to overclock.