The IDE connectors are located near the drive bays, however the floppy connector is at the back of the board behind the processor. The ATX power plug is located at the front of the board, right where we would have expected to see the floppy connector, so it is a little awkward. Though there are 3 DIMM slots, the board will accept up to 1. Just as the function of the heatsink is to conduct heataway from the chip, the intent of the gold coating is to conduct the heat from the chipset into the surrounding air more quickly. According to AOpen this will result in a more stable system, particularly when overclocking. Predefined processor settings are available, as are manual settings for voltage, multiplier and FSB speeds.
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Back to top. We all know who Acer is, don't we? It is one of the most successful PC companies of Taiwan, which now is an International Corporation that sell PCs mostly made from their own components. They also manufacture lots of other peripherals and are the 2nd largest motherboard manufacturer in the world. Now some of you might ask what Acer has got to do with an AOpen motherboard. Since Acer is such a large company, they have a sister-company called AOpen, which stands for Acer-Open division now you know why it's called AOpen?
This division produces far better products than Acer itself and also does its own research for new innovations not that Acer isn't good but AOpen still does it better.
Over time, AOpen has built itself a nice reputation of the most stable and well performing motherboards in the industry. Have a look at Jackie's trip to Taiwan, where he visited the AOpen factory lots of interesting pictures await you!
The whole board is based upon the AOpen AX6BC-Pro and a bit of the older AX63 as physically all the layouts is the same and so are the offered features with only the chipsets that have been changed. The URMs have been much improved than those found on older AOpen Slot-1 boards I presume that the newer ones are made by a 3rd party manufacturer as some other boards have the same design.
The board is tad bigger and spacious than many other BX motherboards of its category and the result is that most connectors are easily accessible without any hindrance. In this board, there is an adequate gap between the DIMM slots and the above mentioned connectors but in many other boards those same connectors are nearly flushed against the DIMM slots, causing inconvenience to use the 1st DIMM slot.
Cards such as the Creative-Live do not use this connector. The ATX back-panel is colour-coded according to the PC99 specification for easy identification and plugging in of connectors. I'm not sure if the heatsink is really gold-plated or just gold-coloured. I find it a bit odd but this board has 3 different jumper settings for 3 different FSB ranges. Alternatively, you still have the Auto selection jumper setting too.
The following is a tiny part I took out from the PDF manual for reference: Anyway here are all the FSB settings available: 66, 75, 78, 81, 83, 90, 95, , , , , So the overclocking prospects are very good with this board coupled with the 0. I've included here, the info from the manual:.
Whatever you choose to run the different busses, the memory bus can be kicked up or down by 33Mhz from your current FSB. This is set in the Bios under the Chipset-section. So long the power is connected to your motherboard, it will sustain the information. Now, since AOpen does provide the conventional Battery just in case, you don't have to worry about unplugging the power supply.
Very nifty and good for frequent fiddlers if you ask me : Suspend to Disk feature was first introduced by AOpen and it's still available in most of their current motherboards.
There are 2 methods to implement it. Below are more details of each, taken from the manual: APM Suspend To Hard Drive "Immediately" turns on system and goes back to the original screen before power down. You can resume your original work directly from hard disk without go through the Win95 booting process and run your application again. Suspend to Hard Drive saves your current work system status, memory image into hard disk. Windows98 and even the display card are involved in the execution of this function.
The correct way to go about implementing this feature is clearly described in PDF-format manual. This situation continues throughout all the tests. No comments. Same comments. This depends more on the video-card and cpu-speed.
The results are very similar for all other texture sizes in terms of differnce between the both motherboards. The results are very similar for Bump-Mapping Emboss in terms of difference between the both motherboards. On every test or benchmark, the results point out-right towards the BX chipset.
The Bad. In every category, it is slower and especially in games because the design of the AGP-bus or the accompanying drivers isn't as refined as Intel's. The results speak for themselves. When I started the Winbench and Winstone programs, there was a long pause, a pause I've never encountered. I thought the system hung but it was just a long delay. The same phenomenon happened in some other minor occasions but the board and system still worked flawlessly.
Even maneuvering through the BIOS looks slow! The reason I use the word 'truly' is because there are some connectors located in front of the 5th PCI and 2nd ISA slots and depending whether you connect them or not, you'll have access to use full length cards on them.
Although it's labeled, it's hard to see them within the case in one small corner. The floppy connector is placed right at the back of the Slot-1, the traditional place where AOpen places the floppy and power-supply connectors but at least the big power connector is moved up front but the floppy connector still remains there.
I'm really curious what made AOpen put the floppy connector in such an awkward position. It's a possible heat accumulating area because of the floppy cable going over the CPU.
You may try routing the floppy cable below the motherboard. If this is a board aimed at overclockers, what happened to the 3rd fan-connector? I don't think this one should have been skipped.
A bigger complain other than the 3rd fan-connector would be the lack of a proper manual in booklet form! Though setting up the board is easy with the use of the quick-start manual, it's very irritating to find out of the motherboard features, its offerings and many meanings of the BIOS menu from the CD.
A normal motherboard booklet like the ones bundled with older AOpen motherboards would have been very useful. I do hope AOpen realise my constant complain about the over-concised manual as I believe it is quite important to portray a finished product for a company of its size and calibre, and considering how much effort they have put into designing the motherboard.
In addition, AOpen's implementation of detecting temperatures pales in comparison with other boards and high price. Though this board works well, performance is slacking and minor pauses may occur time to time.
Maybe a newer BIOS or drivers could iron some kinks out. Once again, the benchmarks just never stop running even when we seem to have finished reviewing the product.
Since my test system is different from that of Vijay's the results I'm about to present here are a little different in terms of the benchmarked scores, but you should be able to make a pretty good comparison. Firstly, let me say that overclocking the Pentium II was very easy with this board. Anyway, here are more benchmark results drumroll ZD Winstone 99 Results.
VIA 4-in-1 v4. MS Pro. Note that the hard drive used in the benchmarks was only a UDMA33 hard disk. I didn't believe the scores, so I went to download the latest version of the 4-in-1 drivers and installed it. What we see was a very slight performance drop using the new drivers. This is indeed very puzzling to me. Somehow, VIA still have yet to properly tune their bus mastering drivers. Anyway, you should note that the generic drivers provided in Windows 98 Second Edition may not be the most stable driver around, although it worked fine during all my benchmarks.
In addition, the strange behaviour of these drivers seems to give varying disk benchmark results as you can see from the inconsistencies tabulated above. The scores fluctuate quite a bit and I cannot really pinpoint the exact problem, so I used the best scores out of three different separate runs.
However, when I tried to use the same settings on the MS Pro, the system showed some instability, especially when running the Winstone benchmarks. CPU-Zilla's Conclusion. I think we will just have to wait and see. But if you are dying to get your hands on a PC chipset with UDMA66 capability, then I guess this board is something that you could consider.
Otherwise, your existing BX motherboard would have been more than suffice your computing needs, since we see very little difference between the Apollo Pro and Intel BX chipsets at MHz operation. All rights reserved. ZD Winstone 99 Results Benchmark. Cache memory. System Memory. Expansion slot. Power Management. Form Factor. Test Configuration. Processor s :. Motherboard s :. Hard Drive s :. IBM Dekstar-3, 3. Video Card s :.
Bus Master Drivers:. Video Drivers:. Operation System s :. Windows 98 build 4. AXPro CA x 4.
AOpen AX63 Online Manual
Ever since Intel gave up sole licensing, VIA has been creeping up and has become a popular competitor. Now, with the recent entrance of the Apollo Pro A , it's time to clean up the Apollo Pro motherboards. Even though AOpen made an Apollo Pro Plus board -- the AOpen AX63 -- it's good to see one of the big boys in motherboards continuing to support the third party chipset manufacturers. There are not many competitors to Intel out there, but VIA has done a good job of keeping up with chipset releases.
Aopen AX63 Pro Motherboard Evaluation
Quick Links. Download this manual. Table of Contents. Always observe the following precautions before you install a system component. Do not remove a component from its protective packaging until you are ready to install it. Wear a wrist ground strap and attach it to a metal part of the system unit before handling a component.