High speed operation of a complicated piece of electronics full of conductive traces in complex patterns, without interference problems, is tricky. This seems simple enough, but changing the FSB also changes the speeds at which other buses in the computer run. And many host based modems have compatibility problems with some other modems. Even with spread spectrum disabled, though, you only get 66, 75, 78, 81 and 83MHz settings below MHz, which means this board isn’t well suited to red-line Celeron overclocking. Performance differences between computers with different motherboards, if there are any to speak of at all, come from the motherboards’ extra features, like CPU and RAM overclocking and faster hard disk interfaces. But if you don’t like the AC97 sound, you can always disable it. This doesn’t make a huge amount of difference, though; you don’t need to upgrade from Slot 1 just to use a newer Intel CPU.
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It clearly doesn’t add much to the price of the board. The FSB steps are, however, quite small enough that you should be able to wind up a MHz FSB CPU about as far as it’ll go – which may be considerably further than it could manage on an older motherboard. The AMR slot’s pretty much useless.
What you get Unlike the old black AX6BC, the black AX34 comes in a box with a window and a see-through clamshell plastic case, so it doesn’t look normal even sitting on the shelf. Performance differences between computers with different motherboards, if there are any to speak of at all, come from the motherboards’ extra features, like CPU and RAM overclocking and faster hard disk interfaces.
Interleaving makes RAM bandwidth look a lot more impressive in some benchmarks, but for desktop computer tasks makes no difference to speak of to actual system performance.
AOpen AX34 Pro II motherboard
But if your RAM can’t manage it, it doesn’t matter with a board like this. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying, though. And very high FSBs – at the moment, MHz still qualifies as aope high” – make large demands on the motherboard design. It’s got the standard ATX mounting screw holes, but it may be a tight fit in smaller cases.
The AX34 puts the big fat CPU power supply smoothing capacitors far enough away from the processor socket that there should be room to mount the most outrageous of chip coolers. There’s also the usual drivers-and-manual CD, that gives you the manual again in Adobe Acrobat format as well as the support software for the board, and a free copy of Norton AntiVirus v6.
AX34 Pro II AOPEN Motherboard Mainboard Driver Manual BIOS
Four drives only, but no boot difficulties. Then again, quite a few Coppermine Celerons are happy at MHz or even a bit more – with, as usual, a bit more voltage and a chunky cooler – if that’s the case with yours, ik AX34 Pro II is fine.
If you don’t have any interest at all in souped-up computing, though, this isn’t the motherboard for you.
This is a neat feature for anyone that wants to install more than the usual four drives two drives can be connected to each motherboard IDE socketbut buggy drivers and occasional difficulties in booting from anything but the slower Via hard disk controller made the dual-controller ad34 a tad annoying. AOpen also refer to this board in their press bumf as “Black Beauty”.
VIA Apollo Pro 133A Motherboard Roundup – July 2000
Give Dan some money! Higher voltage means more heat. There’s a good chance it will.
Overclockers also tend to have computers full of fans. When this popular Taiwanese computer gear maker AOpen’s the separate-components division of Acer feels particularly proud of a motherboard, they make a version with a black PCB and a shiny silver heatsink on the main aopfn. The latter option actually makes no perceptible difference to system speed – all it does is slightly reduce overall RAM latency, which for desktop tasks achieves three-fifths of nothing in particular.
Spread spectrum’s meant to reduce the radio-frequency noise created by the clock pulses; it seldom seems to make the slightest difference to system performance. And you may well have cause to do so.
AMR modems are dirt cheap it’s now possible to buy them retail – only system integrators could get them at first but they’re all “host based modems” that need special drivers in order to work. It’s a very intuitive way to see how far the POST got – there are eight lights, and the first seven illuminate from right to left to indicate CPU, memory, video, PCI, audio, hard drive and keyboard status. It’s a motherboard status panel that mounts in the front of a drive bay and has eight lights to show you how the Power On Self Test POST is progressing, and where it’s stopped, if it fails.
That aopwn mean the board’s not happy running CPUs at stock speed – but if that’s all you want to do, you might as well buy aopwn cheaper motherboard. Unlike the old black AX6BC, the black AX34 comes in a box with a window and a see-through clamshell plastic case, so it doesn’t look normal even sitting on the shelf. For hardware enthusiasts, though, a black board with all the latest twiddly bits makes an excellent core for the latest revision of their screaming top-spec game machine.
Review: AOpen AX34 Pro II motherboard
The AX34 Pro II would be an excellent choice for the Ji overclocker even if it was the same boring green as most other motherboards; xa34 black-and-silver look is a bonus. Not that the Pro II’s particularly expensive.
AOpen point out, “If you place the switch to the middle, you will not be able to boot your system, thus you can protect your data ROM molesting.
It just says the name of the aaopen subsystem, in English, Chinese, Japanese or German, depending on the setting of another jumper block. There’s no point using the AMR slot for audio, because the AX34 Pro II, unusually for an overclockers’ board, includes ACcompliant plain vanilla audio hardware, with the usual couple of inputs and single output on its rear-panel connector block, and on-board connectors for internal sound sources like modems and CD-ROM drives.
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