AOpen AX4SG Max motherboard review

With the launch of the new 800MHz FSB Pentium 4 CPU's Intel also announced two new chipsets, the Canterwood for high-performance systems, and the Springdale chipset which is a little bit cheaper. The only big difference between both is that the Canterwood chipset supports ECC (Error Correcting) Memory and officially supports Intels PAT (Performance Acceleration Technology). But more about that later because some motherboard makers have enabled the PAT on their Springdale motherboards. Probably the Canterwoods have passed some sort of quality test, I guess that is the real difference between these two chipsets. The motherboard we have on our test bench for this review is a Springdale one from AOpen, the AOpen AX4SG Max.

The chipset used on this board is the Intel 865G Springdale chipset

This chipset features some really interesting technologies. It supports the 800MHz FSB bus, Dual Channel DDR400 memory, AGP 8X Graphics, Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics 2 graphic controller, integrated Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0, integrated AC '97 sound controller, Serial ATA, Intel RAID Technology, Hyper Threading,...

Motherboard Features

Motherboard Specifications

What is Serial ATA (SATA)?
SATA is a new standard that will replace the parallel ATA within a few years. SATA offers more bandwidth (150MB/s), and will even become faster in the future (Up to 600MB/s is planned). Also nice about it are the thin cables which still allow a lot of airflow in your case. This motherboard supports 4 SATA devices, two are controlled by the Intel ICH5R southbridge chipset, and the two other ones are controlled by the Silicon Image SATA controller.
Item Parallel ATA Serial ATA
Bandwidth 100/133 MB/Sec 150/300/600 MB/Sec
Volts 5V 250mV
Pins 40 7
Lenght limit 18 inch (45.72cm) 1 meter
Cable Wide Thin
Ventilation Bad Good
Peer-to-Peer No Yes

Onboard Ethernet
The BCM5702 is a fully integrated 32-bit 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet Media Access Control and Physical Layer Transceiver solution for high performance network applications. The BCM5702 is a highly integrated solution combining triplespeed, IEEE 802.3 compliant Media Access Controller (MAC), PCI bus interfaces, on-chip buffer memory, and integrated physical layer transceiver in a single device. The BCM5702 is fabricated in a low-voltage .13um CMOS process, providing a low-power system solution. By itself the BCM5702 provides a complete single-chip Gigabit Ethernet NIC or LOM solution.

Onboard Audio
  • High-performance CODEC with high S/N ratio (>90 dB)
  • 18-bit ADC and 20-bit DAC resolution
  • Compliant with AC'97 2.2 specifications
  • 18-bit stereo full-duplex CODEC with independent and variable sampling rate
  • 4 analog line-level stereo inputs with 5-bit volume control: LINE_IN, CD, VIDEO, AUX
  • 2 analog line-level mono inputs: PC_BEEP, PHONE_IN
  • Mono output with 5-bit volume control
  • Stereo output with 5-bit volume control
  • 6 channel slot selectable DAC output for multi-channel applications
  • 2 MIC inputs, which are software selectable
  • Power management capabilities
  • 3D Stereo enhancement
  • Embedded 50mW/20ohm OP at front LINE output
  • External amplifier power down capability
  • Digital S/PDIF output
  • Digital S/PDIF input (ALC650 Rev. E or later)
  • No external crystal/clock required
  • Supports 1 general purpose I/O pin
  • Power supply: digital: 3.3V; analog: 5V/3.3V
  • Standard 48-pin LQFP package

Onboard VGA
The Extreme Graphics 2 core supports the latest 2D and 3D APIs, delivering real-life environment and character effects. A 256-bit internal path enables up to four textures per pixel on a single pass for super light maps, atmospheric effects, and more realistic surface details. Flexible display capabilities enhance the personal computing experience, offering significant benefits for applications requiring 32bpp and higher display resolution.

Added: July 4th 2003
Product reviewed: AOpen AX4SG Max motherboard
Reviewer: LSDsmurf
Score: 9/10
Page: 1/5

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Comment #1 posted by LSDsmurf on 2003-08-26 12:58:23
BIOS updates are avaible at