Aopen AX63 Pro Motherboard Evaluation

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For the past few years, AOpen has been quick to embrace new technologies, including from sources other than Intel. They were one of the first manufacturers to support the VIA MVP3 chipset and AMD K6-2 processors, the VIA Apollo Pro and now the Apollo Pro133 chipset. Though Intel was making threats to sue VIA and any manufacturer who used this chipset back in August, AOpen stood fast. The resulting motherboard is the AX63 Pro.

Though VIA has gained the unfortunate reputation of producing inferior chipsets, particularly when it comes to performance, our tests show that the Apollo Pro133 chipset compares very favorably to the BX chipset under Windows 98 and Windows NT. Using PC133 SDRAM the BX was only 2% or so faster, however we also tested the AX63 Pro with VCSDRAM from NEC, and found that in all cases the AX63 Pro showed a very slight performance edge in all tests under Winstone 99 (business and high-end) and 3DMark99 Max Pro. The only difference between the two systems was the motherboard, and both were set to ‘Turbo Default’ values in the BIOS, with the exception that CAS Latency was set to ‘3’ for 133MHz FSB settings.

Our test system included an AOpen AX63 Pro Pentium II 400MHz, 128MB PC133 SDRAM (several manufacturers), W.D 8.4GB UDMA/66 HDD, a Matrox Millenium PCI card (8MB) and a Voodoo3 3000 AGP card (16MB). Tests with SCSI equipment included an Adaptec AHA-2940UW and Domex 3192U adapters (both PCI), Quantum 540MB SCSI-1 HDD and Toshiba TA5401B 4x CDROM.


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