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AOpen AX4B-533 Tube motherboard
By CPU-zilla
Category : Mainboard
Published by Jimmy Tang on Wednesday, 2nd October, 2002
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  

The Old Meets the New

Every once in a long while, there's always someone out there who will introduce a radical motherboard design - something that's so different and so unexpected. This time around, it is AOpen that shocked us all with the Vacuum Tube motherboard. First showcased during Computex this year, this board has received a lot of interests and it has changed how we perceive a motherboard.

AOpen's classy packaging that's sure to catch your attention.

Built by a group of dedicated engineers, AOpen has allowed the creativity of their designers and engineers to bring the plain AOpen AX4B-533 to a higher ground. Normally, such radical ideas would have been thrown right out of the Product Manager's office and never been heard ever again. However, the idea to integrate vaccuum tube amplification was not only received with enthusiasm, but was given the go-ahead to make it into a full shipping product. That's something very rare indeed and we should give AOpen a good pat on the back for daring to go where no manufacturers have gone before (ok, I'm a Trekkie fan). At this kind of economic climate, it's very daring of AOpen to pull this kind of stunt indeed.

You'll find this golden metallic emblem on the board - certainly puts it into a class of its own.

Here's the full motherboard specifications:-

AOpen AX4B-533 Tube Technical Specifications
  • Socket 478 for Intel® Pentium 4 / Celeron processors
  • Intel® Pentium 4 Processors 1.4GHz - 2.8GHz or higher
  • Intel® Celeron Processors 1.7GHz - 2GHz or higher
  • Supports processors at 400 / 533MHz front side bus
  • Intel 845E chipset (Brookdale-E)
    • AGP 4x slot (1.5V only) with 4x fast write capability
    • Supports 100/133MHz FSB
    • Supports 400/533MHz Intel NetBurst micro-architecture bus
  • Intel ICH4 chipset
    • AC'97 2.2 interface
    • Six USB 2.0/1.1 ports (3 UHCI Host controllers and 1 EHCI Host controller)
    • 2 channel Ultra ATA/100 bus master IDE controller
    • PCI Master 2.2
    • I/O APIC
Cache memory
  • CPU Built-in 256KB (Willamette) or 512KB (Northwood) L2 cache for Pentium 4
  • CPU Built-in 128KB L2 cache for Celeron
System memory
  • 3 x 184-pin DDR SDRAM DIMM
  • Supports four memory banks
  • Supports up to 2GB of PC2100 / PC1600 DDR SDRAMs
  • Supports 2.5V DDR SDRAM
  • 2 x Bus Master UDMA-33/66/100 IDE ports (up to 4 devices)
  • Support for PIO, UDMA-33, UDMA-66, UDMA-100 IDE
I/O Interface
  • 1x floppy port (360KB - 2.88MB)
  • 2x serial ports
  • 1x parallel port (SPP/EPP/ECP)
  • PS/2 Keyboard
  • PS/2 Mouse
  • 6x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2x rear and 4x front by cable)
  • Audio ports for on-board sound (Line-Out, Line-In, Mic) - with Vaccuum Tube audio amplifier
  • 1x Game port
  • 1x IrDA connector for IR/CIR
  • 1x 10/100Mbps LAN port
Expansion slots
  • 3x 32-bit PCI slots, PCI 2.2 compliant (support 3.3v / 5v interface)
  • 1x AGP 4x slot (1.5V only)
Power Management
  • Supports ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) and APM
Form Factor
  • ATX Form Factor : 30.5cm x 24.4cm
  • Fits into regular ATX case
  • 4Mbit (512KB) Flash EEPROM
  • Award Flash BIOS with PnP, ACPI and DMI support
  • Multi-boot on ZIP, ATAPI CD-ROM, SCSI, IDE #1, #2, #3, #4

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