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AOpen AK79D-400 Max (nForce2 Ultra 400)
By Vijay Anand
Category : Mainboard
Published by Jimmy Tang on Monday, 17th November, 2003
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars   (Most Value For Money Award)

Max Features At Attractive Price

The AMD Athlon 64 has arrived but unlike the strong hype and discussion surrounding the product, the actual take up rate is anything but brisk because of the high costs and as well as limited availability for the time being. For now, it is very much relegated to those with big pockets and extreme gamers. Currently, an Athlon 64 motherboard and CPU combo can set you back as much as three times that of a mid-range Socket-A motherboard with a sub 2500+ CPU model. Even with a sub 3000+ CPU model, the change to an Athlon 64 platform would be twice as expensive. Till they are more affordable, the majority of users targeting at affordable setups on the AMD platform would opt for existing Socket-A motherboards and CPUs that make more economical sense.

With AMD’s Athlon 64 motherboards already available, this would be the start of the fall in prices for the Socket-A platform, so there’s no better time than now to get them. This is why we present you readers more and more choices of Socket-A motherboards and what better chipset to consider than the NVIDIA nForce2 platform where performance is top priority. The AOpen AK79D-400 Max we present in this review is based on none other than the nForce2 Ultra 400 SPP that officially supports FSB400 CPUs. The Southbridge of choice for this board is the more feature packed MCP-T, but AOpen has supplemented it with third party ICs and some of AOpen’s own in-house engineered chips that offer even more good stuff.

In the AK79D-400 Max’s package, you’ll find the following:-

  • AOpen AK79D-400 Max motherboard
  • I/O Shield
  • User’s Guide
  • Easy installation Guide (in full color)
  • 1 x ATA-133 cable
  • 1 x Black ATA-33 cable
  • 1 x Black Floppy cable
  • 1 x SATA data cable
  • 2-port Firewire bracket
  • Game port bracket with 2 x USB ports
  • S/PDIF In/Out bracket
  • Drivers CD with Bonus-Pack
  • Norton AntiVirus 2003

    Below are the summarized technical details of the motherboard, but do read on to get more acquainted with the motherboard and its performance.

    AOpen AK79D-400 Max Technical Specifications
    • Socket A for AMD Athlon XP / Duron processors
    • AMD Athlon Processors up to 1.4GHz
    • AMD Athlon XP Processors 1500+ to 3200+
    • AMD Duron Processors up to 1.3GHz
    • Supports processors at 200 / 266 / 333 / 400MHz front side bus
    • NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400 SPP North Bridge
      • Supports DDR200 / DDR266 / DDR333 / DDR400 memory technology up to 3GB
      • 200 / 266 / 333 / 400MHz front side bus
      • AGP 4x/8x (1.5V only)
      • Dynamic Adaptive Speculative (DASP)
      • DualDDR Memory Architecture
      • HyperTransport Bus (800MB/s)
    • NVIDIA nForce2 MCP-T South Bridge
      • NVIDIA Audio Processing Unit (with Dolby Digital Interactive Content Encoder)
      • NVIDIA StreamThru
      • NVIDIA Enhanced Communications Suite
      • NVIDIA DualNet
      • 2-channel Ultra ATA 133/100/66/33 Bus Mastering IDE controller
      • Supports up to six USB 2.0 ports
      • IEEE1394a/Firewire controller
      • Supports AC-97 audio and MC-97 modem codec
      • PCI 2.2 interface
      • HyperTransport Bus (800MB/s)
    Cache memory
    • CPU Built-in 512KB (Athlon XP -Barton core) or 256KB (Athlon/Athlon XP) or 64KB (Duron) L2 cache
    System memory
    • 3 x 184-pin DDR SDRAM DIMM
    • Supports DDR 200/266/333/400 DIMM Module
    • Supports 2.5V DDR SDRAM
    • Supports a maximum of 3GB of memory with 1GB DIMM
    • Dual DDR Memory Architecture
    • 2 x bus master UDMA-33/66/100/133 IDE ports (up to 4 devices)
      • Support for PIO, UDMA-33, UDMA-66, UDMA-100, UDMA-133 IDE devices
    • On-board Promise PDC20375 ATA-133 IDE / SATA controller supports 2 x ATA133 and 2 x Serial ATA hard drives
    I/O Interface
    • 1x floppy connector (360KB - 2.88MB)
    • 1x serial port
    • 1x parallel port (SPP/EPP/ECP)
    • 1x PS/2 Keyboard
    • 1x PS/2 Mouse
    • 6x USB 2.0 ports (2x ports in the rear, 4x ports via brackets)
    • 2 x IEEE1394a/Firewire ports on Bracket (via Agere FW802B PHY)
    • 1x IrDA TX/RX header for SIR/ASKIR/IRDA
    • Audio ports for on-board sound (Line-Out, Line-In, Mic) based on 6-channel Realtek ALC650 AC'97 sound codec and NVIDIA SoundStorm APU.
    • S/PDIF-In/Out Bracket
    • 1x  RJ-45 10/100 LAN port (NVIDIA controller)
    Expansion slots
    • 5x 32-bit PCI slots, PCI 2.2 compliant
    • 1x ACR slot
    • 1 x 1.5V / 0.8V AGP 2.0/3.0 (2x/4x/8x mode) slot
    Power Management
    • Supports ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface)
    • Supports Suspend to RAM / Disk (S3 / S4)
    • PC2001 Compliant
    • WOR by PME
    • Power-on by switch, keyboard
    • Power-off by Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/NT shut down and switch
    Form Factor
    • ATX Form Factor : 30.5cm x 24.5cm
    • Fits into regular ATX case
    • 4Mbit (512KB) Flash ROM
    • Award Flash BIOS with PnP, APM, DMI, and ACPI support
    • Multi-boot on LS120, ZIP, ATAPI CD-ROM, SCSI, IDE #1, #2, #3, #4
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