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Click for large image of AOpen i855GMEm-LFS.
AOpen's entry is a full featured Micro-ATX
board that resembles their typical socket 478 motherboards, even down to the
heatsink retention bracket around the CPU socket and the black colored PCB.
The Intel mPGA-479 CPU socket is in the usual location near the
top edge. This socket looks similar to socket 478
for P4, but their pinouts are electrically
different, meaning processors will not interchange. The Socket
479, while still a ZIF design, holds the CPU in place with a 180° turn of a locking screw
instead of a lever. This low profile socket design
is most often found in notebooks and quite easy to use.
AOpen board showing low profile CPU socket and the handy P4-style retention
The socket 478 plastic heatsink retention bracket is probably the nicest features of the AOpen board: It lets
you choose from an ocean of P4 heatsinks.
AOpen actually includes a CPU cooler, a simple finned aluminum
heatsink with an 80mm x 15mm fan. The fan is rated for 1900 rpm and <24dBA.
Included HSF cools well and is pretty quiet.
Next to the CPU socket is the 855MCH chipset. This "northbridge"
is passively cooled with an extruded aluminum heatsink, cleverly formed into
the name AOpen. Nothing like a little free advertising,
eh? [Editor's Note: This AOpen logo HS is also used in some of their SFF motherboards.]
"Function follows form"? AOpen's passive NB heatsink.
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