AOpen i915Ga-PLF with Power Master

CPUs|Motherboards
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April 13, 2005 by Mike Chin

Product
AOpen i915Ga-PLF (E)
Socket 775 ATX motherboard w/ IGC
Manufacturer
AOpen
Selling Price
~US$120

The differences between many PC components and products are often superficial. The shorter the product life cycle, the more this truism holds true; there's no time and little incentive for manufacturers to do anything beyond the reference design that might take more money or effort, so the products are even more alike than usual under surface cosmetics.

Retail packaged motherboards are perfect examples of this trend. The time before the next chipset or improved chipset version seems no more than a few months. Manufacturers barely have time to copy the reference design from the chipset maker, create a few feature mixes that might be somewhat unique along with the next cosmetic / color theme, and get the new series out in the stores with enough marketing hooks to have a chance of grabbing the attention of bewildered potential buyers. Such is business as usual in the PC industry.

Once in a while, a genuine innovation is introduced by engineering, but it gets lost in the rush to market, in the marketing mix-blitz. We have a case in point in the AOpen i915Ga-PLF under review here. The specific feature in question is something their marketing department calls by the innocuous, generic-sounding term, Power Master. I won't give it all away immediately; suffice it to say Power Master is a unique feature and can only be found on two other AOpen Intel 915 chipset boards at time of writing.

A quick introduction to this socket T Intel 915G chipset ATX motherboard:


The retail box has a peek-a-view window.


All the contents are held in a tough plastic box.

The i915Ga-PLF is a fairly full-featured board missing only the processor and memory. Here are the specs from AOpen web page:

AOpen i915Ga-PLF Specifications

Processor

Intel LGA775 CPU
Socket 775, 800Mhz

Chipset Intel 915G, ICH6
Super I/O Winbond (W83627THF)
Clock Gen Realtek

Memory

Dual-channel DDR400 [PC3200]
DDR DIMM x 4
DIMM Type: 256/512MB & 1GB
Max Memory: 4GB

Graphics

16X PCI Express slot
Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900
Support ADD2 Card

Audio

Realtek AC'97 CODEC on-board (AC97(ALC850) )
7.1 Channel and above

Network

Realtek Gigabit PCI LAN Chip (8110S)

IDE

ATA100 & Serial ATA 150 Controller
Max Disk: 136 million GB [by 48 bits LBA Spec.]

USB

Integrated in chipset, 2.0 ports x 2

IEEE 1394 Agere 1394 Control Chip
Slots PCI Express (PCIe x1) x 2
PCI Express x16 Graphics (PCIe x16) x 1
PCI x 3
Storage & Back Panel I/O Floppy Drive Connector x 1
IDE Channel
ATA100 x 1Serial ATA Channel x 4
PS/2 Keyboard x 1
PS/2 Mouse x 1
USB Port x 4
LAN Port x 1
VGA Port x 1
COM Port x 1
Printer Port x 1
Speaker_Out x 1
Line_In x 1
MIC_In x 1
On Board Connector Front Panel x 1
Front Audio x 1
CPU FAN x 1
System FAN x 1
Chassis FAN x 1
Power FAN x 1
Power Temperature Connector x 1
Case Open Connector x 1
CD_IN x 1
IrDA x 1
COM2 x 1
Game Connector x 1
IEEE 1394 x 2
USB Port x 4
BIOS Award PnP 4Mb Flash ROM BIOS
Form Factor / Size ATX / 305 mm x 210 mm

Software & Utility

Acrobat Reader
AOconfig utility
EzClock utility
EzInstall utility
EzSkin utility
EzWinFlash utility
Norton Anti-Virus
Online eBook Manual
SilentTek Software
WinDMI utility

Accessory

Easy Installation Guide x 1
Enhanced Full Pictured Manual x 1
Bonus Pack CD disc x 1
Norton Anti-Virus CD disc x 1
Floppy Disk cable x 1
80-wire IDE cable x 1
Serial ATA cable x 1
Serial ATA Power cable x 1
Back Panel I/O Shield x 1



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