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 Post subject: AOpen's Core Duo Flagship i975Xa-YDG motherboard
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:13 pm 
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AOpen's Core Duo Flagship i975Xa-YDG motherboard

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:58 pm 
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Right now, this motherboard is about $280 at Newegg. There's no way I'll pay that amount of money for a motherboard. I'd definitely go with the MUCH cheaper Asus N4L-VL which is darn near half the price at $145.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:25 pm 
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Yeah the NB fan is quite noisy :(

One thing to note, using 4 or 5 strips of electrical tape can work well as a shim (thanks to the guys at xtremesystems.org for the tip).

The Zalman 7000-AlCu sits very loose due to the lack of IHS. I compensated for it by rolling a little rectangle of electrical tape and putting it under the "V" of the heatsink clip (requires removal of the fan). It works decently, but still not enough pressure IMO.

Anybody experience squealing coils? Mine is volt-modded so maybe that is causing the problems... :oops:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:28 pm 
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Great Review!

Perhaps it might have been interesting to see temps with the ninja & no airflow. If your going to pair a ninja with a mobile cpu, why in the world would you use a fan at all?

Also, what is the reasoning behind 11 degree idle temps? As far as I know it's not possible to get temps below ambient, not matter how good your cooling is ! (bar peltiers and such).

As for the reasoning behind pairing a mobile cpu with a power hungry graphics card, I'm just as stumped. Perhaps there is a strong demand for a low power low noise computer that will ocasionally be used for some MAD gaming, and the two crossfire'ed cards will run idle most of the time.

Speaking of which, someone should really come out with a Cool&Quiet for Video Cards. This would be especially useful in notebook PC's. I think the main reason why notebooks are being budled with pathetic video cards is that (other than the notebook market not needing much 3D horsepower, or so they think :D) is that high-enh VGA cards still use a significant amount of power on idle. Or am I wrong about this?

Either way, there is no reason to not develop a Cool&Quiet for VGA cards, especially with Windows Vista on its way... it'd be nice to underclock/volt the card automatically while it does simple UI DirectX chores.


Last edited by cloneman on Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:29 pm 
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For the first time I can probably say I'm slightly disapponted with the article. You got the one of the very few Core Duo boards with stock S478 retention, even mounted Ninja and.... did not test it passive. I would have really liked to see the fanless temperature results on this CPU.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:52 pm 
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i'd assume/ hope that AOpen would also cater to the other extreme of the market - with IGP and a single PCIe slot. If they did, it'd make an awesome low power PC.

I would have liked to see the Ninja without fan too, but I would have also preferred to see the board tested in a case, though I appreciate the time this would take and the extra variables it would introduce. I'd assume that the ninja would cope perfectly well without a fan though, if it can cool X2 3800s with some system airflow.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:42 pm 
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AOpen does sell such a board based on the i945 chipset, but it's about $70 more expensive than the ASUS and MSI offerings.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:18 am 
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JazzJackRabbit wrote:
For the first time I can probably say I'm slightly disapponted with the article. You got the one of the very few Core Duo boards with stock S478 retention, even mounted Ninja and.... did not test it passive. I would have really liked to see the fanless temperature results on this CPU.


The T2600 Core Duo have about the same power draw as a Venice 3000+ (30W). Undervolted, they both run at about 20W. I have tried running a undervolted 3000+ fanless with a Scythe Ninja (By misstake, the nexus fans in my P180 did not start at 5V!) with very high temperatures as a result. After 3 hours, I had an idle temperature of around 60C, and I don't believe running a full load test would have worked.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:32 am 
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Quote:
I think the main reason why notebooks are being budled with pathetic video cards is that (other than the notebook market not needing much 3D horsepower, or so they think ) is that high-enh VGA cards still use a significant amount of power on idle. Or am I wrong about this?


High-end graphics cards use a significant amount of power, whether it's at load or idle. Putting one of those in a notebook would reduce battery life so much the notebook would become pointless, because its mobility would be negated by short battery life. If you are a gamer who moves their computer frequently but always runs it plugged into wall AC then it might make sense, but I can't think of any other situation where it would be the best option.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:58 am 
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frostedflakes wrote:
AOpen does sell such a board based on the i945 chipset, but it's about $70 more expensive than the ASUS and MSI offerings.


Please provide a link to more info about this board. Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 4:12 am 
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478/479 Socket Confusion:

Maybe you should explain Celeron M socket confusion as well.
The CM 300 series works with Pentium M boards,
while the CM 400 series works with Core Duo/Solo boards.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:11 am 
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The Core Duo CPUs are, in addition to being low powered, also very powerful. So, given the overclocking potential on this board, I guess it would make sense for an overclocker to have a low powered Core Duo with a power hungry SLI setup. If you overclocked the CPU enough, it won't be so low powered anymore either.

Although, you could just wait another month for the Core 2. It seems this board may have a short lifespan.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:03 am 
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hmsrolst wrote:
frostedflakes wrote:
AOpen does sell such a board based on the i945 chipset, but it's about $70 more expensive than the ASUS and MSI offerings.


Please provide a link to more info about this board. Thanks.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813137082

Just noticed that it requires SODIMM, kind of odd. I actually haven't read any reviews on this board, so I can't provide any more info than is in the NewEgg link. I had just happened to spot it when shopping for my ASUS Core Duo board.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:26 am 
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frostedflakes wrote:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813137082

Just noticed that it requires SODIMM, kind of odd. I actually haven't read any reviews on this board, so I can't provide any more info than is in the NewEgg link. I had just happened to spot it when shopping for my ASUS Core Duo board.

Yup, it requires notebook memory. I am guessing they did it to save space on the board... maybe.

In any case, one huge difference between the Asus board mentioned earlier and this AOpen board: The Asus has a proprietary HS mounting system and comes with a small all-aluminum HSF. The AOpen has a standard socket 478 HS retention bracket so you can use pretty much whatever you want.

Another alternative is the MSI 945GT, which has the 478 HS retention bracket and the lower price ($155) -- and also an odd option to extend the board to ATX size.

I have to agree the AOpen 945 board price seems unjustified -- tho I have not examined the details. AOpen does have something else up its sleeve -- a mini-ITX 945 board for Core Duo/Solo, and we happen to have sample! Look for this review in a couple weeks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:44 am 
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Looks good, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was >$300 US. :(

Can't wait for the review, though. Interesting that there's no ATX connector, this must have an onboard power supply?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:48 am 
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Quote:
AOpen does have something else up its sleeve -- a mini-ITX 945 board for Core Duo/Solo,


Awesome! That would make a brilliant silent HTPC, and looks like AOpen realise this, with DVI support and Azalia sound. Shame it's only got integrated graphics though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:54 am 
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frostedflakes wrote:
Looks good, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was >$300 US. :(

Can't wait for the review, though. Interesting that there's no ATX connector, this must have an onboard power supply?

Google lists prices from ~$270, don't think anyone has stock yet. It'll probably come down as it gets to market.

There is no ATX connector -- just a little 2-conductor jack on the I/O panel and a small notebook style 19V AC/DC adapter. Nuff said.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:38 am 
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Good review, as always. The mini-ITX looks like a real winner! 19V input, yeah! My champion for today would be the MSI 945GT with DVI, 478 retention, PCIe and a nicer price.

Just a small typo in "478/479 Socket Confusion"
article wrote:
the Core Duo / Solo also has 478 pins


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:54 am 
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cloneman wrote:
As for the reasoning behind pairing a mobile cpu with a power hungry graphics card, I'm just as stumped. Perhaps there is a strong demand for a low power low noise computer that will ocasionally be used for some MAD gaming, and the two crossfire'ed cards will run idle most of the time.


So, the thing is, the Yonah is a computing beast. It runs super cool, overclocks like a dream, whups on Athlons at similar clock speeds and positively destroys anything from the current line of Pentium 4/Ds.

Just a trifle of evidence:
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=161308

If you check out the Intel Top 10, you'll see me (bows) with a 2.0Ghz Yonah in a Dell Inspiron notebook (not mine) beating out P4s overclocked to 4ghz. Now, SuperPi is hardly the standard by which performance should be judged, but it's an impressive result. I also do a fair amount of H.264 encoding of DVDs on my 1.86Ghz Duo Latitude and the performance is stellar. I get >40fps on first passes and ~24fps on second passes which is right around realtime for most films. The Yonah is a beast. PLUS, the upcoming Merom (Core 2 Duo) will be pin compatible, as was mentioned, so investing in this board now will give you a pretty respectable upgrade path, as Intel is talking 20% performance improvement with zero extra heat/power for Merom. Not to mention EM64T, SSE4, and a truckload of L2 cache.

This board allows you to take advantage of next-generation performance now with mad overclock potential and still be positioned well for the future with the Merom launch coming up in a few months. With a beefy heatsink, you could probably get a good Yonah well into the 2.5-3Ghz range, which puts it in a category with top-end Athlon X2s in performance, albeit without the 64-bit extensions. You pay a premium for the board and the chip, mostly due to the niche as this is a chip generally intended for laptop OEMs, but you get plenty back, I think.

I, personally, am tickled pink that a motherboard OEM is putting out a current, well-featured mobile-chip desktop board. I can't wait for Shuttle to pack something like this into an XPC.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:39 am 
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zoob wrote:
The Zalman 7000-AlCu sits very loose due to the lack of IHS. I compensated for it by rolling a little rectangle of electrical tape and putting it under the "V" of the heatsink clip (requires removal of the fan). It works decently, but still not enough pressure IMO.


I use Zalman 7000-AlCu, it works very well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:56 am 
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Quote:
Just a small typo in "478/479 Socket Confusion"
article wrote:

the Core Duo / Solo also has 478 pins


It's not a typo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Core

Quote:
Yonah is supported by the 945GM, 945PM and 945GT system chipsets. Core Duo and Core Solo use an FCPGA6 (478-pin) pinout, but due to pin arrangement and new chipset functions are not compatible with any previous Pentium M motherboard.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:16 pm 
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jaganath wrote:
Quote:
the Core Duo / Solo also has 478 pins


It's not a typo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Core

Quote:
Yonah is supported by the 945GM, 945PM and 945GT system chipsets. Core Duo and Core Solo use an FCPGA6 (478-pin) pinout, but due to pin arrangement and new chipset functions are not compatible with any previous Pentium M motherboard.


I did not read it careful enough. But still:
Pentium-M and Core Solo/Duo both are available in 479 and 478 packages. Quite a confusion :/
http://processorfinder.intel.com/List.a ... =&OrdCode=
http://processorfinder.intel.com/List.a ... =&OrdCode=


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:32 pm 
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Very confusing indeed. My Core Duo is "missing" a pin. There is a hole in the motherboard ZIF socket on one corner, but no corresponding pin on the CPU. So it would appear the socket is 479, but the CPU is 478. :?:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:05 pm 
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Quote:
So it would appear the socket is 479, but the CPU is 478.


It goes like this:

Mobile Celeron: 478 physical pins, socket 478.

Celeron M: 478 physical pins, socket 479.

Pentium 4-M: 478 physical pins, socket 478.

Pentium M: 478 physical pins, socket 479.

Core Duo/Solo: again 478 physical pins, not compatible w/ S478, only w/ socket 479, and only with motherboards specifically made for CD/CS.

So there appear to be two "flavours" of socket 479, one for P-M and one for CD/CS.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_479

Quote:
Recently, Intel has released a new socket 479 with a revised pinout for its Core processor. This socket has the placement of one pin changed from the original socket 479 in order to make the different processors incompatible in the incorrect socket.


Confused? I know I am. :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:19 pm 
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Most people seem to have missed the point of this board, the fact that it is uses a low power CPU is irrelevant, it’s an enthusiasts board aimed at overclockers and gamers, hence the Crossfire support. An overclocked Yonah will match an overclocked AMD FX chip, this is its raison d’etre.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:22 pm 
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If you think that's confusing then check out my post here. :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:16 pm 
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I guess this is the only CD mobo for overclocking right now.

The Asus mobo have this strange HS mounting that I don't like. The one from MSI looks better and have P4 mounting holes, although not a P4 mounting bracket and cost a bit more. The Gigabyte mobo have the lowest price and uses a P4 bracket, looks good too.

The latter also supports the upcoming Merom CPU, I guess the other ones will do that too, but it's good to see this so early.


Last edited by Mats on Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:17 pm 
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BillyBuerger wrote:
Although, you could just wait another month for the Core 2. It seems this board may have a short lifespan.


The Aopen i975Xa-YDG can support Merom CPU which is mobile Conroe.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:22 pm 
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Mike,

Did you happen to try a 20 pin atx plug in the board? I have an older 20 pin fanless power supply that doesn't seem to make any coil buzzes or other noises. Would be a nice combo.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:24 pm 
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DaveLessnau wrote:
Right now, this motherboard is about $280 at Newegg. There's no way I'll pay that amount of money for a motherboard. I'd definitely go with the MUCH cheaper Asus N4L-VL which is darn near half the price at $145.


My apologies for mis-naming the Asus board: it's N4L-VM DH, not N4L-VL. Anyway, here's a link to a comparison between the two boards ("Performance: AOpen i975Xa-YDG vs. ASUS N4L-VM DH"):

http://xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/displa ... ing_9.html

Basically, it say's the Asus board actually performs just a tad bit better than the AOpen board in a non-overclocked mode. However, if you want to overclock, then the AOpen board gives far more options. As a non-overclocker, though, I still think practically double the price is too much of a premium for that ability.

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