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AOpen i975Xa-YDG: Closer Look

So, the AOpen i975Xa-YDG Socket 479 mainboard designed for Core Duo and Core Solo mobile processors is based on the top-of-the-line i975X desktop chipset. Intel designed this solution for a totally different application field. In fact, this chipset was initially intended for LGA 775 mainboards supporting Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors. However we shouldn’t forget that CPUs with NetBurst architecture and contemporary mobile Intel CPUs use the same front side bus aka Quad Pumped Bus. This is exactly why it becomes possible to create hybrid solutions like our today’s testing participant that supports mobile processors but is actually based on a desktop core logic set. However, I didn’t at all mean to diminish the engineering achievements of the AOpen guys, especially since AOpen i975Xa-YDG mainboard has been designed from scratch, because Intel certainly doesn’t offer any reference circuitry designs that could help the developers of solutions like that. So, AOpen i975Xa-YDG is a truly unique product.

The table below contains the main technical specs for AOpen i975Xa-YDG mainboard:

AOpen i975Xa-YDG

CPUs

Intel Core Duo/Core Solo for Socket 479

Chipset

Intel 975X (i975X + ICH7)

FSB frequency

133-320MHz (with 1MHz increment)

Overclocking-friendly functions

Adjustable processor Vcore, Vmem, North Bridge voltage
and PCI Express bus voltage.
Independently adjustable PCI Express clock rate.
Automatic CPU overclocking.

Memory

4 DDR2 DIMM slots for dual-channel
DDR2-667/533 SDRAM

PCI Express slots

2 x PCI Express x16
2 x PCI Express x1

PCI expansion slots

2

USB 2.0 ports

8 (4 – on the rear panel)

IEEE1394 ports

2 (1 – on the rear panel, via the TI 1394a controller)

ATA-100/133

1 ATA-100 channel (in the chipset)
2 ATA-133 channels
(via the ITE IT8212F controller, with RAID support)

Serial ATA

2 Serial ATA-150 channels
(with RAID support, implemented in the chipset)
1 Serial ATA-300 channel
(implemented via the JMicron JMB360 controller)

ATA RAID support

RAID 0, 1, Matrix Storage in the chipset
RAID 0, 1, 0+1 in ITE IT8212F controller

Integrated sound

8-channel HD codec: Realtek ALC880

Integrated network

Gigabit Ethernet controller: Marvell 88E8053

Additional features

None

BIOS

Phoenix-AwardBIOS v6.00PG

Form-factor

ATX, 305mm x 244mm

Although AOpen i975Xa-YDG mainboard is equipped with a Socket 479, it is compatible with far not all processors featuring this type of packaging. Only the latest 65nm Core Duo and Core Solo CPUs can work in this board, while the older Pentium M solutions will be incompatible. The issue lies with Intel’s decision to deprive these processors of their pin-to-pin compatibility, so AOpen engineers couldn’t really do much about it. However, we can confirm with all certainty that these mainboards will be compatible with the upcoming Core processors also known as Merom. AOpen i975Xa-YDG will definitely support these processors and all you will have to do to ensure that is to update the BIOS.

 
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