The chipset North Bridge is cooled down by a massive passive aluminum heatsink of a pretty common shape. The South Bridge has no cooling whatsoever.
I would like to specifically dwell on the processor cooling AOpen engineers suggest for their i975Xa-YDG mainboard. The thing is that there are no standard desktop coolers for Core Duo and Core Solo processors, because they are primarily targeted for mobile computer systems. Therefore, there is a special cooler with all the necessary retention supplied with the mainboard.
This cooler doesn’t really look impressive. It includes an aluminum heatsink with a square sole 70mm x 70mm and 33 fins 20mm tall. It is topped with a 70mm fan with the maximum rotation speed of 2,000rpm. An indisputable advantage of this cooler is its sufficient efficiency for mobile processors and at the same time quiet operation.
AOpen engineers used the former Socket 478 retention that used to be popular before. As a result, you can easily replace the default cooler shipped with the mainboard in favor of a more efficient one. The only problem that you may face in this case is the fact that Core Duo and Core Solo processors are slightly lower than the standard Socket 478 CPUs and have no integrated heat-spreader.
However, I am sure that you can eliminate this issue with anything available. For example, you can use a standard boxed Pentium 4 Socket 478 cooler on AOpen i975Xa-YDG mainboard is you put a few carton pads under the fastening clips.
Although AOpen doesn’t position its mainboard as a solution for quiet and economical systems, AOpen i975Xa-YDG mainboard supports SpeedStep technology that allows dropping the CPU speed down to 1GHz in idle mode.
Therefore, the awkwardly implemented hardware monitoring of the CPU status leaves a strange impression. While Intel introduced a more precise mechanism for core temperature control using the built-in diode in its new Core Duo and Core Solo processors, AOpen i975Xa-YDG doesn’t use this diode at all. To get the thermal measurements they use the diode beneath the processor socket, which is a truly archaistic method generating huge measuring errors.
In conclusion to our mainboard features discussion i would like to say a few words about the bundle. The mainboard we received for our test session arrived not in its authentic box without any accessories. However, the company representative assured us that the mass mainboards (the existence of which is still quite questionable) also come bundled with an IrDA port and a remote control unit that allows to start and navigate through multimedia applications as well as perform processor overclocking in real time.