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Overclocking

At first I had some trouble enabling FSB speeds higher than 124 MHz. I actually had to go through the manual a second time to find that there is a jumper on the motherboard that enables the higher FSB speeds. By higher I mean 133 MHz to 150 MHz. If you happen to get an insanely fast Pentium III for your setup you can push it till it melts, or almost at any rate. Once I set the jumper all the higher FSB speeds were available in the BIOS setup area. For those of you who are worried, this board does feature voltage adjustments.

One thing that I'd like to point out with the FSB settings is that they go from 133 to 140 to 150. It would have made life a lot easier to see either a 135 or 138 MHz setting and possibly a couple between 140 and 150. I know for a fact that this Pentium III can run without a hitch at 138 MHz.

Conclusions

Not too long ago I had seen enough Apollo Pro boards to make me never consider looking at another one again. You can't imagine how happy I am I decided to take a look at the AX34 Pro II. This is the best Apollo Pro board I've come across - and by that I mean it is leaps ahead of the other boards I've tried. The combination of six PCI slots, four USB ports, and benchmarking results that make it very comparable to the latest Duron systems on the market make it a great candidate to build a new system with. Some people will miss the ISA slot, but for myself I haven't purchased an ISA component in 18 months and have no plans to ever buy another one again. With all those PCI slots and USB ports just about anyone should be able to pack their system full of peripherals. Also of special note are the four memory slots. When exactly did three memory slots become the industry standard? More importantly - why?

On top of being made on that really cool black PCB is the fact that the AX34 Pro II can be customized. Optional are Dr. LED and Dr. Voice. Dr. LED is a set of LED lights that plug into the board and will tell you with a color combination what has gone wrong with your install or why your board suddenly isn't working. On the same train of thought is Dr. Voice. Let your board tell you in English, German, Chinese, or Japanese what is wrong. I can think of all sorts of fun by running Dr. Voice in a language I don't speak. Now not only is there a challenge of figuring out what is wrong with the configuration but there is also someone talking in a language I can't understand a word of. I wonder if it is programmed to call someone an idiot? OK, feel free to use it in your native tongue for the purpose it was designed.

I'm hoping for a BIOS update that offers a few more speeds between 133 MHz and 150 MHz. A BIOS update that allows the memory modes of "faster" and "fastest" that I used on the AK33 board would also be much appreciated.

Victor Oshiro December 11, 2000

 





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