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AOpen AK33 SocketA Motherboard

About a month ago I reviewed a SocketA board made by Azza. Although I was quite impressed with its stability it left a few things to be desired. I decided to start looking around for another board that might satisfy my SocketA interest better. Turns out that the AOpen AK33 is quite a different board than the Azza KT133BX. I'm sure you've all heard of AOpen - they make just about every computer comonent conceivable. For instance, a brief look at their site shows that they make motherboards, video cards, network components, cases, memory, and much more. As a matter of fact, if you wanted to build a computer with components from only one company you'd be able to do that with AOpen.

The Board
  • Socket A AMD CPU support
  • VIA KT133
  • Award System BIOS
  • Onboard AC97 sound
  • 1 AGP, 5 PCI
  • 3 Dimm slots
  • 3D PCI sound on board
  • 305mm x 244mm

AOpen's AK33 Webpage

(+,-) $119 USD

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First Impressions

The first thing I'd like to point out about AOpen is that their boards come in a box that feature a window. Why is that important? I just thought it was cool that you could actually see what you are buying. Included in the box is a clear tray (that's how they get that window effect) which is just about the best way I've seen to house a motherboard in transit. Once sandwiched in this tray you know that no delivery service employee can hurt your new board.

Inside the tray you will also find some of the best documentation I've seen. Not only does AOpen include the normal manual (which is very complete) - they also throw in a quick start-up guide that folds out like a map. You can follow the guide to make sure you make your connections properly and be up and running in just minutes. Also in the box are the ATA-66 80 pin ribbon cable, a normal 40 pin ribbon cable, and the floppy ribbon. I thought it was really neat that they included a plate to replace your ATX plate for your case. This is because the AK33 only has one on-board COM port. Rather than leave the back of your case with an unused opening under this COM port they threw in the standard plate that should work with any ATX case. Nice touch. Speaking of throwing stuff in - how does a copy of Norton Antivirus 5 and Antivirus 2000 sound? Antivirus 5 can be found on the disk which includes the drivers for the board and Antivirus 2000 came on its own CD.


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