Motherboard: AOpen AK89 Review :: Introduction

04-07-2004 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

AOpen has been around making motherboards, video cards, and other computer components for over 7 years now. The consortium that they belong to has been making computer components even longer as the parent company of AOpen, Acer has been making computer components since 1983. That's a long time in computer terms. 20 years ago I was on a Atari 800XL with 64KB of RAM. Many companies have come and gone in that time frame, with companies like NVIDIA not even existing in 1983 (NVIDIA came into existence in 1993).

AOpen has made motherboards from multiple chip vendors over the years including Intel, NVIDIA, Via, SIS and the other chipset manufacturers. I've used AOpen's Intel 865PE motherboard, the AX4SPE Max and find it an excellent Intel 865 board. AOpen has also made motherboards for the relatively new AMD Athlon 64 platform, with this board being the first AOpen AMD board I have tested and the second motherboard from them.

It seems to be amazing to me that the Athlon 64 was released late last year (September of 2003). The Athlon 64 is the first commercially available 64-bit computing platform for the Windows PC environment. While Intel will include 64-bit extensions in their desktop processors later this year with Yamhill, AMD has been successful with their new CPUs, with the lower end of the price range of AMD Athlon 64 CPUs (3000) being in the under $200 range on Pricewatch. NVIDIA's nForce2 chipset dominated the AMD Athlon marketplace in the early part of 2003. It's no surprise, therefore, that the motherboard manufacturers would make boards based upon the successor chipset, the nForce3. AOpen released an nForce2 chipset motherboard and now a nForce3 150 chipset board the AK89 Max. So let's see what this board has to offer shall we?