AOpen's Core Duo Flagship i975Xa-YDG motherboard

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Mats
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Post by Mats » Wed Jun 21, 2006 2:33 pm

bobov wrote:
BillyBuerger wrote:Although, you could just wait another month for the Core 2. It seems this board may have a short lifespan.
The Aopen i975Xa-YDG can support Merom CPU which is mobile Conroe.
Socket 775 mobos with 975 chipset have lower prices and overclocks better. This Aopen mobo have no competition and will never sell as much as the 775 mobos will. AFAIK, there's no reason to get a Merom instead of a Conroe for desktop (unless you're upgrading a Yonah system), you'll just end up paying more.

Edit: Some overclockers may want to use Merom just because of the higher multipliers.

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Post by hmsrolst » Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:44 pm

MikeC wrote:
frostedflakes wrote:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813137082

Just noticed that it requires SODIMM, kind of odd. I actually haven't read any reviews on this board, so I can't provide any more info than is in the NewEgg link. I had just happened to spot it when shopping for my ASUS Core Duo board.
Yup, it requires notebook memory. I am guessing they did it to save space on the board... maybe.

In any case, one huge difference between the Asus board mentioned earlier and this AOpen board: The Asus has a proprietary HS mounting system and comes with a small all-aluminum HSF. The AOpen has a standard socket 478 HS retention bracket so you can use pretty much whatever you want.

Another alternative is the MSI 945GT, which has the 478 HS retention bracket and the lower price ($155) -- and also an odd option to extend the board to ATX size.

I have to agree the AOpen 945 board price seems unjustified -- tho I have not examined the details. AOpen does have something else up its sleeve -- a mini-ITX 945 board for Core Duo/Solo, and we happen to have sample! Look for this review in a couple weeks.
According to Newegg specs the MSI board supports SATA-II, whereas the Aopen 945 only supports SATA-I. This could be significant for those of us thinking of matching Merom up with the SATA-II iRAM.

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Post by hmsrolst » Wed Jun 21, 2006 3:48 pm

zoob wrote:Yeah the NB fan is quite noisy :(

One thing to note, using 4 or 5 strips of electrical tape can work well as a shim (thanks to the guys at xtremesystems.org for the tip).

The Zalman 7000-AlCu sits very loose due to the lack of IHS. I compensated for it by rolling a little rectangle of electrical tape and putting it under the "V" of the heatsink clip (requires removal of the fan). It works decently, but still not enough pressure IMO.

Anybody experience squealing coils? Mine is volt-modded so maybe that is causing the problems... :oops:
If you flip the mounting arms on the Zalman 7000, you can get very good mounting pressure. There are links to pictures on a German website an xtremesystems.org, but they're down right now.

EDIT: Near the bottom of the first post, you can find links to instructions for the 7000 (and 7700)

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/sho ... light=7000
Last edited by hmsrolst on Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ackelind
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Post by Ackelind » Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:57 am

Mats wrote:I guess this is the only CD mobo for overclocking right now.

The latter also supports the upcoming Merom CPU, I guess the other ones will do that too, but it's good to see this so early.
Where does it say that it supports Merom? I can't find it even though searching, but I just got out of bed..

It only shows support for Core Duo from what I can see, not Core 2 Duo.

Mats
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Post by Mats » Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:45 am

Ackelind wrote: Where does it say that it supports Merom? I can't find it even though searching, but I just got out of bed..

It only shows support for Core Duo from what I can see, not Core 2 Duo.
They have actually changed the list since yesterday, stange. Every Yonah model were listed before, and a 2 GHz Merom. Now they're all removed as you can see, even the Yonah CPU's, which are the only present CPU's it will work with.

I really like the model name, easy to remember: GA-8I945GMMFY-RH

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Post by jaganath » Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:54 am

I really like the model name, easy to remember: GA-8I945GMMFY-RH
Catchy isn't it, just rolls off the tongue (like a dead donkey).

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Post by MikeC » Thu Jun 22, 2006 6:21 am

Copper wrote:Mike,

Did you happen to try a 20 pin atx plug in the board? I have an older 20 pin fanless power supply that doesn't seem to make any coil buzzes or other noises. Would be a nice combo.
Yes, I do recall trying a 20-pin ATX, and it worked fine, but no substantial testing was done. In general, 20-pin PSUs work fine to power 24-pin ATX boards; only when you're pushing the power envelope does there seem to be any potential issue.

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Post by autoboy » Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:14 pm

I can think of a way for a silencer gamer to use this board. If you pair this with a powerfull X1900GT that are supposed to be coming out but use less power than the XT you could passively cool the x1900GT, get a ninja and passively cool the cpu, and have your only fans be the power supply and the case fan. As for the extra x16 slot? you could stick a passive X1300 or a passive X1600 in there and use it for physics.

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Post by Copper » Sat Jun 24, 2006 6:56 am

MikeC wrote:
Copper wrote:Mike,

Did you happen to try a 20 pin atx plug in the board? I have an older 20 pin fanless power supply that doesn't seem to make any coil buzzes or other noises. Would be a nice combo.
Yes, I do recall trying a 20-pin ATX, and it worked fine, but no substantial testing was done. In general, 20-pin PSUs work fine to power 24-pin ATX boards; only when you're pushing the power envelope does there seem to be any potential issue.
Thank you, Mike.

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Post by zoob » Wed Jul 12, 2006 5:43 am

hmsrolst wrote:If you flip the mounting arms on the Zalman 7000, you can get very good mounting pressure. There are links to pictures on a German website an xtremesystems.org, but they're down right now.

EDIT: Near the bottom of the first post, you can find links to instructions for the 7000 (and 7700)

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/sho ... light=7000
It looks like this is only for the Asus motherboard using the CT479 adapter that raises the CPU which is compensated for by flipping the mounting arms.

When I first read it I got excited, but then realized that it doesn't physically make sense in a regular 478 bracket since the arms are a "U" with the screw being at the dip.. flipping the arms would make it an "n".

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Post by hmsrolst » Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:02 pm

zoob wrote: It looks like this is only for the Asus motherboard using the CT479 adapter that raises the CPU which is compensated for by flipping the mounting arms.

When I first read it I got excited, but then realized that it doesn't physically make sense in a regular 478 bracket since the arms are a "U" with the screw being at the dip.. flipping the arms would make it an "n".
You're right. I was mixed up. IIRC, Ralf Hutter in his review of the AOpen i855GMEm-LF used the Zalman 7000 just as it was. Wouldn't that work on this board too?

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article218-page9.html

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Post by hmsrolst » Sat Jul 14, 2007 3:26 pm

I had a spare T2500 and some RAM, so I picked up one of these boards, because I wanted to use a PATA drive on its own channel. I've tried all different kinds of combinations, but I'm having problems getting the board to see both the CD and the HDD. The only way I've been able to do it, is to put the CD on the chipset PATA connector and the HDD on the RAID connector, but then Windows doesn't see that latter. Will if work if I install the RAID driver, even if I only use one drive? Thanks.

EDIT: Figured it out--just needed to go into the RAID part of the BIOS to change the setting to IDE.

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Post by Bluefront » Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:56 pm

FWIW.....this board can be had now for about $100 at ExcaliberPC. Seems like it would be a good deal at that price. Has there been any new info about this board? I'm really tempted. :) Link

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Post by hmsrolst » Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:11 pm

I've been too busy to spend a much time with it, but once I figured out how to get my setup to work, it seems like a very good deal to me. I'm using an XP-90 with a Nexus 92mm, so it's very quiet. And it's full featured. When I get a chance, I plan to move my son's system onto it and try some overclocking.

Benito
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Choosing a heatsink for the i975Xa

Post by Benito » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:27 pm

What are the best cooling solutions for this board?

- I'd like to use a Ninja with a 120 or 140 mm fan, but I'm worried about the weight: for the review, the Ninja was only installed with the board on a table. But what happens if you place your pc on the floor, and the heatsink (+fan) hangs in a 90° angle? Would that not crush my precious T7200?

- It's very important that the NB can be cooled passively. In the review, NB temps with the Zalman were way too high for me. Has anyone changed the heatsink on the NB? I have a Noctua NB heatsink here, that I'd like to use, but I'm not sure if it will fit next to a Ninja or something similar.

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Re: Choosing a heatsink for the i975Xa

Post by MikeC » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:37 pm

Benito wrote:- I'd like to use a Ninja with a 120 or 140 mm fan, but I'm worried about the weight: for the review, the Ninja was only installed with the board on a table. But what happens if you place your pc on the floor, and the heatsink (+fan) hangs in a 90° angle? Would that not crush my precious T7200?
Doubtful. 99% of CPU core damage happens during installation/removal of HS.

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Re: Choosing a heatsink for the i975Xa

Post by Benito » Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:23 am

MikeC wrote: Doubtful. 99% of CPU core damage happens during installation/removal of HS.
Thanks for your reply Mike. Of course, mobile cpu's are a lot more fragile and have a lower recommended HSF weight, so i was wondering if people actually use the Ninja on this board.

In your review of the Ninja it said 'It is light for the size. A lot of the weight is at the base, minimizing the cantilever stress effect on a vertically installed motherboard.', so i guess the Ninja is actually a good choice for this board.

If the Ninja is too heavy, maybe Thermalright's XP-120 is a better choice: it's only 370g, while the Ninja is 640g. If you add a 120 mm fan, that's another 130g (approx). BUT, with the Ninja the weight is more at the bottom, so maybe the difference is smaller than the numbers seem to show. (note: XP-120 + fan is a lot more expensive than a Ninja, at least in Belgium)

When installing the Ninja and the Zalman on the i975xa for the review, did you use one of those little square cushioning pads, as used on NB heatsinks and several heatsinks for Mobile on Desktop cpu's? My current Asus N4L-VM DH has one of those on the stock heatsink, not sure about the Aopen since i'm still awaiting delivery.

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Post by MikeC » Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:44 am

Benito --

The coolers you mentioned would not be my first choices. As I said, most CPU core damage happens during installation/removal of the HS. What you want, to avoid such damage with a bare die, is a mounting system that lets you gradually and steadily increase the pressure to the correct level. The Ninja 478 mounting mechanism does not allow that; it has fairly high pressure clips. The XP120 has super high pressure clips. Finally you're only dealing with 34W TDP, so coolers like the above are total overkill -- they're designed to handle >100W CPUs.

The best mounting system is one that uses preloaded spring bolts, like those used by Alphanovatech and Swifttech in the "old days" -- a few years ago these were top dogs in aftermarket coolers. Swiftech doesn't even do aircooling anymore, afaik, but http://www.alphanovatech.com/cat_p4_index.html does... if you can find a retailer. Alternatively, a Zalman 7000alcu with 478 mounting hardware would work well -- and be decently quiet at 5V -- or even quieter with a fan swap. But the question is whether they come with 478 hardware these days. Ralf Hutter wrote an article about using the 7000 to cool a P-M 2.0.

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Post by derekva » Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:01 pm

You could also get one of those MSI mobile pads (that's what I'm using) to protect the core. They're basically a copper shim with a foam pad around the perimeter to keep the shim from rocking and crushing the processor die. While specced for S754 Turions, they work great with Yonahs/Meroms as well.

For the record, I'm using an XP90 with my T7200 on i975Xa-YDG and that's more than enough cooler for a Merom CPU. To be honest, the bigger PITA with this board have been (a) Replacing the NB heatsink (finally went with an HR-05 IFX/SLI, which blocks one of the two PCIe x16 slots) and (b) The odd HD delay of ~ 60 seconds upon POST. Other than that, it is great!

-D

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mobile msi pads

Post by Benito » Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:49 pm

Derekva, Those mobile msi pads sound very interesting, any chance you have some more info on them, a partnr perhaps?
I have a T2400 and a T7200 (and a dothan 770), and just today I was looking at this mad experiment at Madshrimps
http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=gethow ... howtoID=39
and my conclusion was: it would be real nice to have some kind of copper IHS to place on my mobile cpu's.

Which would be best on the i975xa-ydg, especially for cooling the NB?

- Zalman cnps7000 with nexus 92mm (438gr), and a hr-05 or noctua lookalike on the NB

- Zalman cnps7700 with nexus 120mm (600g), and a low profile NB heatsink, like the blue zalmans, but maybe in copper

- Thermalright xp-90 or xp-120, with hr-05 or low profile NB heatsink (Mike C warnes about the stress on the clips, how does it work with you? those pads that safe?)

- Ninja (sorry Mike) with 120mm nexus and hr-05 (sli if necessary), so that the fan is situated between the two heatsinks, and a duct can be placed from the ninja to the exhaust fan.

Anyway, I think the MSI mobile pads are exactly what I need, so if you can provide some more info on those? It would be nice not to have to worry about the stress on the cpu die.

[edit: nevermind: https://shop.msicomputer.com/App/StoreF ... px?ID=1021 ]
Last edited by Benito on Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by MikeC » Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:03 pm

Benito --

Despite my warnings about core-chipping risks with high-tension HS clips, you can safely mount most HS without damage. You need to be very careful, and keep the pressure on the core evenly balanced as you engage the clip/tension.

I have done it at least a hundred times -- back when bare naked dies were the norm. However, I've accidentally chipped at least a couple of AMD XP chips in among those many installs/uninstalls... despite my knowledge and care.

If you like to mess with the gear, then I still recommend a Zalman 7000alcu. It has a pretty easy, very safe screw on/off system that can be used many times. Just swap the fan if you want quieter.

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Vista

Post by Benito » Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:38 am

Has anyone succesfully installed Vista on a system with this mainboard and a S-ATA hdd?

I've tried it with both bios updates that should fix the hangup during install (according to Aopen), but I still get the same hangup.

XP works fine, and I could boot through a Vista installed on an Asus n4l-vm dh once, but then Vista downloaded some updates, had to restart, and I got the same hangup again.

Of course, now I've put my hdd back into the system with the asus mainboard, and now the kind people of ms inform me that I have to buy a new license key.

So, anyone running vista on the Aopen i975xa-ydg?

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Post by Ant6n » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:02 pm

in late December this board was available for around 100$, now it suddenly seems to have disappeared, listing as discontinued or selling for 170-200$. Does anybody know of a possible good replacement (i.e. socket m, nice overclocking etc features, a lot of space around the pci express, onboard 6 channel with digital optical out, remote control)? Or maybe a secret place where this board is to be had still?

anton

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Re: Vista

Post by derekva » Sat Mar 08, 2008 9:36 pm

Benito wrote:Has anyone succesfully installed Vista on a system with this mainboard and a S-ATA hdd?

I've tried it with both bios updates that should fix the hangup during install (according to Aopen), but I still get the same hangup.

XP works fine, and I could boot through a Vista installed on an Asus n4l-vm dh once, but then Vista downloaded some updates, had to restart, and I got the same hangup again.

Of course, now I've put my hdd back into the system with the asus mainboard, and now the kind people of ms inform me that I have to buy a new license key.

So, anyone running vista on the Aopen i975xa-ydg?
Yup. 32-bit Vista Ultimate. No problems at all. See specs in .sig for details on my configuration. Did you make sure to install the SATA drivers if running in non-IDE mode?

p.s. I figured out the odd boot delay - it seems that the BIOS scans through all the various and sundry USB peripherals to see if something bootable is present on USB. Weird behavior, but not a big deal.

-D

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