AOpen AX4PE Max Motherboard Review



The Pentium 4 scene has changed several times since the chip was first introduced. Some of these changes caused many users to stray to AMD’s (at the time) more stable architecture, attractive price, and competitive performance.

It appears now that the politics over the Pentium 4 have ceased, the architecture matured, and the cost of ownership has become affordable once more. In my opinion, the turning point of the P4’s outlook occurred when DDR memory was supported, and has been advancing with the support of DDR333.

Aopen is a veteran motherboard maker but has never really been able to break into the enthusiast market, focusing mostly on OEMs. Their latest product breaks the mold by laying the features on thick, while keeping their distinctive sleek black colored PCB, which looks great (especially combined with other colored PC cards).

This latest motherboard utilizes Intel’s I845PE chipset, using DDR333 SDRAM and increasing the Pentium 4’s throughput with a 533 FSB. A lot of thought has been put into the board, and AOpen lets you know: as they list many features that most people would never notice if not mentioned. The board incorporates onboard sound, onboard LAN, USB 2.0, Firewire, Dual BIOS, Serial ATA and ATA133 plus many other nice features that make this board a real value.

AOpen is Back in Black!


  • 533MHz FSB (but only with DDR333)
  • 800MHz FSB overclocking (with a BIOS update)
  • PC2700 / PC 2100 / PC 1600 DDR SDRAM
  • Hyper-threading support
  • 3 Phase power regulation circuit
  • signal timing optimizations on board
  • EzWinFlash BIOS
  • Open JukeBox CD Player
  • Vivid BIOS technology
  • Realtek RTL8100BL 10/100Mbps LAN controller
  • Realtek ALC650 AC’97 2.2 Audio CODEC (5.1 channel)
  • Dr. LED diagnostic option
  • Dr. Voice II diagnostic
  • 6 USB 2.0 ports
  • Ultra DMA 100 / 133 support
  • S/PDIF interface
  • Battery-less and Long Life Design
  • 1 Mhz Stepping Frequency Adjustment