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Reviewed: Aopen AK72
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: November 1st, 2000
Page: 3

Unfortunately for most of the people looking to buy this motherboard, there are a good amount of just plain useless features. AC '97 sound support may sound fun, but any gamer will instantly drop in their own sound card. While any sound support takes CPU power, using the CPU to process it all is just a silly idea, especially in a market where every little compute cycle is prized and worked for. It's really a shame the motherboard manufacturers went with Intel's idea to make every motherboard capable of spitting out sound.

The second useless feature of the motherboard is the AMR. Intended to run cheap sound/modem hookups, the AMR has become a laughable attachment to every board it's put on. AMR modems and sound cards aren't available in stores, nor on the internet, making it useless. Even an ISA slot would have been more welcome -- I could have dropped my old modem there and had a 3rd PCI slot freed up for future use.

The BIOS of the AK-72, on the other hand, is quite nice. Provided by Award, it condenses the options into several menus, each dealing in more and more technical specifications. Exploration of the options leaves almost everything in the system up for editing and control. Especially nice is the set of "turbo" defaults, a set of ultra-optimized but possibly problematic settings for the motherboard to operate at. Eventually I tested it all out, finding only one disappointment to be explained later as I set all the BIOS options to maximize my hardware.

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Added:  Wednesday, November 01, 2000
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 3/5

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