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Reviewed: Aopen AK73-1394(A)
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: August 12th, 2001
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. The same thing goes for AMR; let's face it, I haven't seen anythign actually hook up to one of these silly little slots yet.

Below, you can see a picture of the board with the one real flaw circled in red. The problem? Those caps are just a little close to the CPU socket.  If you're planning to mount a massive cooling solution -- or just a high-end one like ThermalTake's Chrome Orb -- better put a shim next to those caps, to avoid scratching them up with the heatsink's blades.

The BIOS of the AK73 is an improvement on the old AK72, however. The options have been further condensed, and the menus are easy to follow, especially when trying to turn on AGP settings (before, it took a whole host of settings to do the same things now doable in one or two changes).  The options to reset to either turbo or normal defaults are welcome, though I personally went for my own tweaks and didn't opt for either of the default settings.

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Added:  Sunday, August 12, 2001
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 3/5

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