iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






AOpen AK77-333 (VIA KT333) Mainboard

Black color of the textolite excellently matches with good functional capabilities (first of all, I mean the USB 2.0 controller) and set of accessories.


  • Package of a standard design with a cutout and a plastic package instead of a antistatic cover;
  • Documentation: a user manual and a colorful poster with brief installation instructions - in English;
  • Cables: 1 ATA66/100/133, 1 ATA33 and 1 FDD;
  • Bracket with 2 USB ports;
  • AOpen club registration card;
  • 2 CDs with software:
    • drivers;
    • user manual in PDF;
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader;
    • DocuCom Reader;
    • 3Deep E-Color;
    • Norton Antivirus 2002;
    • Norton CrashGuard 1.0;
    • system monitoring utility;
    • AOpen AOConfig (system information);
    • DirectX 8.1.

The layout is quite convenient, but there are still some insignificant flaws: audio-ins and a power connector are put in between the AGP slot and the rear panel's unit. It's not difficult to reach jumpers and switches even when the board is already installed. Their functions are shown on the textolite.

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 3 capacitors of 3300 uF and 4 of 2200 uF.

The following controllers are integrated:

  • audio controller based on the Avance Logic ALC650 AC'97 codec with a connector for front audio-outs and support of acoustic systems 5.1;
  • USB 2.0 bus controller based on the VIA VT6202 bus.

The board supports the following proprietary technologies: Dr.LED (to display information on the POST procedure - the board has a connector - for a bracket with LEDs for a 5" bay) and Die-Hard BIOS (BIOS recovery - the board provides a panel for the 2nd Flash EEPROM chip and a connector for switching modes of this function).

Non-unsoldered connectors: none.

The system monitoring is supported by the Winbond W83697HF chip. What is controlled:

  • voltage of processor, +3.3, +5 and +/-12 V, VBAT and +5 B Standby;
  • speed of 2 fans;
  • temperatures of the processor (thermodiod in processor socket) and the board (a built-in sensor).

There are 2 connectors for adjustable connection of fans and 1 for non-adjustable connection (for a fan on a heatsink of the chipset's north bridge).

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 5 PCI/ CNR; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 4 USB 1.1/ 4 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x245 mm.

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS
Jumper to choose a FSB frequency 100 and 133 MHz
Switches to change a CPU multiplier Auto, x5.5 - x12.5
Jumper to set the Die-Hard BIOS mode Normal/Rescue
BIOS based on the ver.6.00PG from Award Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Burst Length, Queue Depth, Command Rate
Setup of memory frequency + PCI Clock x3, x4, x5
Setup of AGP bus +
Setup of PCI bus +
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses -
Manual assignment of interrupts -
Changeable FSB frequency + 100-248 MHz in 1 MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x5.5-x12.5
Changeable core voltage + 1.1-1.85 V in 0.05V steps
Changeable memory voltage -
Changeable chipset voltage -
Changeable AGP bus voltage -

We used the latest available version of the BIOS - 1.02.

Lack of a great overclocking potential (though the required minimum is provided) is made up for by high quality of the board; besides, such products are positioned for another market - not for extremal users but for those who consider stability and functionality more important.

Test results:

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