AOpen s760GXm-S BIOS & Layout

BIOS
Of all the BIOSes reviewed today, the AOpen s760GXm-S has the most robust and well-rounded feature set.

Unlike all the other boards, the s760GXm-S has software controlled fans for all three fan headers on the motherboard. You can set the temperature in which the fans will spin the lowest, or manually specify a fixed percentage of how fast your fans will spin.

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The s760GXm-S offers basic fan RPM control.
Click to Enlarge.


Though this feature on the AOpen s760GXm-S isn’t as advanced as ABIT’s or Asus’ fan control schemes, it is still a useful feature.

Of all the three SiS760 boards reviewed today, the s760GXm-S is the only one to offer CPU multipliers, and memory and AGP voltage controls. So if you’re planning on doing some overclocking, the AOpen board is the way to go. However, keep in mind that there isn’t any CPU voltage control, so that may limit your success.

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Nice little overclocking screen.
Click to Enlarge.

One nice feature is how AOpen shows you exactly what frequencies your system is running when you adjust your bus speeds. Pretty handy!

Like the other boards, you can set the CAS latency timing along with the Hyper Transport bit-width and frequency in the DRAM Configuration menu. There aren’t any more advanced memory timing settings to speak of which is unfortunate for enthusiasts.

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Basic memory timing and HT adjustments.
Click to Enlarge.

All in all, the AOpen s760GXm-S BIOS can be seen as fairly basic, but is the most advanced BIOS here today.

Layout

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The AOpen s760GXm-S is much like the other SiS760 motherboards in this review. The RAM DIMMs are located just above the socket which may hinder support for larger heatsinks. The socket area itself is cramped as to be expected on a micro ATX board.

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The Zalman CNPS7700-Cu barely fits on the AOpen s760GXm-S.

The Zalman CNPS7700-Cu, when installed, only fits when the first DIMM slot is empty, otherwise there is not enough clearance. The fan on the Northbridge comes very close to rubbing against the fins. So depending on your heatsink, you may need to remove the fan on the Northbridge.

Unlike all the other SiS760 boards, this AOpen model has a fan on the Northbridge. Though this may be seen as frivolous, the BIOS does have some enthusiast and overclocking features, so the active northbridge cooling is welcome.

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The ATX power connection is located awkwardly next to some large capacitors so be careful during installation.

All drive connections (floppy, parallel and serial ATA) are located near the bottom edge of the motherboard. On a full-length ATX motherboard this would have been a problem for wiring, but since the micro-ATX board is shorter, you should have no problems connecting all your drives.

The AOpen s760GXm-S is the only motherboard in this round-up that has four fan headers on the motherboard (the others have three and two headers). This is useful when you consider the fact that the s760GXm-S also has BIOS controllable fans so you can have your system as loud or quiet as you would like.

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The AOpen SiS760 board (the black board) is the shortest among the
three boards reviewed today. The ECS (purple board) is also pictured above.

It’s also worth mentioning that the AOpen is also the smallest board in the round-up today. It measures 22cm x 24.2cm which is a full 2cm in width than the ECS.

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