Aopen AX4B-533 Plus Free Driver Download (Official) Aopen Drivers Hard Disk Controller Drivers. 10 Ratings (see all reviews) 37 Downloads Official Download Source - Manufacturer Website. Download Aopen AX4B-533 Plus Driver Update Utility. Versions R1.06 (9-Sep-2002).
First Impressions The board is based on Intel's latest 845E chipset based on the Pentium 4 platform. Building on their success with their AX4B series, the AX4B-533 board comes with all the basic on-board devices that you'll ever need to build a rather high-end gaming or multimedia system. The board is based on the full ATX form factor and thus, it will fit into any regular ATX chassis. Although it's an ATX form factor, don't expect to see six PCI slots on the board.
This is due to the huge vaccuum tube amplifier located at the side of the board which takes up the PCI4 to PCI6 slots. So in actual fact, you're only purchasing a 'micro-ATX' board in an ATX form factor. Votewatch is a widget for mac. The vaccuum tube pre-amplifier - certainly deserves a casing with a transparent side panel. Probably the most expensive part of the board is the vaccuum tube pre-amplifier which takes up at least 20% of the space on the motherboard. The large capacitors and low tolerance resistors are probably the kind of passive components that you'll find in high-end audio equipments. AOpen prides itself with high quality components from big names like ELNA, MultiCap and Vishay. These are some of the component manufacturers that makes precision and high-grade components for audio enthusiasts.
The MultiCap capacitors used on the AX4B-533 Tube motherboard are those that's based on metallized polypropylene films tailored for the maximum signal resolution required in high-end amplifiers. The ESR value of these capacitors are kept very low and are very high performance capacitors with values in the range of five to ten times lower than typical capacitors. The board uses two pairs of MultiCap capacitors, one pair rated at 0.22µF (200V) and another pair at 3µF (400V). The 3µF capacitor costs about US$16.50 each while the smaller 0.22µF capacitor will cost you US$7.00 each. You can tell by now how much this motherboard will cost you - just by the capacitors alone.
These large MultiCap capacitors cost US$16.50 each. On the other end of the tube amplifier, there's also a huge ELNA capacitor rated at 220µF that takes care of the tube amp's power supply. It's a highly miniaturized large capacitance aluminium electrolyte capacitor. Why such a big capacitor? Well, if you want a smooth sounding amplifier, you'll need a good capacitor to deliver clean power to the amp. Otherwise, noise generated by a 'dirty' power line (especially one that's coming out from digital circuits) will negate the goodness of the vaccuum tube. This huge ELNA capacitor cleans up much of the tube pre-amp's power line.
At the heart of the pre-amplifier is obviously the vaccuum tube itself. The amp uses a rather low cost Sovtek 6922 Dual Triode tube. According to AOpen, the engineers have personally auditioned various tubes for quality and have come up with Sovtek 6922 as the best choice for both performance and cost. Since the amp is based on a dual triode design, you can always replace the part with any 6922/ECC88/6H30 vaccuum tube.
If you can afford something more expensive, by all means, go to your nearest audiophile tube retailer and choose one that fits your liking. Of course, it may be an expensive investment since you have to really test them out by yourself. However, if you need a guide, AOpen has included a handy tube user's guide that gives you a wide range of tubes to choose from. The pre-amplifier uses a Sovtek 6922 dual triode transistor. Besides the Sovtek 6922, we also tested the amplifier with a Tungsram ECC88 dual triode transistor.
The audio quality of the tube pre-amplifier was cleaner than most on-board audio we've heard. Tonal quality and clarity was excellent especially if you hooked it up with a pair of good headphones. However, it's not easy to tell if the quality and SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) was better than a SB Live! Since both sounded nearly the same when we auditioned it with a pair of high-end Sennheiser headphones.
Even if both had similar performance, it's already quite an achievement since AOpen managed to clean up the AC'97 audio using a proper vaccuum tube pre-amplifier. You should also note that the vaccuum tube is only a pre-amplifier, so it should be connected to a proper amplifier, preferably something more high-end than the average multimedia speaker system. The AX4B-533 Tube comes with a motherboard user's guide and a tube manual. You'll also find a copy of Norton Antivirus 2003 along with the drivers CD.
Familiar layout of the rear I/O panel. AOpen has bundled a matching I/O shield for this. Page 2 of 8 Copyright © 2011 SPH Magazines Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.