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   Review : DFI AK76-SN »  


 DFI AK76-SN - Preamble
 Date  : Jan 22nd, 2002
 Category  : Motherboards
 Manufacturer   : DFI
 Author  : Jin-Wei Tioh
DDR has become the memory platform of choice for both the Pentium IV and Duron/Athlon, representing a changing of the guard from SDRAM. A few months back, AMD introduced the world's first Socket-A DDR platform - the AMD760, introduced to bring DDR-SDRAM to the Athlon processor and continue to do so until a third party chipset manufacturer supplies a viable DDR solution. AMD took similar steps with the AMD750 chipset while introducing the Athlon processors to the world. However, the transition this time didn't occur as smoothly or as quickly as planned, hence the profusion of AMD760-based motherboards. With greater overall performance than the VIA KT266, this chipset is still desired by many.

One manufacturer to offer a AMD760-based solution is DFI, with the AK76-SN. More accurately, we should say AMD761-based. Due to the AMD761 North Bridge being linked to the AMD766 South Bridge via the PCI bus, all manufacturers (including DFI) opted to use the VIA 686B South Bridge due to its lower price. While many would consider this practice to be taboo, there are only 2 incompatibilities as identified by AMD; the inability to support the South Bridge's IOAPIC; potential data corruption when switching into the ACPI S3 power management state (Suspend to RAM) in systems that use registered DDR DIMMs. The first is easily alleviated by adding a pull-up resistor, but there is no solution for the second.

That said, let's get acquainted with the AK76-SN :

DFI AK76-SN Specifications
CPU Type Socket-A / Socket-462
Chipset AMD760 (AMD761 North Bridge, VT82C686B South Bridge)
Form Factor ATX
FSB Speeds 100 - 166 MHz (1MHz increments)
CPU Core Voltages Auto Detect
1.475 - 1.850 V (0.25 V increments)
I/O Voltages 3.3 V
Memory Banks 2 184-pin DIMM Slots
Expansion Slots 1 AGP Slot
6 PCI Slots (6 Full Length)
0 ISA Slots
0 AMR Slot
Integrated Features N/A
BIOS Type Award Modular BIOS 6.00PG
BIOS Revision AK761206

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