IntroductionAOpen AK86-L K8T800 Socket-754 Motherboard
AMD's decision to release a cheaper S754 processor, the Model 3000+, has gone down well with the motherboard industry. We're all well aware of the processors' prodigious performance in wide-ranging applications, yet the main barrier to entry had always been cost. The Model 3000+ can now be purchased for £150 in full retail form, so, coupled with a cheapish motherboard, the platform's looking increasingly attractive as a means of improving performance without having to blow a small fortune.
VIA's K8T800 chipset helps in this matter. Reasonable feature integration, low chipset price, and decent speed makes it hard for well-known manufacturers to resist including at least one variant in their respective catalogues. AOpen, it seems, has been lured into releasing a S754 VIA K8T800-powered motherboard. AOpen also understands the need to position and specify its boards at levels that will force potential buyers to have a hard time dismissing them.
The AOpen AK86-L, which sounds more like an assault rifle than a motherboard, aims to provide the best price-to-performance ratio yet. Let's see how it does.