ULi's AP970A Reference Board
ULi's reference board is based on a small ATX form factor, as this board isn't designed to pack as many features as possible onto the board but to demonstrate the ease of layout as well as functionality of the board. However, being a board, we want to go over this layout, as we are sure many motherboard companies will simply follow this layout for their value based boards.
The placement of power connectors is a mixed bag. The 24-pin ATX power connector is placed between the CPU HSF retention plate and the I/O shield - not the spot for good air flow profile. The 4-pin CPU voltage connector is located on the right hand side of the board near the other accessories.
Placement of the IDE connectors is extremely efficient on the middle of the board's right hand edge, the FDD connector, on the other hand needs more thought. The SATA ports are located below the IDE ports with a Post 80 LED display.
Due to the location of the memory controller, it is pretty easy to relocate the DDR slots for AMD64 systems. The ULi reference board places them above the CPU at the top of the board, colour coded blue for channel 1 and black for channel 2.
The expansion slots on the reference board resembles what you will most likely see from the ULi based offerings from manufacturers. There is a single PCI-E x16 slot for graphics cards, two PCI-E x1 slots and three legacy PCI slots. Overall this is an ideal setup; however, we are hoping to see Dual Graphics setups with ULi's chipset to help spice things up in the enthusiast chipset market.
For a reference board, the rear I/O ports are pretty well what we would like to see and expect to see on retail ULi boards. There are two PS/2 ports, one Serial, one Parallel, two USB, one RJ-45 and six audio ports along with two SPDIF ports makes for one very interesting setup.
Being a single chip solution, the real estate taken up on the board is extremely clean, no additional trace wires for south bridges, but setting up something like this does result in a bit more heat due to all the peripherals being on one silicon chip. To this end the M1697 chipset is recommended to be actively cooled.
At the base of the board are the four SATA ports supporting all the SATA 2.5 specifications and also located at the bottom is a Post 80 port and the BIOS chip.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
Recommended for You
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- Apple's next-gen MacBook Pro expected mid-October
- Xbox Scorpio's true 4K res won't be easy for developers
- NVIDIA shows off 4K 60FPS footage of Titanfall 2 on PC
- NVIDIA's new Xavier chip is super-fast, powered by Volta
- Star Citizen boss: it's the 'best damn everything sim'
- U.2 Kit on Taichi
- Z170X-Gaming 5 - Thunderbolt controller + Intel RST drivers issue.
- Palit GeForce GTX 1070 GameRock Premium Edition Review
- GA-EX58-UD3R Vt-d support
- Seagate IronWolf 10TB NAS HDD Review
- Antec and Razer team up to co-brand a new Mini-ITX gaming chassis
- Samsung Electronics accelerates the NVMe era for consumers with its highest performing 960 PRO and EVO Solid State Drives
- Lighting is in the Aer: NZXT launches Aer RGB, premium LED PWM fans
- Syber Gaming delivers VR and 4K-ready 'C Series' small form factor gaming PC
- HyperX Gears of War gaming headset shipping now