First post, by LSS10999
A while ago I got myself an ANOVO AIMB-865 (V1.0S1.2, 865G with 1 ethernet controller placed around the lower two USB ports) intended to replace an Axiomtek IMB200 mainly for better CPU support (that board supports only up to Pentium D 960 as the official manual stated, and any attempt to extend the CPU support past it, mainly by adding microcodes and such, was not successful), yet I've found quite a few problems with the new board.
1. The board officially claims to support Core 2 Duo up to 2.66GHz, and as tested, up to Core 2 Extreme X6800 can boot. While the BIOS shows correct clock values (so does Windows XP's System Information, which doesn't seem to reflect actual values, either), the actual system bus speed is only 100MHz, regardless of whether it is FSB 800 (200MHz) or FSB 1066 (266MHz). Also, when using a FSB 1066 Core 2 Duo, the board can only boot when memory speed is set to 266MHz (while a FSB 800 Core 2 Duo can boot with any option, 266/333/400 MHz, despite in both scenarios, the CPUs will have an actual system bus speed of 100MHz).
2. The board seems to have issues handling the multipliers when booting with an extreme edition CPU, as it initially sets the multi to the maximum value (60x I think) then boots with an overclock failed message and has to manually set the multi back to the intended value in order to be able to boot properly during subsequent boots.
3. Somehow the AIMB-865 board I have fails to boot on any valid dual-channel memory configuration regardless of installed CPU. Using single-channel memory configurations (by leaving one of the slots empty, or using memory sticks of different sizes), however, will boot properly.
4. Tried a Pentium D 965 and it could not boot at all. Perhaps a BSEL mod that sets to 200MHz bus speed (which somehow had no effect on IMB200) is needed, but I haven't had time to try it there.
5. The ISA DMA does not work out of box. As tested, a chipset register hack similar to the one in this video is required for ISA DMA to function, and it only lasts for this boot instance only (PS: Setting the register values involved to exactly the ones shown in the video actually caused a hard freeze during my initial tests after playing some ISA sounds, as I might have flipped some other register bits that I shouldn't have. Doing it by figuring out which bits the actions actually flipped according to the video, however, I did not encounter freezes anymore).
The only detailed information about the board I could find is this one (from Modlabs, in Russian), and it appears to have mentioned some of the problems I'm having (namely the ISA DMA and the actual system bus speed issues). Besides, there is an official BIOS image named 865GV008.ROM which bears the same BIOS version number of the board I currently own, but I cannot confirm whichever variant the BIOS was intended to (or is not specific to variants), as there is also another major variant called V1.0S1.3 which is 865GV-based and lacked the AGP slot.
Apparently regarding the 100MHz system bus issue when running Core 2 CPUs on 865-based mainboards, there's already a post talking about it in an attempt to get it working on a different board than this one. And I'm not certain if there are any methods other than BSEL mod, to force 200MHz bus speed for Pentium D 965, if the motherboard itself is not (or not entirely) using BSEL to determine CPU clocks (like my IMB200, the BIOS always gives it a 33MHz system bus for Pentium D 965 then hangs, even after doing a BSEL mod that has been confirmed working using another 865GV-based board I had for reference, MSI 865GVM3-V).
Besides, from the Modlabs post I did not see it mentioning the inability to boot when using dual-channel memory configurations, so whether this is due to the board's BIOS or my board itself (hardware issue) could not be determined.
So again, there are still a lot of things needed in order to make AIMB-865 useful, so I'll have to stay with IMB200. Compared to AIMB-865, while it lacks the potential to extend CPU support (for better forward compatibility), and it doesn't have an easy way to manage USB boots (so I have to install OSes using optical discs instead), it has out-of-box ISA support (including ISA PnP like AWE64 Gold).