View Full Version : AOpen Announces World's First Vacuum Tube Motherboard
06-05-2002, 03:23 PM
AOpen announced today that it is introducing the vacuum tube motherboard, based on i845E chipset. The board supports vacuum tube audio output and has high-end audio grade capacitor on board. Audio features of AX4B-533Tube build on 5.1 channel Realtek ALC650 ACí97 CODEC. AOpen's hybrid AX4B-533Tube is targeted to a very exclusive niche market - passionate audiophiles and extreme gamers who are interested in building their own entertaining PCs.
The motherboard is also certain to appeal to retailers that desire to cater to these two eccentric groups with custom-built PCs, delivered with matching speaker systems and the latest CD and DVD playback devices.
To me, this seems like a very bad idea because of the heat generated by the tube, anyone who has been around older tube equipment knows that tubes will give you a very nasty burn. But check out the scoop at xbitlabs (http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/story.html?id=1023251953)
06-05-2002, 04:56 PM
I think that's silly. I'm wondering where the power supply for the tubes is. For one, you gotta have a 6.3V heater rail, then you need a high voltage to drive the things. And as you said Zammy, those things get hot.
I think a better idea would be to have a valve audio amp available seperately as a plug in to the mobo unit. It could sit where a second PSU would normally go and have it's own mains plug and audio in/out sockets.
I've built a coupla valve amps and I'm wondering about the Power supply. I don't see no big transformer, have they stuck a switched mode PSU on there?
I really don't think that'll catch on, but who knows?
06-05-2002, 05:33 PM
By incorporating a switching mode power supply for the tube circuitry that can truly rival solid-state amplifiers, then employing A Maxim 668 DC-DC voltage converter to provide ample voltage for the tube to function under optimal conditions - correct audio playback is achieved. As a result, the AX4B-533Tube performs brilliantly.
Time will tell. :smirk:
06-05-2002, 11:25 PM
I don't know, I've never seen a 6 channel valve. In a 9 pin minature the most I've seen is two triodes. Plus the extra heat?
As Mucks says, time will tell.
 Read the article and they do say it's only for the front two channels. Aopen has it on it's web site, just wondering if they'll sell any. A valve can't help MP3's.
06-05-2002, 11:36 PM
Im with you guys....neat concept, looks purty but come on what's the practicality in have to have a switching PSU and serious heat dissipation all to amplify sound which can be easily done through external components. I mean those who are audiophiles and the like which this mobo is intended for would never consider using the computer as the amplifying unit!!
And look, the switching PSU takes out at least 2 PCI's that would have been there. It doesn't seem to have a onboard NIC so you got 2 PCI's to juggle!
06-06-2002, 12:49 AM
'Read the article' Ah, yes, perhaps I should do that first before posting... :hhead:
06-06-2002, 07:17 AM
"By incorporating a switching mode power supply for the tube circuitry that can truly rival solid-state amplifiers, then employing A Maxim 668 DC-DC voltage converter to provide ample voltage for the tube to function under optimal conditions - correct audio playback is achieved. As a result, the AX4B-533Tube performs brilliantly."
This looks like a potential OC'in mod for OPPS to play with ;), but I don't think this is going to go.
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