The Shuttle AK35GTR Motherboard Review
Raising the Bar on Quality and Performance

By, Jeff Bouton
February 12, 2002

 


Over the last several months, you have seen us report on a growing number of motherboards based on the KT266A chipset from VIA.  Review after review weve gone over the virtues of this very popular chipset, which is perhaps the most popular and successful chipset VIA has produced to date.  While the similarities of these motherboards lie with their respective chipset, the relationship usually ends there.  With varying designs, features and qualities, each motherboard manages to present various differences to help them stand out from the rest of the pack.  Whether a manufacturer adds an on-board RAID controller, extra USB headers or chooses to incorporate a CNR or ACR slot into their design, each manufacturer presents a distinct product with one component in common with its competition, the KT266A chipset. 

The excellent performance that the KT266A cannot be disputed.  With its support for the high-bandwidth, yet economical, DDR-RAM coupled with the proven performance of the Athlon processor, it is no surprise that the majority of the motherboards with this design offer first-class performance.

 

Specifications of the Shuttle AK35GTR Motherboard
A Sweet Ride...

VIA KT266A DDR

Form Factor
ATX

CPU Support
Socket A CPU
AMD Duron CPU with 200MHz FSB
AMD Athlon CPU with 200 / 266MHz FSB

Chipsets:
VIA KT266A
(North bridge)VIA VT8366A
(South bridge)VIA VT8233

Front Side Bus
Including 100/133 MHz (BIOS step-less adjustable)

Multiplier
Jumper-less (BIOS adjustable)

Memory
4 x 184-pin DIMM
No ECC function support

H/W Audio
C-Media 8738
Support 5.1 speakers
C3DX positional audio in 6 CH speaker mode
HRTF-3D positional audio
supporting Direct Sound 3D and A3D interface

USB Hub
Built in VT8233
Integrated USB Controller
USB v.1.1 compatible
Support up to 6 ports
Expansion Slot:
1 AGP slot
Support AGP 2.0 compliant
6 PCI slots, PCI 2.2 compliant

IDE interface
Built in VT8233
2 x UltraDMA/100 Bus Master IDE from VT8233
80-pin Cable Backward Compatible Legacy ATAPI Devices
ATAPI IDE CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, and LS-120 Support
2 x UltraDMA/133 Bus Master IDE from High Point 372
support RAID 0, RAID1, RAID0+1 function (AK35GTR only)

H/W Monitoring:
Built in Winbond 83697HF
Smart fan control system
support "Thermal Cruise" and "Speed Cruise"
2 thermal inputs from CPU and system temperature sensor
6 positive voltage inputs (+12V, -12V, +5V, -5V, +3.3V, Vcore)
2 fan speed monitoring inputs
2 fan speed control

Power Management:
ACPI v1.0 Compliant
APM v1.2 Compliant
Support Power Fail Resume function

Bios:
Built in 2Mb Flash ROM
Award PnP BIOS
DMI 2.3

On Board Ports(front/back panel)
Ports:
2 x IDE
1 x Floppy

Connectors
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
1 x PS/2 Mouse
2 x USB
2 x COM
1 x Parallel

 


Below is a list of items that are included with the AK35GTR Motherboard:

1 - Audio Cable (Central Bass Channel)
1 - ATA 133 Ribbon Cable
1 - Floppy Ribbon Cable
1 - Twin Port USB Cable
1 - AK35GT/AK35GTR User's Manual
1 - Drivers CD containing:   A User's Guide in PDF Format, an IDE RAID User's Guide in PDF format, VIA 4-in-1 Chipset Drivers Ver. 4.35, VIA Audio Driver Ver. 2.72, IDE RAID driver and Utility, Award Flash Utility.

 

Shuttle has done a great job at coming up with a complete bundle that is both informative and useful.  It was terrific to see that they included the additional hardware required to take full advantage of the motherboards features, saving their customers from having to go shopping for additional components.  More specifically we are talking about the two-port USB cable provide for use with the addition USB header on the motherboard itself.  More often than not we report how a manufacturer has neglected to include this hardware.  As usual. the folks at Shuttle have done their customers a service by giving them what they need.  Next we'll take a look at the finer points of this board and see if this thoughtfulness was carried over into the design of the AK35GTR motherboard.

Quality, Setup and the BIOS