- The Package
The front of the box has a nice orange and black color scheme going for it which helps it stand out quite well. The box is very basic and at the bottom of it we see all the features that are available including SATA RAID, 6 Channel Audio, Firewire 400, USB 2.0, off-chip Gigabit Ethernet and a lot more.
Apart from our normal manuals we also find included our I/O plate, USB 2.0 and Firewire back plates, Serial ATA cable, Parallel ATA cable and a floppy cable.
While the front of the box is quite nice, once you open it up there isn't too much that will excite you. Let's have a look at the final motherboard of our roundup.
- The Motherboard
We have a nice big blue motherboard here from Shuttle which looks great. The PCB color really stands out much like the old red variety from MSI. We have a 1/5 AGP/PCI configuration which is quite standard and as you can see we have our 3 memory slots up the top with the main power cable connecting just next to it.
Having a closer look we notice we have a total of four Serial ATA ports - two down the bottom right corner near the extremely helpful power and rest button and another two ports just above the AGP slot. This is the only motherboard that comes with built in power and reset buttons which is great from a tester's perspective but not so helpful to the average user.
As far as the motherboard layout goes, it is very simple and there really isn't that much you could complain about but there is no denying that the usefulness of the on board power and reset buttons are excellent and saving you have to identify the location of the jumpers to perform the same task. The only other motherboard that we have seen use this is the LANPARTY series from DFI.
On the I/O panel we have our normal PS2 and Com/Serial ports, four USB 2.0, one Firewire port, Gigabit Network (supplied by the Broadcom controller), 6 Channel Audio and something else new we haven't seen before - a clear CMOS button on the motherboard which is great for all those overclockers who are sick of trying to find the jumper to reset the BIOS.
We are confused as to why Shuttle decided against using the native Gigabit networking controller built into the nForce 3 250GB chipset. It provides significantly better performance than the CPU driven Broadcom controller.
Testing time begins on the next page!
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