Most of today's motherboards will have two USB ports on the back, and then two additional posts as an add-on option. The AK35GTR took this one step further and allowed for the addition of up to four additional ports. Even better is that the add-on ports hook to the mainboard by means of a single connector plug. This means that the old days of having to figure out which individual wire goes to which pin are over. I can still remember an older VIA based board that I had, and never did figure out how to hook up the additional ports. Oh well, that's history, and the method of adding ports is now a matter of simplicity.
Whether you love it or hate it, AGP retention is pretty much a standard feature anymore. The one included with this Shuttle board is pretty common, and can be a real benefit for those who move their case around much, or who enjoy taking their rig to a LAN. It helps keep the video board firmly seated in the AGP slot, and keeps loose cards to a minimum. But for those of us who are always playing with this and tweaking that, it can become a hassle. At least this one is a simple operation.
Though the memory slots on this board aren't special, their number is a little odd. A vast majority of boards that I have seen have three DDR slots only. The AK35GTR has a total of four slots, and can handle up to 4GB of DDR loving memory. Of course, since most of the KT266A mainboards don't handle ECC memory modules, this will really limit our memory amounts since 1GB non-ECC modules are pretty much non-existent. The extra memory slot will give us a more realistic limit of a full 2GB of DDR. For those who are planning on doing CAD or video editing tasks, the added memory will be a lifesaver.
Hiding under the Socket is a standard thermal probe. There is only so much innovation you can do to one of these, so they are normally very similar. Results proved to be quite accurate, though, and that is sometimes a rarity. The placement of the probe allows for it to still be useful for those with an Athlon XP processor. With the small transistors on the bottom of these new chips, some of the older thermistors have become useless.
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