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Shuttle AK35GTR Motherboard Review - AK35GTR - Page 5

With so many KT266A based motherboards to choose from, how are you supposed to come up with a winner? To help clear up some of the confusion, Mike "Darthtanion" Wright has taken a look at the Shuttle AK35GTR Motherboard. It has some features that will make your jaw drop, and performance levels that are at the top of the class. Come see for yourself why this little gem earned an Editors Choice Award.

By: | Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Mar 6, 2002 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: Shuttle



All right then. Now that we've been formally introduced to this board and can see what it has to offer, let's take a look at how well it performs. The test system consists of:


AMD Athlon XP 1800+


512MB Crucial PC2100 DDR


Prolink GeForce3


Western Digital 20GB Caviar Hard Drive


I used Windows XP Professional as the OS, and had updated drivers for both the board chipset (4-in-1 v4.37) and the video card (Detonator v27.20). For testing, I used SiSoft Sandra 2002, Quake III Arena, and MadOnion's 3dMark2000 and 3dMark2001 benchmarking utilities. For comparison sake, I also ran the same tests on an EPoX 8KHA+ board so that we could see how it fares against one of the leaders in the class. Both mainboards were set up with the same settings within BIOS to keep the results uniform throughout testing. This was pretty simple since both boards use the Award BIOS. Also of note is that both motherboards were tested on a fresh install of Windows without tweaks to the system. We're going for overall board performance, so tweaks were not allowed.


SiSoft Sandra CPU Benchmark



The EPoX mainboard edged out the Shuttle in this test, but the difference equals out to less than 1%. Let's check out the Multimedia benchmark nextÂ…


SiSoft Sandra Multimedia Benchmark



I don't think that I have ever had a test result come out like this before. Integer testing scores were identical, and only one point separated the floating point results. I think it will be a safe bet to declare this test a tie. Next up, memory.


SiSoft Sandra Memory Benchmark



The Shuttle board is beginning to come into it's own now. It was able to handle the memory data flow at a higher rate than the EPoX board could. These tests were run at the standard 133MHz bus speeds and CAS 2 memory timings on both boards, so the testbed was the same.


SiSoft Sandra File System Benchmark (Hard Drive Speeds)



Don't be too critical on the actual scores here. I use a bit slower drive when I test out motherboards, so the results are a good bit less than you may be used to seeing. But since the same drive and the same conditions were used during the testing, it results in a valid comparison.


That said, the EPoX board was able to scrounge a little advantage in this department, but again, the results represent less than 1% advantage for the winner.


Quake III Arena (1024x768x32)



Though the Q3A engine is becoming a little dated, it still represents a test that is recognized as a near industry standard. It will let us see how well the data flows between all major motherboard areas. Memory, processor cycles, graphics...all are utilized when running the Quake III game.


The AK35GTR managed to get the lead in this test with a 4% gain over its competitor. Though not a huge amount, it shows that the Shuttle folks have put some effort into overall performance.


3dMark Benchmarking Utilities (Default Settings)



Our final test will be both of the popular 3dMark gaming benchmarking utilities. Again, the Shuttle board managed to come out the victor, so let's hear it for the underdog.


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