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Shuttle AK37GTR Motherboard Review

By: Tio Chaharbaghi | Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Dec 8, 2002 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8.0%Manufacturer: Shuttle



Note: The sample we received from Shuttle is not the final retail packaging. The pictures and included features may differ on the retail package.



The Shuttle AK37GTR comes in quite the basic packaging. All that is stated on the cover of the box is that it is in fact an AMD motherboard as well as Shuttle written in big bold letters. Perhaps a little more flash on the front of the box could have been better?


The rest of the box, the side, back etc. all are just very basic with a Shuttle logo here and there. It seems apparent that on the final retail version, Shuttle will touch up these little things, or at least we hope so.



After popping open the box this is the first layer you see. Shuttle, just like every other manufacturer, has gone with a two layer box setup.


As you can see in the picture above, all the cables, manuals etc are located here. Starting from the left we have a couple of IDE cables, Serial ATA cable, extra USB ports, back panel etc. Below all that we have the user manual and Highpoint manual to guide new users to setting up their computers and RAID arrays.


The bottom layer is the motherboard isolated by itself with some padding. This is always best since you can be assured that the motherboard will arrive to you in good condition and actually functional.



Shuttle has included two manuals and a software CD with the AK37GTR. The main motherboard manual on the left is an 84 page book covering everything you need. Even the complete idiot could get familiar with this board using this manual. It even gives you definitions/descriptions of every port on the back panel.


The Highpoint RAID user's manual is basically the same copy you would get in any other motherboard fitted with this particular chipset. It guides you through the whole setup, from the RAID BIOS all the way to restarting your computer at the end of the installation in Windows.


The software CD is filled with all the drivers you need to get this board going. We will cover what exactly is included in the software bundle later.



Just like any other motherboard package (other then those amazing packages that come with the Chaintech's), Shuttle has included two IDE cables as well as a FDD connector. As I hinted above, it would be nice if motherboard manufacturers could have gone the Chaintech way and started including more in the "packaging" section as well as some nice rounded cables. They know we overclock, they know how important air flow is, but they reveal their own ignorance by including bulky IDE cables that take up airflow? Anyway enough about my rants, lets continue.



Everyone recognize that slim cable above? If you don't, ask the guy next door; he might know! Well it's a Serial ATA cable, the future and also the IDE Killer! Yes, this will replace IDE soon and man, will a lot of us be happy. And remember that rant above? This will definitely help fix that. Anyway, Shuttle has included one Serial ATA cable, and has coated it nicely to a red color. It would look cool with a window and maybe a cathode.



The back panel of the Shuttle AK37GTR only has two USB ports as you will see further on in the review. So Shuttle included an extra bracket which gives you two more USB ports.


For today's users, it might be sufficient, it might not be. For instance, you have a USB Keyboard, USB mouse, USB printer, USB scanner, gaming device, and a palm pilot? Uh oh, what happened to all the USB ports? All filled up! Maybe eight ports would be necessary?


This motherboard does support up to six USB ports, but you will need to buy extra brackets. Anyway, the more they include the merrier.



Along side the 6-channel support for the onboard audio, Shuttle has also included an additional bracket which gives support for SPDIF. It's always nice to have all those power packed features you see in the elite line of sound cards included in your motherboard package.


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