Articles: Mainboards
 

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Shuttle AN40R features two integrated network controllers. First of all, they used the controller embedded into the chipset, namely the 10/100Mbit network controller. Ad secondly, the mainboard is also equipped with a Gigabit Ethernet controller – Intel RC82540EM.

Since the NVIDIA nForce3 150 chipset doesn’t support SerialATA, Shuttle engineers integrated an additional Silicon Image Sil3112 controller, which provides two SerialATA-150 ports and supports RAID 0 and 1 arrays.

The mainboard is equipped with 5 PCI slots, 3 DIMM slots and an AGP 8x slot. The mainboard rear panel carries PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse, one Serial and one Parallel port, three audio-jacks and an optical SPDIF Out. Besides, there is one IEEE1394 port, four USB 2.0 ports and two RJ45 network cable connectors. I would also like to point out that the PCB of Shuttle AN50R is equipped not only with the regular light emitting diodes indicating if the mainboard and DIMM slots are powered or not, but also with and IDE LED indicator and two micro-buttons: Power On and Reset. All these small things make it easier to debug and configure system settings.

The processor voltage regulator of Shuttle AN50R is designed according to a three-channel circuit. The processor voltage is close to the nominal. The CPU temperature monitoring algorithm is based on the data provided by the thermal diode integrated into the processor die. At the same time, I have to say that Shuttle doesn’t provide its mainboard with any brand name utilities for hardware monitoring. The widely spread Motherboard Monitor tool efused to work correctly with Shuttle AN50R, which you should definitely keep in mind. Also note that the mainboard doesn’t support Cool’n’Quiet technology.

The BIOS of Shuttle AN50R is based on Award microcode. The BIOS Setup offers a very limited number of settings. I believe that Shuttle targets its AN50R not for advanced users. Thus, Setup doesn’t offer any options for memory timings fine-tuning. The only parameter of the memory controller integrated into AMD Athlon 64 processors that you can adjust via the mainboard BIOS Setup is the memory bus frequency.

Also I got the impression that Shuttle didn’t want to position this solution as overclocking friendly as well. Although the mainboard BIOS Setup does offer a few options for overclocking experiments, they are too scarce. First of all, the mainboard wouldn’t let you adjust the CPU clock frequency multiplier. The processor bus frequency can be changed from 200MHz to 250MHz with 1MHz increment. The AGP/PCI bus frequency can be set to any value from 66MHz to 100MHz.

As for the voltage adjustment options, the BIOS Setup doesn’t offer anything exciting here, too. You can set the processor Vcore manually from 0.8V to 1.7V with 0.025V increment up to 1.55V and with 0.05V increment beyond that value. The Vdimm can be adjusted within 2.6V-2.9v interval with 0.1V increment. Besides that, Shuttle AN50R doesn’t allow changing any other voltages. Moreover, the mainboard doesn’t have any emergency settings reset in case of over-overclocking, that is why if your system wouldn’t boot-up after another overclocking experiment you will have to use the Clear CMOS jumper.

As a result, I have to admit that although Shuttle AN50R is a very well-made and designed product, it is absolutely unsuitable for advanced users. Though OEMs and system integrators may certainly love it.

 
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