A Closer Comparison...
THE Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1 BIOS:
The Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1 comes
equipped with the latest Award BIOS and we found it to
have some pretty nice features once we started digging. We found the DRAM Clock/Drive
Control and the Frequency/Voltage Control screens of
particular interest, offering a decent selection of
settings that should prove quite useful when
attempting to overclock a system.
DRAM Clock/Drive Control
screen we found the memory related settings varied
enough to help hone the systems stability while
maintaining peak performance.
screen provides ample settings that serve no other
purpose than to overclock the system. With the
ability to adjust both CPU and DDR voltages, limits
as well as the CPU clock and Multiplier, we were eager
to see how high we could get this system running.
Next we'll take a look at
the Epox 8KHA+ BIOS and see how it compares to the
THE Epox 8KHA+ BIOS:
The Epox 8KHA+ also comes
with an Award BIOS installed, although it did vary a
bit from the version included on the Shuttle AK31
At first we found the two to be quite similar in
respect to the more common settings. However, once we
got to the DRAM/Clock Drive Control screen, we knew
something was different,
and it didn't stop there.
DRAM/Clock Drive Control
screen of the 8KHA+ was loaded with various adjustments,
giving the user maximum control over the boards RAM
settings. Not only did we see the same features as
the AK31 Ver.3.1, but we saw some very useful additional options
as well. The first item of interest was the added
ability to set the system to several different preset
configurations, such as "Normal, Fast, Fastest, Turbo". These
settings allow a user to easily adjust a multitude of
settings with a single click based on how aggressive that
user wants to be with
their memory timings. Of course, each item can also be
adjusted individually as well.
In combination with the
Frequency/Voltage Control screen and the PC Health Status
screen, any user can attempt to overclock either the AK31
or 8KHA+ system board
and be fully informed as to what system variations are
occurring at that time.
Both the Novice and Veteran
overclocker should appreciate the option to shut the
system down automatically if the CPU reaches a
predetermined temperature. The last thing anyone
wants to do is cook their chip while trying to get a
little more out of it.
This setting is useful in assuring that no damage will
occur to the CPU while attempting to push it beyond its
Next, we'll take a look at the
physical qualities of each board, discuss their
similarities and differences, then see how well
these boards overclock.