Shuttle AK31 vs. The Epox 8KHA+

The Shuttle AK31vs The Epox 8KHA+ - Page 2

Shuttle's AK31 Ver.3.1-vs- Epox's 8KHA+
Dueling KT266A Motherboard Action!

By, Jeff Bouton
November 26, 2001

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.


In the DRAM Clock/Drive Control screen we found the memory related settings varied enough to help hone the systems stability while maintaining peak performance. 


The Frequency/Voltage Control 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 and adjustments, 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 AK31 Ver.3.1...


The Epox 8KHA+ also comes with an Award BIOS installed, although it did vary a bit from the version included on the Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1.  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.


The 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 factory setting.


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.


The Layout and Quality


Tags:  Shuttle, K

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