Shuttle AK31 vs. The Epox 8KHA+

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The Shuttle AK31vs The Epox 8KHA+ - Page 3

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

By, Jeff Bouton
November 26, 2001

Overclocking
A Clear Advantage...

When it came to overclocking these two motherboards, the difference was night and day.  With our Thunderbird 1.2GHz. processor in the Epox 8KHA+, we were able to obtain a maximum overclock of 1440MHz.  This was achieved by setting the CPU multiplier to 10.5x and the system bus speed to 137MHz.  The increase of 240MHz. yielded an effective gain of 20%-not bad at all.

Next, we dropped the same processor and RAM into the Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1 and began overclocking.  We found the sweet spot for this board with the CPU multiplier set at 11.5 and the bus speed set at 136MHz. yielding at total CPU speed of 1564MHz.  With an increase of 364MHz, we achieved an exceptional gain of over 30.33%! 

Clearly, when it comes to overclocking, both of these boards are quite capable of getting the job done.  However, in this comparison the Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1 demonstrated a clear advantage in this round of testing.  We feel it is important to note though, from what has been seen on the net in regards to the Epox 8KHA+, the overclocking performance of this particular board is not the norm.

Update:  Immediately after this review was posted, the folks at EpoX contacted us.  Not to be out done by Shuttle, we were impressed to find that they felt that this was unsatisfactory results for this board, offering us the opportunity to replace it and try again.  We were more than willing to do this for them and promptly returned the board.  We'll check back with you as soon as we receive the new motherboard and rerun the numbers.

Update February 23, 2002:  We are happy to report that we did receive a second EPoX 8KHA+ motherboard for testing and our initial hunch was correct.  This time around the EPoX board put up a much better overclocking performance.  When all was said and done we were able to attain a top speed of 1553MHz. with a multiplier setting of 11.5 and BUS Speed of 135MHz.  This was a gain of 29.4% over the default clock speed and and increase of approximately 8% over the original score of 1440MHz.  We've also updated the Sandra overclock scores to reflect this change as well

Now we'll move on to some performance numbers and see what these boards are capable of...

The Hot Hardware Test Systems
Rockin'!


AMD Athlon @ 1200MHz.

Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1 Via KT266A

256MB IBM PC2100 (CAS 2)

GeForce 3 Ti500 (21.85 Drivers)

Hercules Game Theater XP

IBM 7200RPM 15GB HD

Pioneer 16X/40x DVD-ROM

Standard Floppy Drive

Windows 2000 SP2

DirectX 8.1

Via 4-in-1s v.4.35
 


AMD Athlon @ 1200MHz.

Epox 8KHA+ KT266A

256MB IBM PC2100 (CAS2)

GeForce 3 Ti500(21.85 Drivers)

Hercules Game Theater XP

IBM 7200RPM 15GB HD

Pioneer 16X/40x DVD-ROM

Standard Floppy Drive

Windows 2000 SP2

DirectX 8.1

Via 4-in-1s v.4.35
 

Performance Comparisons With Sisoft Sandra
Time for some numbers...

The Shuttle AK31                           The Epox 8KHA+

CPU @ 1200MHz

CPU @ 1200MHz

The Sandra CPU scores for each board were very close, with little discernable difference, giving a very slight edge to the Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1.  Now we'll look at the Multimedia portion of the test...

MM @ 1200MHz

MM @ 1200MHz

Like we've seen with the CPU scores, the Multimedia results were, once again, very close, giving the edge to the Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1.  Now we'll move on to Memory performance...

MEM @ 1200MHz

MEM @ 1200MHz

With the Memory results, the Epox 8KHA+ had the upper hand over the Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1, albeit subtle.  In the next round of tests we'll get to see which has the greater effect on application performance.

Overclocking
Way out of spec but still rock stable

Below are the results for the two boards during the overclocking phase of testing.  Obviously, the Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1 stole the show with its 30.33% gain, but the Epox posted a respectable overclock as well!

The Shuttle AK31                           The Epox 8KHA+

CPU OC'd @ 1565MHz.
(11.5X136)

CPU OC'd @ 1553MHz.
(11.5X135)

 

MM OC'd @ 1565MHz.
(11.5X136)

 

MM OC'd @ 1553MHz.
(11.5X135)

Next, we'll head on over to the Winstones and see how Content Creation and Business Winstone perform with these impressive boards, then we'll pump some Quake 3 lovin' through their veins...

More Head-To-Head Benchmarks

 
Tags:  Shuttle, K

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