A Little Work, A
Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1 having a slight edge in the
Sandra CPU based tests, and the Epox 8KHA+ having the
"extra" in the Memory scoring, I was anxious to see
how this would apply to application performance.
Who would have the advantage when it comes to "real
world" benchmarking? Well, let's get to it and
see shall we?
The first test up to bat is Business Winstone 2001, an
acid test of today's business oriented applications...
comes down to it, the Epox 8KHA+ took the lead,
however small, inching ahead of the Shuttle AK31
Ver.3.1. Now we'll throw in some Content
Creation 2001and see how the two systems can handle
more CPU intensive "multimedia-oriented" programs...
it was fairly close, but in the end, the Epox 8KHA+
had the advantage. When it comes down to it, it
looks like a little extra memory bandwidth outweighs
the benefits of a little extra CPU power. Now
we'll throw in some Quake 3 for good measure and see
where the CPU reaches its FPS limit...
around the two boards were virtually identical in
performance, reaching the CPU's limit just short of
205 FPS. All in all, both the Shuttle AK31
Ver.3.1 and the Epox 8KHA+ are quite capable of both
work and play, and should perform quite well with just
about anything you can throw at it.
reviewing both of these boards, it became increasingly
clear that rating them would not be easy. Both
the AK31 Ver.3.1 and the 8KHA+ have their strong
points and weak points, but nonetheless, each is an
excellent product in their own right. Although
the Epox board had a slight edge in the benchmarking
section of the review, the AK31 Ver.3.1 demonstrated
exceptional overclocking ability, far exceeding the
capability of the 8KHA+ that we received for review.
The 8KHA+, however, had a slightly more robust BIOS
than the AK31 Ver.3.1 with an excellent selection of
adjustments available to hone the system's
performance. So in this instance, rather than
draw comparisons between the two boards to come up
with THE rating, it would be best to sum things
up on an individual basis. So let's go...
overall design of the Epox 8KHA+ was quite good with a
few minor issues. We would have liked to see the
placement of the power connection moved to a more
neutral location like the edge of the board. The performance
of the board was excellent, showing that this
motherboard is ready for virtually anything.
With a feature rich Award BIOS, the 8KHA+ demonstrated
a nice bit of overclocking ability, allowing us to
push the CPU up an additional 20% over spec.
With a few minor design changes, a little more
overclocking potential and the addition of RAID, this
board would easily garner a 10 rating. However,
let me be clear in saying that the Epox 8KHA+ would
make an excellent upgrade to any system as well as a
core component to that "dream machine" you've always
We give the Epox 8KHA+ a Hothardware Heat Meter Rating
Throughout the testing of
the Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1, the board had a certain
"feel" to it. It may not have been as flashy as
its comparison board in this review, but it still
shined. The design of this board was excellent,
with no major issues to report. The system
performance was top of the line demonstrating that is
is ready for both work and play. Where the AK31
Ver.3.1 truly shined was with its ability to overclock.
This board pushed our 1.2GHz T-bird to a stable
1.56GHz. That's Athlon XP 1800 territory folks!
Again, with the addition of RAID, this board also
would get top billing with this reviewer simply because it
performed so well across the board, showing quite a bit
of performance and versatility. If you are in
the market for a high-quality Athlon based
motherboard, I would have no reservations recommending
this board, it is a true gem.
With that said, we'll give the Shuttle AK31 Ver.3.1
motherboard a Hot Hardware Meter Rating of a...
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