Shuttle AK31 vs. The Epox 8KHA+

The Shuttle AK31vs The Epox 8KHA+ - Page 4

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

By, Jeff Bouton
November 26, 2001

More Performance
A Little Work, A Little Play!

With the 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...

When it 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...

Once again 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...

This time 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.

Final Thoughts:

After 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...

The 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 wanted. 

We give the Epox 8KHA+ a Hothardware Heat Meter Rating of a...


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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Tags:  Shuttle, K

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