Shuttle AK35GT2/R Motherboard Review

The Shuttle AK35GT2/R Motherboard Review - Page 1


The Shuttle AK35GT2/R Motherboard Review
Improving on a Proven Design

By, Jeff Bouton
May 16, 2002

We see a lot of hardware come through the Hot Hardware labs.  Every once in a while a piece comes along that stands out from the rest, making a lasting impression.  A few recent items that come to mind is the Hercules Game Theater XP, The Visiontek Ti Series video cards, and the Shuttle AK35GTR motherboard. 

The AK35GTR was a real champ.  Built around the KT266A chipset, this board didn't have the flash and pizzazz of other high-end motherboards, but it delivered where it mattered most, in quality, performance and, of course, overclocking.  In fact, if you were to search out the web for reviews of the AK35GTR, you'd be hard pressed to find a negative review. 

Not long after we completed our review back in February, the VIA KT333 chipset was released.  People were eager to hear how VIA improved upon the already popular KT266A, hoping for some astounding performance gains.  At first I will admit that I was cautious.  A lot of us can remember the memory issues that were a major problem with the KT266 when it first came out.  This required VIA to make some changes to the design of the chipset, giving rise to the updated, and now very popular, KT266A.  Although the KT333 hasn't been plagued by any major design flaws or stability issues, it hasn't exactly blown us away with its performance either.  The most significant change is the added support for 333MHz.(DDR) memory speeds, USB 2.0 and support for ATA133.

In the beginning, there were few companies that were quick to jump on the KT333 bandwagon.  Some companies, like MSI, were swift to start adding motherboards to their product line that were built around the new chipset, while others, like Soyo, chose the "wait and watch" mentality to be sure there were no major problems with the new design.  Shuttle definitely falls closer to MSI than Soyo in the big picture, waiting a short while before taking the plunge into uncharted territory.  One sure way to insure that the transition was a smooth one was to improve on the already proven design of the AK35GTR.  And so the AK35GT2/R was born.

So let's take a look at the AK35GT2/R in all its glory, then we'll put this board to the test and see if the new chipset is really "all that."

Specifications of the Shuttle AK35GT2/R Motherboard
Plain and Simple

CPU Support: Socket A CPU
AMD Duron CPU with 200MHz FSB
AMD Athlon CPU with 200 / 266MHz FSB
AMD Athlon XP CPU with 266MHz FSB

ChipsetsVIA KT333

North) VIA VT8367
High Performance Athlon CPU Interface
Integrated full featured Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) controller
Integrated high bandwidth 266MB/S 8-bit Vlink Host controller
Integrated advanced high performance DDR DRAM controller to support DDR 333 SDRAM

(South) VIA VT8233A
Built in high bandwidth 266MB/S 8-bit V-link Host controller
Integrated USB controller with two root hub and four function ports
Integrated dual channel UDMA 33/66/100/133 master mode EIDE controller
LPC interface for Low Pin Count interface to Super-I/O or ROM
Integrated Keyboard Controller with PS2 mouse support
Integrated DS12885-style Real Time Clock with extended 256 byte CMOS RAM and Day/Month Alarm for ACPI
System Management Bus Interface
Sophisticated PC99-Compatible Mobile Power Management
Integrated Plug and Play Controller

Front Side Bus
Including 200/266 MHz (BIOS step-less adjustable)

Form Factor

Jumper-less (BIOS adjustable)

Memory: 4 x 184-pin DIMM
Supports 6 banks up to 3 GB DRAMs (512Mb x8/x16 DRAM technology) for un-buffered DDR SDRAM module
Supports 8 banks up to 4 GB DRAMs (512Mb x8/x16 DRAM technology) for register DDR SDRAM module
No ECC function support

H/W Audio: C-Media 8738
Support 5.1 speakers, C3DX positional audio in 6 CH speaker mode
HRTF-3D positional audio, supporting Direct Sound 3D and A3D interface
Legacy SBPRO compatible

USB Hub: Built in VT8233A
Integrated USB Controller with three root hubs and six function ports
USB v.1.1 and Intel Universal HCI v.1.1 compatible
Support up to 6 ports

Expansion Slot:
AGP: 1 AGP slot
Support AGP 2.0 compliant, 1X, 2X, 4X AGP device
Support both 1.5V / 3.3V AGP electrical device
Supports SideBand Addressing (SBA) mode (non-multiplexed address / data)

PCI: 6 PCI slots, PCI 2.2 compliant
Support 32 bit PCI master mode device
133 Mbyte/sec Maximum Throughput

I/O: Winboad 83697HF
Meet LPC Spec. 1.01
Integrate Hardware Monitor functions
Support up to four 3.5-inch or 5.25-inch floppy disk drives
Two high-speed 16550 compatible UARTs
Support IrDA version 1.0 SIR, SHARP ASK-IR Consumer IR with Wake-Up function
Support PS/2 compatible bi-directional parallel port
Support Enhanced Parallel Port (EPP) - Compatible with IEEE 1284 specification
Support Extended Capabilities Port (ECP) - Compatible with IEEE 1284 specification
Game Port
IDE interface: Built in VT8233A
2 x UltraDMA/100/133 Bus Master IDE from VT8233A
2 x UltraDMA/133 Bus Master IDE from High Point 372 to support RAID 0, RAID1, RAID0+1 function
80-pin Cable Backward Compatible Legacy ATAPI Devices
ATAPI IDE CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, and LS-120 Supports
support RAID 0, RAID1, RAID0+1 function (AK35GTR only)

H/W Monitoring: Built in Winbond 83697HF
2 thermal inputs from CPU and system temperature sensor
6 positive voltage inputs (+12V, -12V, +5V, -5V, +3.3V, Vcore)
2 intrinsic voltage monitoring (Vbat, +5VSB)
Build in Case open detection circuit
Programmable hysteresis and setting points for all monitored items
Over temperature indicate output
Automatic Power On voltage detection Beep
Issue SMI#, IRQ, OVT# to activate system protection
Winbond Hardware Doctor
Support Intel LDCM TM / Acer ADM compatible

Power Management
ACPI v1.0 Compliant
APM v1.2 Compliant
Supports multiple system suspend types: power-on suspends with flexible CPU/PCI bus reset options, suspend to DRAM, and suspend to disk (soft-off), all with hardware automatic wake-up
Multiple suspend power plane controls and suspend status indicators
lThermal alarm on either external temperature sensing circuits
Support Power Fail Resume function

Bios: Award PnP BIOS
Built in 2MB Flash ROM
DMI 2.3
BIOS FSB step-less setting from 100MHz to 200MHz
BIOS Multiplier setting from 5X to 14X
CPU core voltage setting from +0.025V ~ +0.20V
Support IRQ manual assign table

On Board Ports / Connectors / Jumpers / Headers (front/back panel)
Back Panel:

2 Serial Ports
1 Parallel Port (SPP, EPP, ECP)
1 PS/2 Keyboard Port
1 PS/2 Mouse Port
2 USB Ports
1x Game / MIDI Port
1x Line in, 1x Line out, 1x Mic


1 x ATX power connector
4 x Fan Power connectors (one for system chipset fan)
4 x UltraDMA/100/133 Bus Master IDE
1 x Floppy

Clear CMOS
BIOS boot block protection

1 set of 2 x5 pin Front Panel USB header
Mini CD Audio in
TAD in
CD Audio in

Other Features:
Suspend switch and LED


We did not receive a full retail package for review, however it did come with most of the items included in the retail version. 


 CD-ROM Disk:
VIA 4-1 driver
High Point IDE driver
C-Media Audio driver
User manual in PDF file

IDE Cable:
2x UDMA 66/100/133 cable

Floppy Cable:
1 x Floppy Cable
USB cable:
1 x USB cable with bracket for header (optional)

Audio Cable:
1 x Audio Cable for Central and Bass out

User manual:
1 x print user manual
1 x Heat Sink and fan attached on North Bridge chipset
1 x AGP RM

The AK35GT2/R is a fairly complete package.  Everything is included to help get the board installed, as well as giving the user the ability to take advantage of its extra features, like the additional USB header.  Now we'll take a closer look at the AK35GT2/R and see what it's made of.

Setup and the BIOS


Tags:  Shuttle, Motherboard, review, board, view, GT, 5G, IE, AR, K

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