Shuttle AS45GT/R is equipped with a very complete
version of Phoenix / Award's v.6.0 BIOS. This
board has a slew of integrated features, and all of
them can be enabled or disabled from within the BIOS.
The BIOS seemed to be missing a few memory performance
tweaking options. With the revision we looked
at, users are only able to manually adjust CAS
latency, Command Rate and have a "System Performance"
option that can be set to Normal, Turbo or Ultra
The BIOS did have an
abundance of overclocking options though. From
within the "Frequency / Voltage Control" section,
users can adjust the Front Side Bus (FSB) frequency
between 100MHz and 200MHz, in 1MHz increments.
The processor's core voltage can be set up to a
whopping 2.4v in .025v increments. The I/O
voltage can be raised in .1v increments and the DDR voltage
can be set to anything between 2.55v and 2.75v, in .05v increments. There are also a few FSB:Memory ratios
available (2:3, 3:5 and 4:5) which allow users to run
their memory asynchronously with their processor.
The AS45GT/R has official support for DDR200 (100MHz.), DDR266
(133MHz) and DDR333 (166MHz) memory speeds, and
unofficial support for DDR 400 (200MHz) memory..
Layout and Build Quality
As we began inspecting the
Shuttle AS45GT/R, we uncovered quite a few interesting
features, but first we'll take a look at some of the more
familiar items. The external connectors on the
AS45GT/R's back panel look like any other board that
includes integrated Ethernet and Audio. Something we
found interesting was that although the SiS963 Southbridge
has Ethernet and Audio capabilities built-in, Shuttle
chose to use components from Realtek for LAN and Audio
duties. The 10/100 Ethernet port located just above
the USB ports is controlled by a Realtek 8801, while the
Audio is handled by an ALC650. The AS45GT/R is
equipped with 5 PCI slots, and 1 AGP slot, which should be
more than adequate for most users, especially considering
all of the integrated features that are already included.
The board supports a maximum
of 3GB of RAM courtesy of three DIMM slots, which
thankfully are located far enough away from the AGP slot
to allow insertion or extraction of DIMMs, without having
to remove the video card (It is a REALLY tight fit
though!). The standard ATA/133 capable and floppy
connectors are located just behind the DIMM slots, mounted
parallel to the edge of the board. At the lower,
right corner, you can see the additional two ATA/133 RAID
connectors powered by the HPT/372 controller. Pay
close attention to this photo though. Mounted right
next to the IDE RAID connecters you can see the Serial ATA
jacks. Serial ATA will more than likely be replacing
EIDE in the not so distant future. Serial ATA has a
peak transfer rate of 150MBs, uses much smaller cables and
should have better data integrity. We won't really
know how well Serial ATA performs until we get our hands
on some drives though. Visible at the top of that
same picture is another feature worth pointing out.
The AS45GT/R has two small, momentary switches for turning
on the power and resetting the system. These
switches make testing out the board much easier, without
having to go through the hassle of connecting the case
wiring prior to powering up the system. There is
ample room around the Socket 478 to fit virtually all
coolers currently available. You can also see one of
the three 3-Pin fan headers available.
The ATX, 12V and accessory
power connectors are located in an excellent position, in
a cluster at the corner of the board. We especially
liked finding all of these connectors located so closely
together, it makes neatly wiring a case much easier.
Their location was also very good, out of the way of the
Socket 478 and other components. Something else we
found interesting was that Shuttle passively cools the
Northbridge AND Southbridge. Normally only the
Northbridge has some type of heatsink mounted to it, but
Shuttle chose to "cool" the Southbridge as well.
Throughout testing, neither heatsink got especially warm
to the touch, so heat shouldn't be an issue at all with
the SiS648 chipset.
Overclocking & Some Numbers