The Shuttle AK11's
BIOS is based on the very common Award 6.00PG
revision, found on many Athlon motherboards.
The AK11's BIOS is relatively complete.
Users can tweak memory settings, adjust FSBs in
1MHz increments up to 166MHz and CPU core voltage
can be adjusted in .025v increments. The
only notable exception is CPU multiplier control.
To alter the processor multiplier, you'll have to
set a bank of jumpers.
Layout and Quality
We gave the Shuttle
AK11 a thorough physical inspection before
installing it and running our benchmark suite...
The first thing we'd
like to point out is that Shuttle chose to
actively cool the VIA Northbridge with a decent
heatsink and fan from Aavid. The KT133A does
not produce excessive amounts of heat, so active
cooling is not a necessity, but it is a welcome
Active cooling is
useless if the heatsink and chip don' t make
proper contact. When we removed the
heatsink, we were pleased to find thermal paste,
but as you can see in the above photo, there
wasn't enough applied to make proper contact.
The AK11 has our
favorite slot configuration, 1 AGP, 6 PCI and 1
CNR slot. A configuration like this allows
for a maximum number of expansion possibilities.
The AK11 is also equipped with on-board AC-97
As we continued our
tour around the Shuttle AK11, we found quite a few
things we liked about it's layout. All of
the connectors are placed in excellent locations,
spread around the far edges of the board.
The case connectors are clearly labeled, the audio
connectors are out of the way, and the IDE
connectors are mounted parallel to the edge of the
Even the ATX power
connector is well placed, and shouldn't get in the
way of your CPU cooler. There is also plenty of
room around the socket A to accommodate a large
cooler, we had no problem mounting our GlobalWin
WBK38. Notice the large power capacitors
around the CPU socket and power array as well.
These caps "filter" the current eliminating spikes
and valleys that hinder stability. Also worth
mentioning is that the Shuttle AK11 utilizes a
3-Phase power array. 3-Phase power spreads the
load across 6 M.O.S.F.E.T.s (Metal Oxide
Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor) to insure
clean power and long life.
The Shuttle AK11 has
four strategically placed fan headers spread
across the board. We especially liked the
one directly between the AGP and first PCI slots..