Athlon Hit Parade: 10 mobos with the nForce2 Ultra400

Shuttle Spacewalker AN35N-Ultra

Board revision:

BIOS version:

Shuttle has been putting all of its efforts into creating a comparatively simple motherboard with the nForce Ultra 400. As the picture above shows, the board looks appropriately tidy.

This is of benefit to the handling capacity, because all five PCI slots can be fitted with full-length expansion cards. The same applies to processor coolers: as there are no components awkwardly positioned around the CPU socket, you don't have to think twice about picking more elaborate models.

The IDE and floppy drive connections are located at the top of the board, so there should be no problems, even in larger cases.

Shuttle has not overdone this strategy of consistent minimalism. It is true that only the MCP is used as the Southbridge, instead of the better-equipped MCP-T. But the sound system is respectable enough, and the fact that there is neither a second network connection nor a FireWire controller is only of benefit to users who already own these components in the form of PCI expansion cards. Choosing a less elaborately equipped board can help you save a little more money.