Shuttle AN51R Motherboard ReviewFormer staff writer -
Packed in a flashy retail box the AN51R will surely stand out on retail shelves. A quick glance across the bottom gives the buyer some key features of the board.
- Shuttle AN51R Motherboard
- Shuttle Motherboard Manual
- NVIDIA RAID Manual
- Steel I/O Back Plate
- 2x USB 2.0 PCI Bracket
- 2x IEE1394 5-Pin PCI Bracket
- Floppy Cable
- ATA 133 IDE Cable
- Serial ATA Cable
Upon taking the AN51R out of the anti static bag, we find the trade mark blue and rounded corners that Shuttle main boards are known for. The layout of the board is pretty straight forward and nothing stands out. Along the top we have the 24 Pin ATX power connecter, two IDE ports, and one Floppy port grouped together. You also have a beefy five phase power source to ensure total system stability under the most demanding conditions. About the only thing that stands out is the NF3 250 chipset placement; trying to add better chipset cooling could be hindered by the size of the cooling on the video card. I would have at least liked to have seen active cooling. Seeing as upgrading the cooling is going to be a major pain, depending of course on the video card used. The Chipset placement is not uncommon for NF3 250 boards; I just can not stand the fact that I am unable to upgrade my chipset cooling.
Shuttle kindly color coded the front panel connectors for us geeks who don’t like to read the manual. If you look closely at the picture you will see that Shuttle also included two buttons, for power-on and reset. This is really great for modders and someone like a reviewer, Those of whom usually test mother boards out side of the case. There is no need to jump off the two power-on pins to boot the system.
The back I/O panel has a slightly different layout than what I am used to seeing on a motherboard. What struck me as odd was a button located next to the SPDIF/in. After searching thru the manual, I found that this button is used to clear the CMOS. This is probably one of the most exciting features found on the AN51R. Now you do not have to crack open the side panel if you OC too far. Just use a paper clip or something similar to reset the CMOS if the system does not post after overclocking. Other than the sweet CMOS reset button, you have your standard I/O panel with 2x PS2, serial, parallel, 4xUSb, 1x IEE 1394 (FireWire), Gigabit Lan, SPDIF in/out, and analog connections for 6 channel audio.