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Shuttle HOT-591P Baby AT Motherboard Review
Last updated: 3/27/00

MOTHERBOARD BOOK. The motherboard book is really a glossy brochure consisting of front and back covers and five printed pages in English and German.  One page is dedicated to specifications.  The rest contain a good diagram of the motherboard and well-organized set of jumper diagrams.   The information is too brief for the average, first-time do-it-yourselfer, but is adequate for a technician replacing a motherboard.  I wouldn't and haven't called it a User Manual.

BATTERY.  The CMOS BATTERY is CR2032 disc which typically found on recent motherboards.  Although the battery holder seems solid enough, one is going to have to exercise some care when replacing the battery because socket is partially blocked by the AGP socket and just about behind one of the PCI sockets.

SOFTWARE.   The 591P comes with a CD containing mainboard software, all of the manuals for all of their motherboards, a fairly set of hyperlinked FAQs, and System Manager software.  The selection of drivers is incomplete and the ones that are on the CD are probably dated. 

INSTALLATION.  I couldn't get the motherboard to run with a 400 Mhz AMD K6-2 processor and PC-100 memory until I went into the CMOS Setup and changed the IRQ Routing Miniport Driver setting in the PNP/PCI Configuration from Win98 to VIA. Additionally, VIA's IRQ Routing Mini-port Driver is required to reliably run Windows 98.  While you are downloading it, you may want to download the VIA USB Filter Driver and the latest versions of other relevant drivers.  I finally obtained a stable motherboard with a 400 Mhz processor and 100 MHZ FSB when I flashed the BIOS with the latest version (591PWIQB.BIN) available on shuttle's Web site, a procedure I routinely do anyway for all motherboards I install.  When Installing Windows 98, I recommend that you omit/remove all expansion boards from the system, except the monitor adapter, install 98, install the above software, and then install any additional boards one-at-time.  Finally, if you are running Windows 95 and a 350 Mhz or faster K6-2, my article on fixing a timing problem with the OSR2.X and my diary item on fast K6-2's and older versions of Windows 95 are relevant.

OPERATION.    AMD tested the 591P with a K6-2 at 333 Mhz.  I tested it with a 400 Mhz K6-2 and found it quite stable with a 100 Mhz FSB/memory pipe running Winstone '98.  It benchmarked at 23.4 Winstones, which is quite typical for a 400 Mhz K6-2/MVP3 engine.

BOTTOM LINE.  If you are looking for a low-end replacement board to keep an office worker going for another couple of years or as a modest upgrade to an older home computer, this board is in the running.   If you are thinking of building a new computer or you are shopping for a motherboard for a currently expensive K6-3, then I would look elsewhere (in the Digest, of course).  I generally prefer an ATX form-factor board with more cache'  for new computers, and high-end upgrades; however, a new case, power supply, and PC-100 memory noticeably add to the cost of an upgrade.  For those who want to conserve their Baby AT case and power supply, but have or will be using 168-pin DIMMs, there are better motherboards to choose from.  For more information see Advise on Buying a Motherboard and other motherboard reviews in the Digest.




Test Computer: AMD 400 Mhz K6-2 processor, Shuttle HOT-59P motherboard, 512 KB cache', 64 MB, 8 ns PC100 memory, Western Digital AC26400B, 6.4 GB, 9.5 ms, EIDE UDMA hard disk, Windows 98 with FAT32 file system (defragged), Toshiba 24X CD-ROM, S3 Trio 3D Display Adapter with 4 MB.

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