As has been the case with most of the Shuttle boards AnandTech has tested, a hardware monitoring option is offered on the HOT-685, but remember that it is an option - one that has not been included on our past Shuttle evaluation boards, but was on the HOT-685. It uses the extremely popular Winbond 83781D to monitor 3 fans, 7 voltages, and up to 3 temperatures. The reason for "up to 3 temperatures" is that the Winbond hardware monitor can only monitor one temperature on its own - the temperature of the Winbond chip itself. In order to monitor the other two temperatures, such as that of the CPU, the Winbond chip requires an external thermistor. None are included with the HOT-685 unfortunately.

Unlike most other Shuttle boards, the HOT-685 does not feature Shuttle's SoftMenu-like CPU PnP setup. This board features a completely jumpered setup. As long as your not overclocking, this is not going to matter at all since the bus speed can be autodetected via B21 and the multiplier on all Socket-370 CPU's is fixed. Naturally, the HOT-685 properly detected the Intel Celeron 366 AnandTech used for testing.

Power management consists of pretty much the standard stuff these days. A wake on-LAN header is available to allow the system to resume on network activity and the BIOS can be set to turn on the system at a specific time. The CPU fan can be shut off when the system suspends to quiet things down a bit. ACPI support is built into the BIOS for added power management under an ACPI compliant OS like Windows 98 or Windows 2000.

The manual is the classic Shuttle fare, with an Installation Guide to get you started and the full manual on CD-ROM. That CD-ROM is also traditional Shuttle material with a few utilities, including chipset patches for Windows 95, bus master drivers, etc.

The Bad

While not necessarily bad, it must be noted that many older AT power supplies may not be very well prepared for an upgrade like this. Besides the obvious fact that AT power supplies are not capable of some of the power management features of ATX models, many of those older power supplies simply do not provide as stable voltage outputs as current models, simply because they are old or because the ATX specification is more strict. Regardless, an old cheap power supply is asking for trouble and could lead to system instability - remember that if you buy an AT motherboard to upgrade your system. Not all AT power supplies have this problem obviously, it's just something to watch for.

The Forte Media sound uses the same IRQ as the AGP slot and cannot be changed. This could spell trouble for certain video cards that don't like to share IRQ's.

Of course, being an AT board has its own disadvantages. Things are more cramped and ribbon cables are required for all the I/O ports.

Front panel connectors may also block the use of a full length card in the lone ISA slot in this system.

There still have been few attempts from manufacturers besides Abit to offer voltage tweaking support on a motherboard and the HOT-685 is no exception. Fortunately, we're starting to see this trend changing with boards like the IWill BD100Plus, AOpen AX6BC Pro, Asus P2B-F, and the MSI 6163.

USB Compatibility

  • Number of Front Universal Serial Bus Root Ports: 0

  • Number of Rear Universal Serial Bus Root Ports: 2

  • USB IRQ Enable/Disable in BIOS: Yes

  • USB Keyboard Support in BIOS: Yes


Recommended SDRAM

Recommended SDRAM: Mushkin SEC -GH PC100 SDRAM; Memory Man SEC -GH PC100 SDRAM
SDRAM Tested: 1 x 64MB PC100 SDRAM

Manufacturer: The Memory Man
Purchase Web-Site: http://www.memory-man.com

Manufacturer: Mushkin
Purchase Website: http://www.mushkin.com

Index The Test

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