The Bad

Shuttle has a habit of sticking connectors in the most random places on their motherboards.  A perfect example can be found here with the 649A, although they tried to keep the SCSI connectors out of the way of the peripheral expansion slots, any installed full-length cards would present an obstacle for the SCSI cables requiring the user to run them up and around the tail of the card, not always a comfortable experience, especially if you have a limited cable length to work with.  Another example being the placement of the third and fourth 3-pin fan connectors, both placed in between two expansion slots on the motherboard, a place that is extremely difficult to reach regardless of what is installed in your system.

The overall stability of the HOT-649A was a notch below that of the flagship Supermicro and Tyan products AnandTech has tested, which although still makes the board an incredibly stable product, does point out the fact that there is an obvious stability gap between Shuttle's first attempt at a dual processor board, and the latest offerings from those that have been in the market longer.

A bone to pick with Shuttle's implementation of their "auto-detecting" CPU speed feature is that the "auto-detect" is only applicable for clock multipliers (which, with clock locked processors, is already made possible on the processor's end) and not for FSB settings.  So the FSB settings must be manually selected by a jumper block in the far corner of the board, in an extremely cramped area (especially when installed in a case), making adjusting FSB settings a bit of an ordeal unless done prior to the installation of the motherboard.

One con to any motherboard with on-board Adaptec SCSI right now is the inflated cost of on-board SCSI due to Adaptec's price increase, you can expect to pay a considerable premium for any motherboards with this feature from now on, and with the lack of any major dual processor boards without on-board SCSI (excluding those models from Supermicro), you have very few options in this area.

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 Mushkin PC100 SDRAM; 1 x 64MB Memory-Man PC100 SDRAM

Manufacturer: The Memory Man
Purchase Web-Site:

Manufacturer: Mushkin
Purchase Web-Site:

The Test

In recent times, choosing a motherboard cannot be completely determined by a Winstone score. Now, many boards come within one Winstone point of each other and therefore the need to benchmark boards against each other falls. Therefore you shouldn't base your decision entirely on the benchmarks you see here, but also on the technical features and advantages of this particular board, seeing as that will probably make the greatest difference in your overall experience.

How I Tested

  • Each benchmark was run a minimum of 2 times and a maximum of 5 times, if the motherboard failed to complete a single test within the 5 allocated test runs the OS/Software was re-installed on a freshly formatted Hard Drive and the BIOS settings were adjusted to prevent the test from failing again.  All such encounters were noted at the exact time of their occurrence.

  • Business Winstone 98 & 3D Winbench 98 was run at each individually tested clock speed, if reliable scores were achieved with the first two test runs of the suite an average of the two was taken and recorded as the final score at that clock speed.  If the test system displayed erratic behavior while the tests were running or the results were incredibly low/high the tests were re-run up to 5 times and an average of all the test runs was taken and recorded at the final score at that clock speed

  • All video tests were conducted using an AGP video accelerator

  • No foreign drivers were present in the test system other than those required for the system to function to the best of its ability

  • All foreign installation files were moved to a separate partition during the test as to prevent them from effecting the test results

  • All tests were conducted at 1024 x 768 x 16-bit color

  • Quake 2 tests were conducted at 800 x 600 x 16-bit color in Software Rendering Mode

Index The Test
Comments Locked


View All Comments

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now