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i845PE Roundup - Shuttle AB48N: BIOS and Overclocking

Shuttle is hardly known for any generous BIOS settings and such is also the case with AB48N. Once again it's about a Phoenix Award BIOS and the layout is almost identical compared to Abits, that is if you remove all overclocking settings which seperates Abit from the rest.

Shuttle AB48N

Shuttle's BIOS does however let us set the FSB up to 166, but since we are unable to change the voltage, it's practically imposible to reach such speeds anyway. The DRAM voltage cannot be regulated either and neither can the AGP voltage. There are no hidden memory multiples, the DDR333 is the fastest option available to us. When it comes to AGP/PCI speeds, the motherboard sets these automatically and we can't lock these frequencies.

The fastest memory timings offered by AB48N are 1,5-5-2-2 and this is more than enough. This BIOS also has a section where the integrated components can be configured. Last but not the least is also a surveillance section where we can look at temperatures and voltages. You can also set at which processor temperature the board is supposed to shut the computer down, which could occur if the fan would break.

BIOS settings
100-166MHz (1MHz intervalls)
Multiplier settings:
automatically set

It's pretty obvious that Shuttle is not directing this board to overclockers either. The complete lack of choices when it comes to clock frequencies makes this BIOS foolproof and easily comfigured for somewhat unaccustomed users who are only after a working computer. Nothing for powerusers, that is. Despite the fact that the target group might not be enthusiasts, we think the BIOS of the board has too few settings to motivate a higher grade.


We look at layout of the BIOS and it's setting possibilities. Both for regular usage and for overclocking.



Without voltage settings and the possibility to fix the AGP bus we had no greater expectations concerning the Shuttle board. The highest speed we managed to reach was 3GHz exactly with a FSB of 150MHz. Hardly impressive but certainly expected concerning the options.

The Shuttle board doesn't impress with any high FSB overclocking either. As our blown up test processor for the MAXFSB tests is built on the Willamette core, our possibilities of raising the FSB were greatly limited by the board's BIOS. There were no jumpers, which could enable the board to identify the CPU as a 533FSB, and therefor our maximum overclocking is also the highest FSB we have gotten to with the board.

Shuttle AB48N is no overclocker's board and doesn't try to be so. Even if the 845PE chipset is very overclocking friendly, Shuttle's limited BIOS strangles the potential of the chipset completely. Sure, the overclocking isn't non-existant, but to say that the board is overclockable would almost be a lie.

Here the theoretical overclocking potential of the motherboard is valued through practical tests.

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