This is an old archive page of HWZ prior to revamp. Please visit HWZ for the latest reviews and news.


» Channels :: Mainboard
Shuttle MN31N (NVIDIA nForce2 IGP)
By Vijay Anand
Category : Mainboard
Published by Jimmy Tang on Friday, 4th July, 2003
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  

Size And Customizability Does Matter

What do you do when you have limited space for a normal tower-based system? You could consider one of those Small Form Factor (SFF) systems that are both tiny and cool to have. However, if you are putting up a system at a reduced budget, SFF systems don’t usually meet the price as most are custom designed form factors with proprietary cooling solutions that add to the cost of the system. With the proprietary motherboards / cooling solutions and hard to obtain PSUs, SFF systems do have a certain degree of limitation, depending on the individual user's point of view.

If you desire a fully customizable system and/or one that may allow you to build a lower cost mini system, there is still the micro-ATX (mATX) way. Some of the mATX housings that we have seen even generously accept standard ATX power supply units that are easily obtainable; this allows you to select a PSU that's just right for your needs. Of course such mATX casings would be a tad larger than those that limit themselves to Flex-ATX PSUs and other form factor PSUs. Most importantly, the choices are available and such systems are vastly more compact than the ATX tower counterparts. Now, it is up to you to embark on a shopping spree and decide what to integrate in your setup.

Let us show you a possible candidate for a fully customizable mini system as it has been eons since we last reviewed a mATX motherboard. Shuttle sent us their nForce2 IGP based MN31N micro-ATX motherboard, which is of course to be paired with an AMD Socket-A processor based on the Duron or Athlon XP class of processors.

In the Shuttle MN31N package, you'll find the following items:-

  • The Shuttle MN31N motherboard
  • CD with drivers and utilities
  • User's manual
  • 1x Ultra ATA-100 IDE cable
  • 1x Floppy drive cable
  • 2-port USB 2.0 bracket
  • I/O Shield

    Lets start with the technical specifications of the board and move on to the motherboard features on the following pages:

    Shuttle MN31N Technical Specifications
    • Socket A for AMD Athlon XP / Duron processors
    • AMD Athlon Processors up to 1.4GHz
    • AMD Athlon XP Processors 1500+ to 3000+
    • AMD Duron Processors up to 1.3GHz
    • Supports processors at 200 / 266 / 333 MHz front side bus
    • NVIDIA nForce2-IGP (nForce2-GT) North Bridge
      • Integrated GeForce4 MX GPU
      • Supports DDR200 / DDR266 / DDR333 / DDR400 memory technology up to 3GB
      • 200 / 266 / 333MHz front side bus
      • AGP 4x / 8x (1.5V max)
      • Dynamic Adaptive Speculative (DASP)
      • DualDDR Memory Architecture
      • HyperTransport Bus (800MB/s)
    • NVIDIA nForce2 MCP-T South Bridge
      • NVIDIA Audio Processing Unit (with Dolby Digital Interactive Content Encoder)
      • NVIDIA StreamThru
      • NVIDIA Enhanced Communications Suite
      • NVIDIA DualNet
      • 2-channel Ultra ATA 133/100/66/33 Bus Mastering IDE controller
      • Supports up to six USB 2.0 ports
      • IEEE1394a/Firewire controller
      • Supports AC-97 audio and MC-97 modem codec
      • PCI 2.2 interface
      • HyperTransport Bus (800MB/s)
    Cache memory
    • CPU Built-in 512KB (Athlon XP -Barton core) or 256KB (Athlon/Athlon XP) or 64KB (Duron) L2 cache
    System memory
    • 3 x 184-pin DDR SDRAM DIMM
    • Supports DDR 200/266/333/400 DIMM Module (Up to DDR333 using built in graphics core)
    • Supports 2.5V DDR SDRAM
    • Supports a maximum of 3GB of memory with 1GB DIMM
    • Dual DDR Memory Architecture
    Integrated Graphics
    • Integrated GeForce4 MX GPU (IGP)
      • Integrated 256-bit 3D and 2D graphics accelerator
      • Default GPU clock speed of 200MHz
      • NVIDIA Shading Rasterizer with 24 of 26 DX8 pixel shading functions and full set of OpenGL® 1.3 pixel combiner operations
      • 32-bit color with 32-bit z/stencil
      • Digital Vibrance Control
      • nView multi-display technology
      • Resolution support up to 1920x1440
      • DVD-ready and HDTV-ready MPEG-2 decoding up to 1920x1080i ATSC Format
      • MPEG-2 hardware decode, including Inverse Discrete Cosine Transform and Motion Compensation
    • AGP 8X Interface
      • Compliant with AGP 3.0 8X and 4X with Fast Write data transfers
      • Supports AGP 2.0 for 4X, 2X, and 1X modes
    • Integrated NTSC/PAL TV Encoder (IGP)
      • Support for various worldwide formats
      • Composite and S-video output modes
      • Display resolution up to 1024x768
      • Full Macrovision™ 7.1L1 encoding for DVD compatibility
      • Fully programmable 5-tap horizontaland vertical upscaling and downscaling to TV resolutions
    • External DVI Interface (IGP)
      • Clock speeds up to full DVI specification of 165MHz (up to 1600x1200 at 60MHz in single link mode, up to 330 Mpixels per second in dual link mode)
    • 2 x bus master UDMA-33/66/100/133 IDE ports (up to 4 devices)
      • Support for PIO, UDMA-33, UDMA-66, UDMA-100, UDMA-133 IDE devices
    I/O Interface
    • 1x floppy connector (360KB - 2.88MB)
    • 2x serial port (1x via bracket, 1x via on-board header)
    • 1x Game port 
    • 2x VGA port
    • 1x parallel port (SPP/EPP/ECP)
    • 1x PS/2 Keyboard
    • 1x PS/2 Mouse
    • 6x USB 2.0 ports (2x ports in the rear, 2x via bracket, 2x via on-board header)
    • 2 x IEEE1394a/Firewire headers on-board (via Realtek RTL8801B PHY)
    • 1x IrDA TX/RX header for SIR/ASKIR/IRDA
    • Audio ports for on-board sound (Line-Out, Line-In, Mic) based on 6-channel Realtek ALC650 AC'97 sound codec and NVIDIA SoundStorm APU.
    • 1x  RJ-45 10/100 LAN port (NVIDIA controller and Realtek RTL 8201BL)
    Expansion slots
    • 3x 32-bit PCI slots, PCI 2.2 compliant
    • 1 x 1.5V / 0.8V AGP 2.0/3.0 (2x/4x/8x mode) slot
    Power Management
    • Supports ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface)
    • Supports Suspend to RAM / Disk (S3 / S4)
    • Power-on by switch, keyboard
    • Power-off by Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/NT shut down and switch
    Form Factor
    • ATX Form Factor : 24.4cm x 24.4cm
    • Fits into regular ATX case
    • 2Mbit (256KB) Flash ROM
    • Award Flash BIOS with PnP, APM, DMI, and ACPI support
    • Multi-boot on LS120, ZIP, ATAPI CD-ROM, SCSI, IDE #1, #2, #3, #4
  • Page 1 of 8 | Next>>