Motherboard: Transcend TS-AKR4 Review :: Features

03-25-2002 · Category: Motherboards

By Niso Levitas

Board Revision1.0
BIOS Version20/12/2002 1.1
Default Clock Speed (MHz)1663
North BridgeVIA VT8366A
South BridgeVIA VT8233
Number of PCI slots5
Memory typeDDR200/266
Number of memory slots3
Maximum Memory (GB)3
Universal AGP support *YES
AGP Pro SupportN/A
Number of Physical USB 1.1 ports **2
Number of Physical USB 2.0 ports **0
Active Cooling on ChipsetN/A
Adjustable AGP VoltageN/A
Adjustable Memory voltageN/A
Southbridge UDMA 133 SupportN/A
IDE or RAID Controller other than SouthbridgeN/A
Auto speed-down/shutdown on fan failureN/A
Auto speed-down/shutdown on heat alarmYES
On-board SoundAC97 SIGMATEL AC97ST21T
On-board LANN/A
* Voltage and Physical support for previous generation of AGP
** Not just pin headers onboard

Stability and Compatibility20|25
Package & Support8|10

I would like to start with the CPU Burning protection as usual. There are three types of anti-burn protection on motherboards.

  1. Shutdown on CPU fan failure.
  2. Shutdown on CPU overheat.
  3. The new thermal circuitry protection.

The first two may help to prevent burn for a fan failure. The third one is good protection if a CPU heatsink falls off during a PCs shipment. AMD improved their specs with motherboard manufacturers for this feature to work. This board supports only shutdown on CPU overheat feature. I tried to stop the fan when working and the system safely turned off.

Other than the standard 5 PCI slots and 3 Memory slots supporting 3 GB, this board supports 6 USB 1.1 ports. But there were no USB Port brackets included for the additional four USB ports. I could not find it in the manual as an option. The AGP slot is universal, which means you can use your relatively old 3.3V AGP card.

The Suspend to RAM and keyboard power on functions can be enabled and disabled by jumpers on the motherboard, rather than via the BIOS which we prefer. The keyboard power on function is enabled by default but for this board, it requires a special keyboard with power button on it. On most of the motherboards, you can set it to a keyboard combination.

If you don't want to spend the money for a sound card and you don't need a powerful sound processor on-board, this board includes an AC97 solution with SIGMATEL AC97ST21T chip. It is good for a standard stereo listening experience. The sound inputs integrated on motherboard are a little bit overkill. There were 5 audio inputs. You need to have two CD Devices, a TV Tuner or video capture card, a modem with voice features with that connector on it, and another auxiliary device to populate them all. Most of the voice modem cards don't use that connector. Most of the TV Tuner cards use bracket output with loop back cables. Let's say all the possibilities came together because we are enthusiasts, I would choose to buy a more capable soundcard. Two or at most three sound inputs are plenty for a standard stereo on-board sound solution. For a board with an economy perspective like this, it is a waste of PCB space.

Motherboard supports wake on LAN and wake on modem functions with connectors on board. Sometimes they include modem ring on function in the BIOS, and it uses the modem IRQ to wake up the system. But on some modems you can find this WOM or WOR connector.

The package was simple. Standard IDE and floppy cables, the CD that only includes drivers, live BIOS update utility, and a manual. Live BIOS update feature is very handy. For a DOS Flash BIOS update, you have to boot the system without TSR or settings to update the BIOS. But if your system is updating BIOS inside your OS, you don't need to know anything about it at all.

Package Contents

  • TRANSCEND TS-AKR4 Motherboard
  • User's Manual
  • FDD cable
  • ATA 66/100/133 cable