The AV64 is the first of the 133A motherboards to reach our lab that includes Award's 6.00 PG BIOS, which is readily included on i810 and i810E boards. The advantage of this is its ease of use and a panel on the right offering explanations of the various settings. Shuttle's Apollo Pro 133A solution has a very manageable BIOS with most options easily found. The BIOS itself does not allow control over CPU ratio, AGP ratio, memory speed or core voltage which instead is handled by jumpers on the board. Shuttle uses their own hybrid jumper/jumperless setup that ends up confusing the user more than helping them with more options. We would have preferred it if Shuttle went with something like ASUS’ JumperFree setup where 100% of the configuration is done within the BIOS with a single block of dip-switches placed in an easy to reach area if you wish to override the jumperless configuration. Instead, Shuttle uses a combination of jumper blocks scattered on various parts of the motherboard that honestly requires more work to lay out than it does to simply include a normal jumperless setup. FSB settings of 66 / 75 / 83 / 100 / 112 / 133 / 140 / 150 MHz are all available via the BIOS or the jumpers. While the Shuttle might not have as many FSB options as other boards, there are jumper settings which allow tweaking of individual components. The BIOS is pretty much the typical Award fare. A specific IRQ can be assigned to a specific PCI slot, SDRAM timing adjusted, AGP speed, etc.

As any good overclocking board should, the Shuttle included voltage-tweaking options to help with every last bit of overclocked stability. The core voltage can be increased by 0.15%, 0.5%, 1.5%, and 7.8% via jumper block 48. To provide an example, for a Slot-1 Coppermine which runs at 1.65V, the core voltage options are minor with 0.15% and 0.5% while 1.5% and 7.8% equates to 1.67V and 1.79V. Both system clock and clock multiplier settings can be set via jumper. As mentioned before, the clock multiplier setting is not as big an issue now that Intel has locked it. Jumpers 55 and 45 allow "tricking" the motherboard into thinking the CPU is different. This overrides the default chip FSB setting, insuring that the AGP / PCI ratios will be properly set. The manual states the ICH also can be increased to 3.6V from the default of 3.3V by jumper 32 which, since the 133A has no ICH, we assume refers to the South Bridge.

After all is said and done, Shuttle was solid in nonoverclocked situations. Because of the voltage tweaking options, overclocked stability was above average. In terms of performance, the AV64 fit right in, scoring similarly in Sysmark and Winstone against the rest of the Apollo Pro 133A competition. See the marks in the round-up for Sysmark, Winstone and Quake III.

The Shuttle AV64 has the option for a hardware monitoring chip but none was included on the board we reviewed. The manual mentions optional temperature monitoring, voltage monitoring and fan status monitoring. There are four fan connectors -- one above the DIMM slot, one below and two of them are located between the PCI slots.

The power management options are the same as most other boards these days. For the users who wish the computer to turn on in the presence of network activity or an incoming, both wake on LAN and wake on modem ring headers are available. Also, the BIOS can be set to turn on the system at a specific time so the computer can wake up before you. 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 system can be configured to power on via hot key or mouse click as well. Another option in the BIOS allows the system to respond to power outages or surge protectors by either keeping the same power state as when power was cut off, always turning on, or always staying off. Two jumpers allow for wake by keyboard or wake by mouse -- neither of these is essential but both are nice features to have.

Because no information could be found on this board at Shuttle's web page, it is likely that the manual and CD we received will be updated by large scale release. The manual was a simple Xeroxed packet with a minimal description of the board. The CD provided drivers such as VIA's 4-in-1 but did not have the manual for this particular board. In other motherboards, Shuttle has included a quick start guide and a manual, as well as the driver CD.

Index The Bad
Comments Locked


View All Comments

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now