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Shuttle AV14 Socket 370 VIA Apollo Pro 133A
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Date: Dec 15, 2001
Section:Motherboards
Author: HH Editor
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Shuttle AV14 Socket 370 VIA Apollo Pro 133A - Page 1

Shuttle AV14 Socket 370 Motherboard
It's does everything right...but nothing great.

By, Marco ?BigWop? Chiappetta
10 / 12 / 2000

  

My first assignment when I initially joined the Hot Hardware team was to review a VIA Apollo Pro 133 based board, the AV61 from Shuttle Inc. I was very excited to get my hands on this product, because at that time the 440BX had already been available for quite a while and was lacking some of the features the Apollo 133 brought to the table. I wasn't very familiar with Shuttle products so I was also intrigued by the opportunity to test hardware from another company.

The AV61 has been through a few revisions and has evolved into the board we are looking at today, the AV14. The basic feature set has remained the same but the chipset has been upgraded to the Apollo Pro 133A which adds support for AGP4X.  Its sibling, the Apollo Pro 133 only had support for AGP2X and the Slot 1 connector (which Intel is currently phasing out) has been replaced with a Socket 370 connector. The VIA chipset has also been through a few revisions which has increased performance and compatibility.  So, the evolution of the board along with the maturity of the chipset may yield a very good product.

As long as the feature set, compatibility, stability and overclocking options are all competitive with similar products, Shuttle should have a winner on it's hands.  Lets jump right in and find out.

Specifications of the Shuttle AV14
More Socket 370 Fun

CPU: 

Socket370 
Intel Celeron PPGA 300 ~ 533MHz 
Intel Celeron FC-PGA 533MHz~600+MHz 
Intel Pentium III FC-PGA 500 ~ 866+MHz

Chipset: 

VIA Apollo Pro 133A (VT82C694X), North bridge 
Host interface 
DRAM interface 
PCI interface 
AGP interface 
VIA VT82C596B, South Bridge 
PCI to ISA bridge 
UDMA 33 / 66 IDE interface 
USB interface 
Power management meet ACPI requirement 
Keyboard Controller 
RTC

FSB & Multiplier: 

66/75/83/100/112/124/133MHz +
x3, x3.5, x4, x4.5, x5, x5.5, x6, x6.5, x7.0, x7.5, x8 (Bios setting optional)

Form Factor: ATX, 30.5cm X 19cm (below) 

Memory: 

DIMM X 3, Up to 768MB of 66 / 100 / 133MHz memory

Expansion Bus: 

1 AGP, AGP 2.0 compliance 
5 PCI, 32-Bit master 
2 ISA, 16-Bit

I/O: 

Winbond 83977EF 
1 Floppy Port: Support 1.2MB, 1.44MB, 2.88MB 
IrDA connector

IDE: 

UltraDMA-33 / 66 
PIO mode 4 
Bootable from LS120, ZIP drive, CD-ROM
Power Management: 

APM 1.2 and ACPI 1.0

BIOS: 

Award PnP BIOS 
DMI 2.3 
2Mb flash memory 

Back Panel: 

2 Serial ports, 16550 Fast UART compatible 
1 Parallel port, supports SPP, ECP, and EPP mode 
2 USB ports, Rev. 1.0 
1 PS/2 Keyboard 
1 PS/2 Mouse

H / W Monitoring: (Optional) 

Winbond W83783 
CPU Temp. monitoring, overheat warning 
CPU Vio, Vcore, 3.3V, 5V, 12V 
3 Fan speed detect

Other connectors and jumpers: 

Suspend switch and LED 
CPU core voltage adjustment (range: +0.2V per 0.1V) 
3 x fan connectors 
Wake-On-Lan connector 
SB Link

Others: 

CPU Voltage Auto Detecting (CPU PnP) 
Support Suspend to Ram 
Support AC Power Fail Resume 
Supports PC 98 requirement 
System health warning beep 
Wake-On-Ring 
Wake-On-Alarm

Accessories: 

1 CD-ROM disk contains: VIA 4 in 1 Drivers
Multi-language User manual 

1 User Manual 
1 FDD cable 
1 IDE ATA66 cable

As you can see, the only "leading edge" feature missing from the Shuttle AV14's specification list is support for UDMA / 100 hard drive transfers. In practice, this feature does not make a huge difference in performance over the older UDMA /66 specification, so we won't penalize the AV14 too badly.  After all it's VIA that makes the chipset.  :-).

Also be sure to take a good look at the close up shot of this board. There were some design decisions made with regards to the layout that we don't necessarily agree with. The slot configuration (1 AGP / 5 PCI / 2 ISA) is adequate, but we would prefer a 1 AGP, 6 PCI and 1 ISA or AMR slot configuration. Also, connector placement may displease a few users.  We'll go more in depth on that topic a little later.

 Installation and Setup

 
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Shuttle AV14 Socket 370 VIA Apollo Pro 133A - Page 2

Shuttle AV14 Socket 370 Motherboard
It's does everything right...but nothing great.

By, Marco ?BigWop? Chiappetta
10 / 12 / 2000

  
Installation and Setup
Ummm...ATX = Easy

The board ships with all the usual amenities. There is a useful manual that covers all the board's features, all necessary floppy and hard drive cables (including an 80-Pin cable needed for UDMA / 66 operation) and a CD containing the VIA 4-in-1 driver set. The drivers on the CD were a little outdated though.  Should you purchase this board, your first priority is heading to VIA's driver download page and downloading the newest release.

Installation of this board is a complete breeze.  Once you've mounted the board in your case using the proper stand-offs, set the multiplier for your processor, plug in all your components and you're ready to fly.  Every other setting is available to you via the system BIOS, which is good for both the novice and the power user. Award's newer 6.00G BIOS is used on the AV14.  This newer revision of the very popular Award BIOS has a ton of tweaking options, we're sure to see it on many more future products.

Physical inspection of the board shows that Shuttle take's pride in their products.  All connectors and traces are clean and solid but the AV14's layout could have been thought out a little better.  One thing we did like was the placements of a couple of the fan headers.

The fan headers all the way out to the edges makes for a nice clean case if you bundle the wires nicely.  We sure wish they would have thought about that when it came to the ATX and floppy connectors though.

I'm pulling the cables straight out for the sake of getting a good pic but this placement is very poor.  In most instances, the AV14 is going to be mounted in a tower type case, which means the power supply and floppy cables are going to be draped directly over the processor. (You can see a piece of the Socket 370 at the upper right.)  The potential for having the floppy and ATX cables obstructing airflow over your processor's heatsink is very real.  If you have this board or any other with a similar layout, take special care to route your cables neatly and bundle them tightly.

Our last concern is with the placement of large capacitors fairly close to the Socket 370 connector.

Notice the lower-left hand corner where the heatsink just barely clears the capacitor.  With a slightly lager heatsink, we may not have been able to get it mounted properly.  On the flip side, having these "larger" capacitors filtering the power to the CPU results in greater stability.  We are happy to report that throughout testing we did not experience a single crash.  Those seeking excellent stability will not be disappointed in the AV14.

Now we know what the Shuttle AV14 is made of and what it looks like but I'm sure you're all wondering, "How does it perform"?  It actually performs quite well....

 

Benchmarks, Overclocking and Conclusion

 
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Shuttle AV14 Socket 370 VIA Apollo Pro 133A Page 3


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