are a lot of heavy hitters in the motherboard
market right now.
Companies like Asus, Soyo, Tyan and Abit,
among others, are always thought of first when it?s
Times change though, and today we?ll take
a look at a board from someone relatively new in
the motherboard arena, Transcend
The company was founded in 1988 and
generally focused on memory modules prior to
Transcend AVE3 is not the first motherboard they
have delivered to the market however. They
actually have a full line of both Intel and VIA
based solutions available. This is just the first
Transcend board we?ve gotten a chance to look at
here at HotHardware. The AVE3 touts the very popular VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset,
which we have become familiar with here, so we
were rather curious as to how a board from this
new player would perform?
of the Tanscend AVE3
370 with all the toys
Support Intel Celeron PPGA 300A~533MHz (66MHz
Support Intel Celeron FC-PGA 533A+ MHz
Support Intel Pentium III FC-PGA 500EB~800+ MHz
Support Intel Pentium III FC-PGA 600EB~866+ MHz
VIA Apollo Pro 133A Chipset (694X+ 686A)
3 x 168-pin DIMM
Up to 1.5 GB SDRAM(PC-100/PC-133) or VCM
2 x Bus master IDE channels support up to 4 x
Support PIO mode 3/4, DMA mode 2, and Ultra DMA
2 x RS-232 serial ports (16550 UART
1 x Parallel printer port (SPP/EPP/ECP mode)
1 x FDD port (3 mode, 1.2/1.44/2.88MB FDD, LS120 )
1 x IrDA port with optional cable for transceiver
1 x PS/2 Keyboard port
1 x PS/2 Mouse port
4 x USB ports
1 x SB-Link header
1 x Game / MIDI port (15-pin)
1 x Audio Line-out jack
1 x Audio Line-in jack
1 x Audio MIC-in jack
Award BIOS with Green, ACPI, APM, Plug and
Play, DMI functions
Support multiple-boot from E-IDE / SCSI
/CD-ROM / FDD / LS120 / ZIP
Boot-up Virus Warning
PnP BIOS in 2Mbit Flash EEPROM
Built-in AC97 CODEC
66~150MHz(66/100/133 MHz guaranteed)
FSB adjustable by BIOS
5 x PCI slots
1 x AGP slot (Supports AGP 2X/4X)
1 x ISA slot
1 x AMR slot
4 layers, 7.5" x 12" (19cm x
ATX Form Factor
On board voltage monitors for CPU core, + 3.3V,
+/- 5V, +/- 12V, VTT, 5VSB, VRTC
3 x fan status monitors with F/W programmable fan
CPU overheat alarm
Suspend to RAM (STR )
Power on by alarm
Modem ring on
Software power off control
Boot-up Virus warning
Suspend to RAM (STR)
Power failure resume
CPU Core voltage Adjustable up to 10% buffer
Being as this was the first board from
Transcend that we have received, I took my usual
ritual of ?eyeing? a new product very
I removed the board from it?s packing I looked
very closely at every component mounted on the
the solder connections clean and tight?
Yes? Were the slot brackets and
other plastic connectors mounted properly? Yes?
I really did scrutinize every aspect of the
physical quality of this board and can report that
the workmanship is excellent.
workmanship, however, is only half the battle.
Top-notch components aren?t always what
they?re cracked up to be if the layout is poor. I?m happy to report it is evident that a lot of
forethought was put into the layout and design of
the AVE3. All
connectors, large capacitors and chips are mounted
in excellent locations, something we cannot always
say about many boards from the so-called ?big
only potential problem I see, is if someone uses
an unusually large heatsink / fan combo.
The power capacitors on the lower side of
the socket (if looking at the board while mounted
in a tower case) are fairly close. However,
I did not have any trouble fitting a Global Win
cooler onto the CPU.
If you look at this picture?
notice that even the connectors for the internal
audio cables are located ?between? slots.
Even if you had something plugged into
every one of them, none of your PCI slots would be
If you take a close look at the picture of the
board, we?re sure you?ll also notice the slot
configuration and layout.
We?re partial to the rare 6 PCI layout
here, but should a board have 5, this is the way
to do it. You?ll notice that the last PCI slot shares it?s case
position with the AMR slot and not the ISA slot.
?Big Deal!? you say. Well, it is
a big deal. Choosing this configuration allows you to fill every PCI
slot, as well the ISA slot without a problem.
ISA modem users or legacy sound card users
will not have to sacrifice the use of one of their
PCI slots should they choose this board as the
basis of a system.
there was one welcome addition to the AVE3
packaged in with the board.
Transcend supplies a connector to utilize
the extra 2 USB ports.
Another ?feature? some other companies
should take notice of.
is one minor gripe though. The Transcend AVE3 only has 2 fan headers on the board.
If you are someone who hard wires all
fans (except the CPU fan) to the power supply in
his case, like I do, this isn?t a big
deal. Nonetheless, this is something worth