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Transcend AVE3 VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review
Transcend AVE3 VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Transcend's position is a very unique one indeed. Now a full scale manufacturer of a wide range of motherboards and memory modules, Transcend can be considered the "one and only" in the industry to specialize in both areas.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Transcend Jun 17 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Transcend AVE3

Transcend AVE3 VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review

Transcend's position is a very unique one indeed. Now a full scale manufacturer of a wide range of motherboards and memory modules, Transcend can be considered the "one and only" in the industry to specialize in both areas. Covered here is our first Transcend review in which we take a look at their VIA Apollo Pro 133A based solution, the AVE3.

The market is literally flooded by the overwhelming number of Apollo Pro 133A based motherboards. Iwill, for example, took a different approach by implementing IDE RAID on their VD133Pro mainboard. However, Transcend decided to take a rather "brute force" approach in pushing their AP133A offering. You will see later in this review why the AVE3 impressed us here and also why is just nearly missed receiving our Editor's Choice award.

So then what exactly sets the AVE3 apart from the others? Read on to find out...


- Socket 370 interface which supports Intel Celeron / Celeron II / FC-PGA Pentium III CPUs / Cyrix III CPU.
- Based upon the VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset (694x/686A)
- Support for Virtual Channel Memory (VCM)
- 3 x 168-pin DIMM slots for a maximum of 1.5GB of system memory
- 1 ISA / 5 PCI / 1 AGP / 1 AMR (shared with 1 ISA slot)
- Dual ATA/66 HDD headers
- Support for 66 - 150MHz FSB speeds (through BIOS and jumpers)
- 4 x USB Ports
- On-board AC97 audio CODEC
- Hardware Monitoring Support
- Award V6.00 BIOS
- ATX Form Factor, 4-layer PCB. 19cm x 30.5cm

What's Included

Along with the AVE3 motherboard comes a 52-page manual. Though not as long as manuals found with those Asus boards, this one is quite helpful and specific in order to get the user's job done. And frankly, I would not like to see it any other way. In addition to the 2 USB ports already located in the ATX I/O headers, Transcend has included 2 additional ports which come along and take residence occupying a cabinet slot.

The usual floppy, HDD cables and driver CD are included as well. An additional bonus that we would like to see as a trend is the inclusion of the thermal sensor. Of all the boards tested, only Soltek and Transcend have included these sensors with their motherboards.

It is certainly pleasing to see mainboard manufacturers starting to pay more attention to the layout of their products. With the AVE3, it was rather difficult to find any fault with anything at all. Clean layout and design permits me to think that Transcend spent extra time the planning stage of the AVE3. First of all, it is a well known fact that ISA cards are on their way out of existance and AMR devices have not seen much daylight at all. The 1 ISA and 1 AMR slot present on the AVE3 are shared. This means that you can only use one of the devices at a given time as each slot occupies the same cabinet position. It was certainly pleasing to note Transcend did take the more practical aspect of the situation.

Positioning and placement of the on board audio inputs are thoughtfully located in between PCI slots as to avoid any interference between the audio cables and PCI hardware. The only oddity that I might find with this is the event of having two neighboring card attached via a pass through connector. Other than that, the board design is absolutely flawless.

As with other ATX boards out there, installing the AVE3 was no sweat. Depending upon the CPU you wish to install on this board, you must first verify whether the FSB jumper is configured correctly. With these particular jumpers, you must set either a 66, 100 or 133MHz FSB which is strictly based upon the "official" speed of your CPU. Celeron users must set the jumpers at 66MHz, Pentium III and III E owners should opt for a 100MHz bus and Pentium III EB users will use the 133MHz setting.

The sample I received included VIA 4-in-1 drivers V4.20, however, version 4.22 was used in all testing.

Test Bed setup

To put the Transcend AVE3 through its trial runs, we used to the following hardware...

- Celeron 400 CPU
- 128MB PC100 SDRAM
- 8.4GB Quantum CR Hard disk
- Windows 98 (standard)

We also used the following motherboards in this review for comparative purposes...

- Iwill VD133Pro Motherboard
- Soltek 67KV Motherboard
- Asus P3B-F Motherboard

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Contents of Article: Transcend AVE3
 Pg 1.  — Transcend AVE3 VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Winstone Performance
 Pg 3.  Overclocking and Conclusion

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