Shuttle Hot-687V Pg. II
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Setup
   Setting up the Hot-687V would have been a far easier task had the "Quick Start" guide been clearer. There are a number of configurable jumpers for the system clock and CPU host frequencies which can be configured but since all of the current CPUs available for use on this board are clock-locked, configuring the system clock is redundant and there is no mention of this in guide. The same thing goes for all of the configurable CPU host frequency settings provided you leave the JP5 jumper-set at default (see above). This jumper, at its default setting, auto-detects CPU frequency for access through the BIOS and clock multiplier, but can be used to force the CPU host frequency to 100 or 133MHz for overclocking. So, basically, the numerous jumper setting are for overclockers or future CPU releases.
The Hot-687V is extremely well laid out for a microATX form factor mainboard and all of the connectors are right where you'd expect to find them, with the only area that's a bit cramped being the CPU socket which tends to force the use of the retail heatsink/fan combos that come with the Intel processors.

Performance
   While the Shuttle Hot-687V is most likely not the fastest mainboard available for the PIII Coppermine processor, it does offer exceptional stability.  This, and its ability to be easily overclocked do offer performance benefits where some faster mainboards fail.  Past experience has taught us that most microATX mainboards are aimed at the business/home office workstation and budget consumer markets.  In this arena the Hot-687V may well offer too much of a good thing in it's overclockability, but stability is the name of the game in the market at which the board is aimed!  This it offers in droves!  

Test Configuration for Shuttle Hot-687V

Mainboard Shuttle Hot-687V
Chipset VIA Apollo Pro133 
Processor(s) Intel® PPGA Celeron™ 500MHz
Intel® FC-PGA Pentium III 500E
Memory 1x64MB PC133
Generic CAS 3
Hard Drive Western Digital AC29100 
9.1G Ultra ATA/66 7200RPM
Graphics Adapter Elsa Winner II 16MB Savage4 AGP X2
Operating System Windows 98 SE

   We set up the system board for testing using an UDMA66 hard drive because it was the only one currently available to us and although the VIA Apollo Pro133 only supports UDMA33 this had no negative effects whatsoever.  HDTach scores showed a sustained data throughput of 21.8MB/sec. with bursts of up to 28.9MB/sec. and CPU utilization of 6.3%.  We tested the board's overall stability by pushing it through 25 iterations of BapCo's SYSmark 2000 rebooting between iterations and the board did not register a single error with the PIII 500E at its default speed with L2 ECC enabled in the BIOS and remained remarkably cool throughout the test period. Moving on to Ziff-Davis' Content Creation Winstone 2000 and Business Winstone 99 we ran out system memory at 100MHz for the Celeron 500MHz and PIII 500E default FSB benchmarks and at 133MHz for the overclocked PIII 500E @ 133MHz runs with the following results averaged over three iterations.

Conclusion
   Shuttle has always proved itself by squeezing as much out of the chipsets it bases its boards on while maintaining an eye on cost control.  In this the Hot-687V offers the quality and features we've come to expect from its manufacturer.  It's lack of support for UDMA66, a poorly documented account of a somewhat confusing jumper array, and crowded CPU socket are, for sure, points against; but, balanced against its splendid stability, solid onboard sound chip and lack of the frankly useless AMR slot, and good expansion properties for a microATX board,  tip the scales in Shuttle's behalf on the Hot-687V.
   The board offers easy tweaking through the BIOS without the need for all of those jumpers, and a really good feature set for a budget PC mainboard in the microATX form.  With the promise of clearer documentation, the Hot-687V earns a solid B as a general mainboard and an A- for the budget PC market!  

You can find out more about the Hot-687V as well as other mainboards and PC hardware by visiting the Shuttle web site at http://www.spacewalker.com  

 

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