Transcend TS-AVE3 Review
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Introduction
A decade of steady growth has brought Transcend Information Inc (Transcend) to the place of a leading international brand name for memory. As the company's web site proudly states, " We don't develop products unless we are sure ours will be the best ", so Transcend, which has consistently developed memory products unequaled in quality, backed by excellent customer support and service, has now turned full force into the development and production an excellent line of mainboards. Their TS-AVE3 for PGA370 platform processors, based on the VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset, is quite frankly one of the most feature packed and quality engineered we have had cross the desks here at Super7.net. Although the sample presented to us for review by Transcend came with unfinished documentation, the mainboard itself lacked for nothing as to performance and stability.

Packaging
The board we received for review was an early sample so it's hard to be sure but the TS-AVE3 appears to ship with a "Quick Installation" guide - an informative and well detailed booklet that offers clear direction for physically setting up the mainboard, UDMA66 and floppy ribbon cables and a drivers/utilities disk featuring the VIA 4-in-1 Service Pack, sound drivers and "Hardware Doctor" - a system monitoring utility.

Transcend TSAVE3 Specifications

Processor:  Intel Celeron PPGA 300A-533MHz (66MHz FSB) 
Intel Celeron FC-PGA 533A+ MHz (66MHz FSB) 
Intel Pentium III FC-PGA 500EB-800+ MHz (100MHz FSB) 
Intel Pentium III FC-PGA 600EB-866+ MHz (133MHz FSB)
Chipset:  VIA Apollo Pro 133A Chipset (694X+ 686A)
System Memory: 3 x 168-pin DIMM 
Up to 1.5 GB SDRAM (PC-100/PC-133) or Virtual Channel
Onboard PCI IDE:  2 x Bus master IDE channels support up to 4 x IDE devices 
Support PIO mode 3/4, DMA mode 2, and Ultra DMA 33/66
Audio: Built-in AC97 CODEC
Onboard I/O: 2 x RS-232 serial ports (16550 UART compatible) 
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
Enhanced APCI BIOS: 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 
Green features
System Bus: 66-150MHz(66/100/133 MHz guaranteed) 
FSB adjustable by BIOS
AGP Support 1 x AGP Slot 
Supports AGP 2X/4X
Expansion: 5 x PCI slots 
1 x AGP slot 
1 x ISA slot 
1 x AMR slot
Board Dimensions: 4 layers, 7.5" x 12" (19cm x 30.5cm) 
ATX Form Factor
System Monitoring: Voltage/Temperature/Fan monitoring 
on board voltage monitors for CPU core, + 3.3V, +/- 5V, +/- 12V, VTT, 5VSB, VRTC 
3 x fan status monitors with F/W programmable fan speed 
CPU overheat alarm
Other Features: Suspend to RAM (STR ) 
Keyboard power on (hotkey/password) 
Power on by alarm 
Modem ring on 
Software power off control 
Boot-up Virus warning 
Wake-on-LAN 
Suspend to RAM (STR) 
Power failure resume 
CPU Core voltage Adjustable up to 10% buffer 
PC99 Compliant 
Year 2000 Compliant

Transcend's TS-AVE3 offers uncharacteristic expansion capabilities for a PGA370 mainboard.  A full five 32-bit PCI bus master slots to go with the universal AGP slot and just for good measure there is also a shared ISA/AMR slot which I think is an innovation that is sure to catch on as frankly AMR expansion cards seem to be for a strictly budget market as the performance of these modems is, well, to say average is to be kind, and also CPU resource intensive.  Thus a shared slot offers legacy support for ISA devices of all types and, with ISA modem sales still strong, a thoughtful act by transcend to keep from wasting space and expansion properties.  

Three DIMM slots support up to a whopping 1.5GB of PC100/PC133 SDRAM and even Virtual Channel memory - although you'll be hard pressed to locate any of this memory of legend. Each slot can support an up to 512MB module and with the asynchronous memory bus provided by the Apollo Pro 133A's North Bridge, you can run PC100 with a 133MHz FSB CPU or PC133 with a 100MHz CPU by means of adjustment within the BIOS.  You can run either module type at 66 or 100MHz if using a 66MHz CPU as you are limited to running the system memory bus at the external CPU frequency or FSB +/- 33MHz.

The universal AGP slot supports AGP X1, X2 or X4 mode operation so you can use your existing graphics card or go with the newest fastest graphics cards available although to be honest this board did not fare well with ATi's Rage Fury MAXX 64MB AGP card as there seems to be some conflict with these graphics chips and the Apollo Pro 133A, a glitch we're sure that VIA and ATi are working to overcome.

The board supports the full line of currently available Intel® PGA370 processors and even offers overclock settings within the BIOS adjustable from 66 up to 150MHz depending on the 66/100/133MHz configuration of your CPU and the onboard jumpers which need to be properly set to your CPU's external frequncy. 

The TS-AVE3 is ported for 2 USB ports for both the front and back panel I/O to fit the newest line of PC cases currently available

Setup and Performance

 
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