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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [02.06.02]
Manufactured by: Shuttle
Price: TBA (Est. $100)

A Minor Annoyance

I guess people have been complaining about their video cards falling out lately or something, because I am seeing this more and more on newer motherboards.

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I must say, however, that I have seen it done MUCH better.  The black plastic you see around the AGP slot is the retention system used by the AV45GT/R.  There is a tab that extends on the right side of the slot, and clips onto the AGP "No Finger" part (the tab with no connectors on it).

Luckily this thing can be ripped off, because I found it to be more of a pain in the ass than anything! The tab often clipped on so hard, that it was very difficult to take the video card out after installation.  Some boards I have seen use a tab very similar to those seen on DIMM slots, these work very well because you can just press them down, and they actually help push the video card out of its slot.

Ram Settings Galore

One thing I love about all VIA chipsets is the way they let you tweak the RAM settings to your liking.  If you have high quality SDRAM modules, such as those made by Crucial, feel free to play around with these settings and see how much performance you can squeeze out of them!

Everything you need to tweak is here! Just as a side note, I set all these to the maximum settings with two 256MB Crucial PC2100 sticks, and the system ran perfectly.  Your mileage WILL vary however!


Unfortunately I neglected to take a snapshot of the overclocking page in the BIOS, however you should rest well knowing that everything you need is there.  CPU Voltage settings are available up to 1.85V, and DDR voltage up to 2.7V.

FSB settings can be changed between 100 and 160 MHz, in 1 MHz increments (you just key in the number you want).  Shuttle delivers a solid overclocking board, with nary a jumper required.  Good job!

What's This?

This is just a little quirk I wanted to make note of... As you know, the Pentium 4 has an on-die thermal diode, for the most accurate temperature readings.  VIA's chipset does support this function should a motherboard manufacturer choose to make use of it, which is why I find it perplexing that Shuttle would rather use a less accurate under-the-CPU Thermal Resistor. Odd indeed!

Testing Methodology

Tests were done on the AV45GT/R and two other boards with different chipsets.  As a reference system, we used Intel's own D845BG board, along with the previous generation P4X266-based Shuttle AV40/R.

We of course used a fresh install of WindowsXP on all three boards, along with the latest drivers available at that time.  Here is the full disclosure of specs:

CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.2 GHz
Motherboard: Shuttle AV45GTR (P4X266A), Shuttle AV40R (P4X266), Intel D845BG (i845D)
Memory: 512MB PC2100 Crucial DDR (2 X 256MB)
Memory Settings: By SPD, PC2100
Hard Drive: Maxtor 13GB ATA/66 7200RPM
Video Card: ATI Radeon All In Wonder 8500DV
Sound: Onboard: C-Media CMI8738, VIA Southbridge VT8233, SoundMAX 3 ADI 1885
CDROM: Pioneer 105S 16X DVD-ROM
Ethernet: D-Link 530TX+ PCI (10/100), Intel 82562ET Integrated (10/100)

System Drivers Used
VIA 4-in-1 4.37V
Intel Application Accelerator
Intel INF Update ver. 3.20.1008
VIA AGP Driver ver 410
ATI Radeon Driver ver.
C-Media Audio Drivers ver. 0632
VIA Audio Driver ver. 74mu160a
Intel Audio Driver ver.

Note that you can get most of the benchmarking software we use from our Downloads Page.

Page 4: Onto the Benchmarks!

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