Well, apart from the Windows XP problems, I really like the Shuttle AV40R. Because the board ran superbly under Windows 2000, I must say that the XP problems are probably due to bad driver support, not faulty hardware. The VT8233 Southbridge, as I have previously found, is a delightful companion to have for my IDE devices. The features of this board abound, and at the current street price, there is only one reason not to buy an AV40R...
And the reason is spelled "P4X266A". This succeeding chipset is now filtering its way into the marketplace, promising higher memory performance, and in partnership with the VT8233A Southbridge, Ultra ATA/133 support. The SiS 645 chipset is also a serious contender to the P4X266, and just to add to the variety out there the Intel i845D chipset has arrived.
One thing I must pay credit to Shuttle/VIA is the stability of AGP on the AV40R. Most other VIA boards I have used previously had some minor (or major) problem with AGP performance and/or stability. I am pleased to say that demanding AGP transfers didn't upset the AV40R one bit - well done to Shuttle and VIA!
Combined with falling CPU prices, and the widespread availability of DDR SDRAM, the future looks a lot brighter for the Pentium 4 than it did six months ago. Thanks to manufacturers like Shuttle who grasped the opportunity with both hands, the variety and choice in the Socket 478 motherboard market has taken a turn in the consumer's favor.
DDR SDRAM is a good compromise between cost and performance
Extremely stable board (except under Windows XP)
Nice range of features
Widely available now
Didn't like Windows XP
Floppy drive connector in an awkward place
Extra connector required needs suitable power supply
Newer boards threaten the AV40R's dominance
Rating - 8.5/10