I picked this board up as I had a socket 939 Athlon x2 3800+ processor and needed to use it somewhere.  I checked around for a “cheap and cheerful” motherboard; something around $50, which usually means a Via chipset and limited features.  Picked up the Asus A8V-E SE and was delighted with the feature set of the Via K8T890 chipset; my only complaint was two SATA connectors instead of the standard four.

Asus A8V-E SE

Installation was straight forward, as everything is well positioned on the board and the manual gave all the pertinent details.  For it’s initial home I installed it into an Antec Atlas case, using every onboard function I could and only adding RAM, hard drive, DVD-ROM and PCE-E video.  Performance was good; pretty well matching my Nforce4 motherboard with the same CPU and RAM.  Life was good, except the system saw no usage and I needed the case elsewhere so out everything came and sat around.

The opportunity arose to sell a system so this motherboard went into a new system built inside an Antec SLK3700BQE case: one of my all time favourites and the last I had hanging around the shop.  The build was smooth without a hiccup.  Loaded Windows XP, drivers and updates and still no issues.  I passed the system along to the new buyer.

The system came back: no sound.  Checked the drivers and software setup: Windows XP believed the sound was working as advertised.  I compared the two systems: the Atlas had front audio and the SLK3700BQE didn’t.  Pouring over the manual gave no indication of fault, but that had to be the issue.  I checked for default jumper configuration for the front audio connector but there was no mention.   In the PDF of the manual (since the print copy was with the owner) I zoomed into the front panel audio connector and noticed some pins darker than the others: I took this to represent jumpers, so I put two on as the manual ever so slightly illustrated.  Bang on, audio was working.