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MOTHERBOARDS

Chaintech ZNF3-250 Motherboard Review
By: DMOS
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  • Rating: 3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars3 stars / 47
    2004-08-10

    Table of Contents:
  • Chaintech ZNF3-250 Motherboard Review
  • What's in the Box?
  • CBOX3
  • The Included Daughterboard
  • Motherboard Layout
  • For the Enthusiasts
  • Overclocking and Benchmarks
  • Testing 1
  • Testing 2
  • Testing 3
  • Testing 4
  • Testing 5
  • Conclusion

  • Rate this Article: Poor Best 
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    Chaintech ZNF3-250 Motherboard Review


    (Page 1 of 13 )

    The problem with most motherboards is that they come with the bare essentials: cables, screws, and not much else. Chaintech decided to play it a bit differently with their new ZNF3-250. This board might make you ask how much is too much. Highs: More accessories than any motherboard we've seen, excellent board layout, and great sound. Lows: High cost, an overworked PCI bus, and problems with large, fast DIMMs. Lowdown: This one's for the enthusiasts, all right. If you're looking for a bundle, this might be up your alley.

    The R&D department at Chaintech has been busy lately, working hard to create a lineup of feature-rich motherboards, which has grown to include their Summit, Apogee, and Zenith lines, each with a larger feature-set than the last. Today, we take a look at their top-of-the-line offering, the ZNF3-250 Zenith, based on the nForce3 250 and Socket754 Althlon 64 combination. This board sports some notable features, including:

    • 4-Channel SATA RAID,
    • A bay-based card reader/temperature gauge/post code display,
    • The RadEX heatsink/fan for the voltage control module, and
    • More connecting cables than you can shake a stick at.

    For those looking to make an all-out board, this is a good example to follow. [Authorís note: I'm normally not a fan of such setups, but I have to give credit where credit is due.]

    Specifications

    Form Factor

    - ATX(305mm x 244mm)

    CPU

    - Supports the new generation of AMD Socket754 Athlon 64 CPU
    - Processor interface via 6.4GB/s Hyper Transport bus

    Chipset

    - NVIDIA nForce3 250

    Main Memory- Three 184-pin DDR DIMMs up to 2GB
    - Supports DDR266/333/400 modules
    Expansion Slots- One AGP slot for both 4X/8X AGP
    - Five 32-Bit PCI slots (v2.2 compatible)
    - One CMR(Chaintech Mulmedia Riser) for Chaintech Multimedia Card (CMC7.1)
    Audio Subsystem- 24bit resolution audio format support
    - 7.1 Channel speaker audio supports
    - Sampling rates up to 96KHz
    - Multi-channel AC-link supported alternatively
    - Support S/PDIF out
    Video Subsystem4X/8X AGP
    UltraDMA IDE PortsBuilt-in nForce3 250 supports 2 ATA66/100/133 IDE ports
    FDD One FDD connector supports up to 2.88MB
    Embedded USB Controller Build-in nForce3 250 supports total 6 USB2.0 ports with High-Speed Device@480 Mb/s Transfer Rate
    Embedded system monitoring

    - 2 temperature sensing for CPU and system
    - 3 Fan speed monitoring (CPU, system and Chipset)

    Boot-Block Flash ROMAward system BIOS supports PnP, APM, DMI, ACPI, & Multi-device booting features
    Software- Driver CD
    - Value Pack 2004
    Other Features

    Rear panel I/O ports

    • One PS2 Mouse and Keyboard port
    • Two USB ports and one RJ45 connector
    • Two 9-pin D-Sub male Serial ports
    • One 25-pin D-Sub female Parallel port
    • Audio I/O jacks (Line-in, Line-out and Mic-in)

    On-board Gigabit Ethernet

    • On-board Broadcom GbE Controller supports 10/100/1000Base-T Gigabit LAN

    On-board SATA RAID Controller

    • On-board Sli3114 SATA RAID Controller supports 4 Serial ATA devices for the highest data transfer rates (1.5Gbps burst) with RAID 0/1/0+1 solution

    On-board VIA VT6306 IEEE1394 Host Controller

    • On-board VIA VT6306 IEEE1394 Host Controller supports 3 IEEE1394 ports with Serial bus data rates of 100, 200 and 400Mbps.
    • IEEE P1394a compliant and IEEE Std. 1394-1995

    On board connector for external device

    • Four 3x1 pin fan connectors
    • 2x1 pin fan connector with housing for Chaintech RadEX
    • Two 5x2 pin USB connectors for front 2 USB ports & 6 in 1 Card Reader on CBOX3
    • 3x1 pin wake on LAN connector with housing
    • 3x1 pin wake on Modem connector with housing
    • Two 4x1 pin CD-in connectors with housing on CMC7.1
    • 4x1 pin Aux-in connector with housing on CMC7.1
    • 5x2 pin Segment display connector for 2-digits Debug LED on CBOX3
    • 8x1 pin IEEE1394 connector with housing for front IEEE1394 port on CBOX3
    • 9x2 pin front panel connector
    • 5x2 pin front side audio connector
    • 20 pin ATX Power connector
    • 4 pin ATX 12V Power connector

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