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Chaintech ZNF3-150 Zenith (nForce3)

Company: Chaintech
Product: ZNF3-150 Zenith
Street Price: $210
Date Reviewed: November 20, 2003
Reviewed By: Joey Chao

 

Chaintech ZNF3-150 Zenith Onboard Features:

Rear I/O Panel

The rear I/O configuration is all gold plated. This gives the ZNF3-150 a much more luxurious look when compared to other motherboards. As most enthusiasts know, looks do not matter if a product is a weak performer and lacks features. The ZNF3-150 has two PS2 ports, two serial ports, one parallel port, two USB 2.0 ports, and audio jacks (line-in, line-out, and mic-in). More USB ports would have been nice but an additional two are on the CBOX3 totaling four. Depending on how many USB devices you use, four may not be enough but you can always buy a USB hub to get more connections.

Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet Controller

Chaintech has decided to use the Broadcom 5788 chip to power the onboard Gigabit Ethernet. Gigabit solutions are becoming very popular with motherboard manufacturers. Most of the high end and performance boards that have come out recently support Gigabit connections. This is a nice feature to have if you host a small server or just need a fast connection.

Silicon Image Serial ATA

The Silicon Image 3114 chip provides support for four SATA devices. We have seen this chip integrated with other boards like the EPoX 8HDA3+ that we reviewed a few weeks ago. The Sil3114 also supports RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 0+1, making the Chaintech ZNF3-150 Zenith a good candidate for large storage systems such as servers or workstations. There is also one extra Serial ATA connection provided by the nForce 3 chipset.

Onbaord Sound Controllers

The VIA Envy24PT is an integrated chip that provides the board with support for 7.1 sound and supports 24-bit resolution as well as 96KHz sampling rates. This is a high end audio solution for this board and will not have end users complaining about the onboard sound. The Envy24PT is paired with the VT1616, which is an AC'97 2.2 audio codec.

VIA VT6306 FireWire

Onboard IEEE1394 FireWire is powered by VIA's VT6306 chip, which supports up to three IEEE1394 devices. FireWire allows for transfer rates up to 400Mbps and is commonly used by printers, hard drives, digital camcorders, digital cameras, and many other devices. Two of the FireWire ports are found on the multimedia card and one more is on the CBOX3.

 





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