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Chaintech ZNF3-150 ZENITH Motherboard Review


A Closer Look: The BIOS

Integrated Peripherals
There are three subsections to this menu:

  • IDE Function Setup - Change or Dis/enable disable IDE settings (PIO, UDMA, Prefetch, DMA transfer access, etc.)
  • Onboard Device - Dis/enable the onboard USB1.1/2.0 controller, and enable USB keyboard.
  • Super IO Device - Dis/enable the floppy disk controller, dis/enable serial, parallel, game, midi, and other I/O devices.

Power Management Setup
Nothing out of the ordinary here. This section allows you to control the various ACPI settings, the state the system is at after power failure, and several "Power On By" settings which allow you to turn the system on via a click or press of a button.

PnP/PCI Configurations
This section is for IRQ and DMA settings. You can also reset the ESCD from this screen.

PC Health Status
As you might guess, you can see various system temps and other information here. You also have the ability to set a “Shutdown Temperature”. Most BIOSs also include a “Shutdown on CPU Fan fail” and and “Alarm Temperature” temperature setting, I've always found both of those settings to be pointless, and they are not available in this BIOS. - Just remember to set the “Shutdown Temperature” setting, so if your CPU fan does happen to quit working, you wont fry your AMD64.

Frequency/Voltage Control
This is the fun part of the BIOS where you will find all of the nice overclocking options. “The CPU Overclock in Mhz” allows you to set the CPU overclocking speed in increments of 1 from 200 to 400. This acts a lot like the FSB, but remember, with the AMD64, there is no longer any such thing as the FSB.

“AGP Overclock in Mhz” allows you to overclock the AGP port much like the CPU setting. It allows changes in increments of 1 and values range from 66 to 100. You also have the ability to adjust the various voltage settings from this menu (after enabling “Voltage Fine Tune”).

Voltages available are as follows:

  • CPU Voltages
    • Default
    • 1.450
    • 1.475
    • 1.500
    • 1.525
    • 1.550
    • 1.600
    • 1.650
    • 1.700
  • AGP Voltages
    • Default
    • 1.6
    • 1.7
    • 1.8
    • 1.9
    • 2.0
    • 2.1
    • 2.2
  • DIMM Voltage
    • Default
    • 2.7
    • 2.8
    • 2.9
  • Chipset Voltage Default
    • 1.7
    • 1.8
    • 1.9

The DIMM Configuration sub menu of the Frequency/Voltage Control section allows you to adjust your various memory settings, such as CAS. Well, at least that is what this section is suppose to allow. Do you remember earlier when I said that there was a letter included that stated there were some problems with overclocking this system? Well, I contacted Chaintech to find out exactly what they meant by that. Come to find out that just about all of the settings in here do not work on anything other than the defaults. But the good news is, as I'm told they are working on resolving this issue.

The "Max Memclock" setting will allow you to set a limit on how fast of a speed your memory is run at. Sadly, this is one of those options that doesn't work right now.

In addition to the on board NIC being 10/100/1000MB/s, it is also PXE-compatible, which with the proper software and hardware can make the NIC a bootable device and allow you to remotely manage the system, or install an operating system from the network.

  1. Introduction & Specifications
  2. Closer Look
  3. Closer Look (Continued)
  4. Closer Look (Continued)
  5. Closer Look (Continued)
  6. Closer Look (Continued)
  7. Testing
  8. Testing (Continued)
  9. Testing (Continued)
  10. Testing (Continued)
  11. Testing (Continued)
  12. Testing (Continued)
  13. Overclocking
  14. Software
  15. Conclusion
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