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Chaintech ZNF3-150 ZENITH Motherboard Review

Price: $165 USD

Usually when we review a product at OCC, we’ll take one item, and put it up against similar products. Today we are going to try something a little different with our first AMD64 motherboard review. One reason for this, is that I simply don’t have another AMD64 motherboard to use, and the second reason for this is I wanted to give a real life scenario look at the motherboard.

Now that you are probably saying, “what the hell is he talking about ‘real life scenario’?” Most people that I know don’t go out and build a whole new computer, instead, they’ll buy a part here and a part there and upgrade as they have time and/or money. This is the angle we are going to use today in our review of Chaintech’s latest motherboard, the ZNF3-150 ZENITH.

For this review, I’ll be using the video card, memory, hard disk, and other components from my AMD Athlon XP 1800+ system and seeing how much of a difference the upgrade to an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ on Chaintech’s ZNF3-150 ZENITH motherboard will be. Of course the comparison numbers should be higher on the AMD64 3000+ system, and that’s the point; to show how much higher. For those who want to see a comparison of the ZNF3-150 to another AMD64 motherboard, stay tuned for our next motherboard review, as it will have the ZNF3-150 used as a comparison.


The following are the specifications for the ZNF3-150 as provided by Chaintech.

Form Factor
  • ATX (305mm x 244mm)
  • Supports the new generation of AMD Socket754 Athlon 64 CPU
  • Processor interface via 6.4GB/s Hyper Transport bus
  • NVIDIA nForce3 150
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 Multimedia 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 Subsystem
  • Video 4X/8X AGP
UltraDMA IDE Ports
  • Build-in nForce3 150 supports 3 ATA66/100/133 IDE ports
  • One FDD connector supports up to 2.88MB
Embedded USB Controller
  • Build-in nForce3 150 supports total 6 USB2.0 ports with High-Speed [email protected] 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 ROM
  • Award system BIOS support PnP, APM, DMI, ACPI, & Multi-device booting features
  • Driver CD
  • Value Pack 2003
Other Feature

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 0/1/10 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

  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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