Chaintech Zenith ZNF3-150 nForce3 Motherboard Review
from me, with the "regular" Athlon64 'K8' processor you get about 95% of the Athlon64 FX performance, for about half the price. It's this reason, and the imminent obsolesce of that pesky socket 940 why so many people looking for a high end work station or gaming
computer have jumped on board the AMD Athlon64 - even despite the total lack of 64-bit
software right now.
64-bit Athlon64 3200+ will run just fine under a 32-bit operating system
like WindowsXP, while pumping out benchmark results that keep the Intel 3.2GHz
Pentium 4 processor playing catch up. Sure there is
Intel's P4 Extreme Edition - but who can honestly afford that?
In any event, with Windows 64-Bit slated for release sometime this year, it is easy
to understand why the Athlon64's popularity continues to grow.
a chipset standpoint there really are only two good
Athlon64 chipsets to choose from at the moment; VIA's K8T800 and nVidia's nForce
3 150. Nvidia have a second revision of the nForce3
chipset set to be released this quarter, called the NF3 250, but we'll have
to wait for that to cross PCstats' test bench first.
Yet despite this impending trifecta,
there is scarcely much of what we would call the 'intense competition' we saw in the heyday
of the K7 chipsets. This is mainly due to the K8's integrated memory controller because it levels the playing field, and consequently
makes the differences between each manufacturer's Athlon64 chipset less obvious.
To remain competitive, chipset manufacturers are focusing
on other aspects of their core logic, like unique architectures,
or pricing that translates into more affordable motherboards. As we examine the Athlon64 Chaintech Zenith ZNF3-150 motherboard in the preceding pages try to keep all that in mind.
Built with a nice black-coloured PCB under the top of
the line 'Zenith' brand, the Chaintech ZNF3-150 is a force to be reckoned
with when it comes to bundled goodies. This board
comes with it all; everything from a heatpipe MOSFET cooling system to rounded cables and
even a port card.
Based on nVIDIA's nForce3 150 chipset,
the ZNF3-150 supports the Socket 754 flavour of AMDs Athlon64 processor series which has a
much brighter future than the doomed socket 904 AthlonFX chip.