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Can't find Chaintech VNF4/Ultra

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January 16, 2005 6:32:20 PM

I'm ready to buy everything for my computer, I've got it all picked out, but the Chaintech VNF4/Ultra is out ot stock and I don't feel like paying an extra 150 bucks for another pci-e x16 slot I'll never use. Anybody have any idea where I could find one? Thanks.
January 16, 2005 8:35:32 PM

A better board and only $30 US more: <A HREF="http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product..." target="_new"> Gigabyte GA-K8NF-9 nForce4 4X Athlon64(FX) Skt939</A>

<font color=green><b><i>Lizards</font color=green></b> do <b>not</b> taste like <b><font color=yellow>chicken</font color=yellow></b>,<b> <font color=yellow>chicken</font color=yellow></b> tastes like <font color=green><b>lizard.</b></font color=green></i>
January 16, 2005 10:30:40 PM

Maybe there's something I don't see, but how is the Gigabyte nForce4 4X MCP's (by the way, what does 4X MCP's mean?) better than the chaintech nForce4 Ultra? From what I can tell the only thing that sets the two apart is that the Gigabyte board has 3 firewire ports (but who uses those anyway), and the Chaintech board supports SATA2 (twice the potential burst rate of SATA1 if you have the HD to take advantage), which would make the Chaintech board arguably better.
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January 16, 2005 11:16:26 PM

Which is exactly why I want the chaintech, I'm gonna use Raid 0 and SATA2. Plus its cheaper, and I've only heard good reviews.
January 17, 2005 10:48:56 AM

I hear the Chaintech isn't so good with after market HSF's, but with the retail s939 AMD HSF (if you don't wanna overclock so much) the Chaintech is a good buy. That's probably what I will end up getting if Asus's nForce4 Ultra board doesnt come out soon (they say by end of Jan)... so we'll see what happens
January 17, 2005 12:49:23 PM

I was planning on using a zalman 7000, think it'll still fit?
January 17, 2005 4:03:32 PM

I have to agree with you there. I have been looking for any of those Nforce4 non-sli solutions and cannot locate any of them. Has anyone seen any of the following boards for sale?
MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum ULTRA
Asus A8N-E Premium
Gigabyte K8nXP-9 Ultra
or the Chaintech VNF4 Ultra

I would like the MSI board frankly but then here's my other totally stupid question. All these new solutions have PCIe slots.... will my old but still useful BFG GeFX 5900 128mb work in these slots? Is the new PCIe compatible with the old AGP boards? I have read articles saying it is incrementally better, but nowhere does someone actually say," you can use AGP cards in these slots till you have the additional $400 for a better video card," or something like that.

Help?
January 17, 2005 4:26:37 PM

If you don't know what nForce4 MCPs are, then you obviously are not familiar with nForce4.

As far as SATA2 is concerned: Low availability is a key factor. The other is this: your 'potential' 2x SATA burst rate is way off the mark. All drives are limited by spindle speed. More bandwidth maybe - anything else is neglible. Nice media byte from Western Digital regarding the future of <A HREF="http://www.cooltechzone.com/reviews/itcomputing/amd_tec..." target="_new">SATA2</A>

To track the 'progress' of SATA2 keep alert of these two sites: <A HREF="http://www.serialata.org/" target="_new">SATA-IO</A> and <A HREF="http://www.scsita.org/" target="_new">SCSI Trade Association</A> since they are the proponents of the future of I/O.

Heavily based upon company history and past performance of motherboards AND my own Gigabyte SLI board, I would say that Gigabyte makes a better board. I have had 3 Chaintech boards in the past and 1 of their video cards. Every single one got returned with crippling problems out of the box. EVERY SINGLE ONE. They may have a better product this time around, but I'll stick with a true performer from MY experience.

<font color=green><b><i>Lizards</font color=green></b> do <b>not</b> taste like <b><font color=yellow>chicken</font color=yellow></b>,<b> <font color=yellow>chicken</font color=yellow></b> tastes like <font color=green><b>lizard.</b></font color=green></i>
January 18, 2005 3:39:31 AM

No. An AGP board cannot be used in a PCI-E slot. They are completely different.

Abit IS7 - 3.0C @ 3.6ghz - Mushkin PC4000 (2 X 512) - Sapphire 9800Pro - TT 420 watt Pure Power
Samsung 120gb ATA-100 - Maxtor 40gb ATA - 100
Sony DRU-510A - Yellowtail Merlot
January 18, 2005 11:05:45 AM

Sobelizard: Just to clarify where I got my information from regarding SATA2 being "potentially" 2x faster than SATA1:

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=224...

Speaking on the vanilla version of nForce4 (non-ULTRA):
"...SATA drives are supported at current 1.5GB/s..."

Speaking on the nForce4 ULTRA:
"...support for 3Gb/s SATA drives..." i.e. SATA2

The information you provided is definitely well noted, but that was western digital's formal stance on SATA2 in Spring of last year before SATA2 was even out on the market. Now you shouldn't have any problems finding a SATA2 hard drive at newegg.com or most other online computer parts retailers. I realize 2x the bandwidth doesn't necessarily mean 2x performance (hence the "potentially"), but from bechmarks and tests (once I find a link, I will post) SATA2 looks to outperform SATA1 by about 20%+ which to me is enough to get me slightly excited about SATA2.

I've done a fair share of research on the new nForce4 boards as I will soon be upgrading, and haven't seen MCP explained unless I've simply missed it. Care to share your knowledge on this?

As far as whether or not to get the Chaintech board, I will probably be waiting for Asus or MSI or some other mfg that I trust more than Chaintech. I've heard mixed reviews about the Chaintech - there was an awesome, comprehensive review written on the Chaintech nForce4 board at Anandtech that I can't seem to locate at the moment...
January 18, 2005 2:03:55 PM

*We all just <i>love</i> anandtech.com because they are so accurate and truthfu...

*Bandwidth and actual data transfers speeds are likely never to marry up. You do not get a 1:1 ratio of throughput.

*SATA2 has it's advantages, but it is not correct to assume 2:1 performance over SATA. The bandwidth increase may double, but it's data transfer speed will not. If you read the tech specs straight from the clicky I provided you will see that SATA2's performance boost is from replicating a SCSI algorithm that has been built into SCSI disk controllers on high end server/wrkstns. Native Command Queuing (NCQ) minimizes mechanical delays in a hd mechanism (head seeks, rotational latencies). Does this equate to 2:1 over SATA? Very very doubtful without a steroid shot to the spindle speed. Does it equate to better performance? Probably. RAID users would benefit the most (if they even noticed other than with benchmarking). But is shaving a millisecond worth the cost? Depends on the user (benchmarks lie and stretch the truth - depending on what the bencher wants to find out). Until the spindle speed hits 15,000+ rpm, forget 2:1.

*MCP - nForce 4 MCP (media and communications processor) is probably the banner of the new chipset (actually a single chip - say 'nevermore' to the north/south chips and bridges). Its features include instant-on secure networking, advanced storage solution, support for PCI-E, support for latest improvements to I/O, and some advantages in maintaining &managing your pc. That's the long winded version, but you can find more at nVidia's website. I'll omit the clicky so you can do some research.

*Beware of reviews. They make great reading but caveat emptor. I would highly recommend not making a buying decision solely on a 1-site review. You made a smart decision by posting on THG's forums - real people with real experiences. Ever notice the ads on review sites? Who pays who to review their own stuff??? Unless you have to be the kid on the block with the latest in greatest (I suffer from that from time to time), best approach is the wait game. I'll stand by my comments on the Chaintech products in a previous post. Maybe they have a winner this time, but my advice would be to wait just a while longer - just to see what shows up as openbox and refurbs. No review can provide that number to you.

NForce4 is a great chip and it would be a shame if board makers didn't take full advantage of its capabilities.

<font color=green><b><i>Lizards</font color=green></b> do <b>not</b> taste like <b><font color=yellow>chicken</font color=yellow></b>,<b> <font color=yellow>chicken</font color=yellow></b> tastes like <font color=green><b>lizard.</b></font color=green></i>
January 18, 2005 5:38:00 PM

I was autonotified the chaintech board came in stock 20 minutes AFTER I ordered an entire s754 system instead! I missed it by 20 minutes!
January 18, 2005 6:16:47 PM

Look at the bright side - the 754 system had a better price/performance ratio!

"He who will not risk, cannot win"
- John Paul Jones
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