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Generation Change: Eight Motherboards For The Athlon 64

Chaintech ZNF3-150

Board revision: 10

BIOS Version: 29a39 (October 29, 2003)

The ZNF3 150 is equipped with nVIDIA's nForce3 chipset the model name gives it away. An interesting aspect is the cooling solution for the voltage regulator (RadEx), which Chaintech says consists of four phase components.

Unfortunately, Chaintech doesn't support Cool & Quiet yet, either. That's a shame, because the board is loaded otherwise. For example, Chaintech has integrated a Gigabit Ethernet chip (Broadcom 7505), three FireWire ports and a VIA ICEnsamble soundchip. The ports for them are contained on a CNR expansion card. A SATA controller with four ports (Silicon Image Sil3114) rounds off the hardware offering.

Atop the nForce3 is a cooling element replete with decoration from Chaintech, which is by now increasingly becoming a brand name. Tucked away between the PCI slots you'll find the description of the pin panel, which is completely devoid of any labeling. But if you rifle through the package contents prior to installation you'll come across a fold out poster that answers such questions in a clear manner.

The scope of delivery even beats the equipment, which is good in and of itself. Chaintech delivers only high quality IDE round cables, for example. The ATX panel is color coded to boot, so that even beginners should be able to figure it out without any trouble.

Cool and quiet: Chaintech's typical logo was screwed onto the cooler of the nForce3.