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Intel's Strike Force: 19 DDR-Motherboards With 845 Chipset and DDR-Support

Chaintech 9BJDO

Board Revision: 1.2

BIOS Version: 2 (December 17, 2001)

The 9BJDO is an above-average product with some good details. Although it does not have a hardware debug system, as does Abit's, for example, the BIOS screen shows status information while booting. This is quite useful for error searching, but won't help if your graphics card is malfunctioning.

Two DIMM sockets and 5 PCI slots do not sound exciting, but normally you don't need more than that. The 845 chipset does not support more than two double-sided DIMMs anyway. Chaintech makes use of a PCI sound chip from C-Media, rather than integrating a simple AC97 sound solution. The chip provides six-channel sound that uses the line-in as a second line-out port for rear speakers.

All CPU parameters are set in the BIOS. Since the multiplier is determined by each processor, you can only go the hard way and increase the FSB speed in order to overclock your system. Here you can choose anything between 100 and 132 MHz. There are two fan headers on this motherboard which should also be enough, given only a few advanced overclocking options. So this board is for work use only and hardly suitable for freaks, though the CPU runs at 2243 MHz instead of 2200 MHz.

If you are looking for a solid motherboard with an attractive price, Chaintech could be your choice, because there are convincing details: the BIOS shows that the PCI slots 1 and 5 share one interrupt. In addition, the IRQs can be assigned manually to the PCI slots. That's an option which should not be difficult to integrate, but it still isn't available with all manufacturers and boards.

A glance at the PCB shows that there are only a few details. For example, the IDE connectors are directly in front of the PCI slots (see picture). Still, three slots can be used for full-size PCI cards. This motherboard requires all three power connectors to be used (ATX power, AGP aux power and system aux power) - other products can do without at least one of the three.

There is an excellent software package included with the 9BJDO, including a standard driver CD, a manual and several applications such as Norton Anti Virus 2001, AutoSave, Adobe ActiveShare, Imagemore, Appio, S-Stop and E-Walla.