VIA KT333 Put To The Test: 18 Motherboards Compared

Chaintech 7VJA4: Still In The Testing Stages

The Chaintech 7VJA4.

Retail package of the Chaintech 7VJA4.

Since the Chaintech board we got was a beta sample, there were no accessories included in the package. The list of features can be summed up in a few words: the motherboard is equipped with a PCI sound chip (C3DX CMI 8738 6-channel audio). The ACR and CNR slots are a clear giveaway that the board is meant for OEM channels. On the retail market, there are no components for these two interfaces. An odd thing about this board is that even a GeForce 4 of the very same Chaintech brand cannot be installed on it. The reason for this is that the IDE interfaces make a snug fit for the graphics card in the AGP slot very difficult. The question in our minds was whether or not the Chaintech engineers had designed the board using graphics cards from its competitors, instead. The motherboard goes without an active Northbridge cooler, so here again the chip heats up considerably. The motherboard and the memory modules combined proved to have some deficiencies: DDR333 memory in CL2-2-2 mode runs only in the third DIMM slot, which hints at signal problems in the grounding. Otherwise, the Chaintech board des not boot at all. All in all, this motherboard does not give a very convincing performance - the benchmarks show that it offers below-average performance, so it ends up among the lowest of the ranks. It also ends up performing slower than our reference board with the VIA KT266A chipset.

An outmoded BIOS chip on the Chaintech 7VJA4.