X-bit labs reviews one of the first ‘widely available’ nForce3 250 boards to hit stores, the Chaintech Zenith ZNF3-250 Socket 754 motherboard:
…nForce3 250 with all its improvements is now the most feature-rich Athlon 64 chipset. Like competitor products, it supports eight USB 2.0 and SerialATA ports, but unlike them, it has an integrated RAID controller with an enhanced functionality and a 1GHz HyperTransport bus. The advanced version of this chipset, the nForce3 250Gb, also has Gigabit Ethernet and a hardware firewall. NVIDIA’s chipset should also make an excellent platform for overclocking experiments as it allows clocking asynchronously the FSB and AGP/PCI buses. So you can overclock your Athlon 64 processor with the multiplier locked from above, without worrying about the peripheral devices.The performance of the nForce3 250 is on the highest level, since it uses the HyperTransport bus at full speed. However, we found some unpleasant problems of mysterious nature, such as slower performance in certain computer games.
…The nForce3 250-based Chaintech Zenith ZNF3-250 mainboard we have tested today boasts both: advantages and drawbacks.
On the one hand, it offers the greatest working opportunities and an excellent set of accessories. This mainboard supports all modern standards, protocols and interfaces, including FireWire, SerialATA RAID, Gigabit Ethernet and hardware high-quality eight-channel sound. The CBOX3 panel you receive with the mainboard extends the functionality of your system case, adding a card reader and a POST controller to the mainboard features.
But on the other hand, this mainboard uses a PCB design from another product, which was based on the previous chipset version. As a result, many capabilities of the nForce3 250 are not implemented in Chaintech Zenith ZNF3-250. The most unpleasant things are few USB ports and the use of external RAID controller instead of the one integrated into the chipset.
First Mass Mainboard on NVIDIA nForce3 250: Chaintech Zenith ZNF3-250 Review @ X-bit labs
Published in: Hardware on 2004-04-12