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Chaintech 9CJS Canterwood Motherboard Review

By: Cameron Johnson | Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: May 10, 2003 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: Chaintech

Features of the 9CJS Zenith Continued


24bit Audio, Envy Arrives



This is the first board and first time we have seen the VIA Envy Audio processor used since VIA neglected providing us with a sample.


VIA Envy is a new 24bit Audio controller designed to take on the Sound Blaster Audigy and Audigy 2 sound cards. Supporting 24bit 96Hz sound, it is comparable on paper to the Audigy and Audigy 2.


In testing it was able to outperform the Audigy but no way able to replace the Audigy 2. So if you are looking for an Audigy replacement the Envy is what you will be looking at. The Envy also has another great feature, support for 7.1 speakers. This surpasses the support the Audigy has and is identical to the Audigy 2 output level.


Dual LAN, CSA and Fast Ethernet Standard



This is something more common in Server boards rather than desktops. Chaintech gives Dual Ethernet possibilities. The first controller is the Intel CSA Gigabit Ethernet controller. CSA or Communication Streaming Architecture is Intel's latest bus addition to the Northbridge. Due to the bandwidth requirements which Gigabit Ethernet demands, it ends up flooding the PCI bus. As a solution, Intel added a new 266MB/s link from the Northbridge for a CSA compatible Ethernet chip. The Intel CSA Gigabit chip is currently the only CSA controller available.


The second controller is the Realtek RTL8100BL Fast Ethernet. This chip has come up on many boards in the past and proved itself to be a great cost effective Ethernet controller chip. Both Ethernet ports are located on the back plate.


Chaintech Multimedia Riser



As mentioned earlier, Chaintech now includes a new proprietary card for the 9CJS Zenith. The Chaintech Multimedia Riser card or CMR as its known is simply a card that plugs in to provide the connectors for the extra three stereo audio and one optical Audio port as well as two Firewire ports. As you can see from the pictures, there are no codec chips onboard, so this card isn't technically a card but simply a bridge between the board and the external ports.


C-Box 3 - New Front Panel Possibilities



Chaintech has once again added its brand of front panel access known as the C-Box to us with the 9CJS. This new one, dubbed C-Box 3 adds a few new features. First off you have a port 80 for debug information, no need to open the case to look at the code; it is now shown on the front of the case. Second is an IR Receiver for the IR Remote control. Two USB ports and one Firewire port allows for front access of USB and Firewire. Next is the 6 in 1 card reader which connects through an internal USB header and gives access to SM, SD, MMC, CF, MS and Micro Drive. Finally front Audio ports are added for front access to the headphones and mic connection.



This has to be a first from my point of reference, control your PC by remote. Yes that's correct. The remote is an IR based system that transmits to the IR port on the C-Box 3. This remote has a wide rage of functions, one of which is to power up the PC itself, so there is no need for the power button. This can be used as password protection to get into the PC as you can disable the power switch and password protect from coming on by keyboard, a rather handy function.



Finally Chaintech gives you the ability to put this PC together without you having to go and find a separate screwdriver set. Inside the box it looks like a pen, remove the cover and it's actually a set of screw drivers. You simply chop and change around from two Phillips heads and two flat blade screwdrivers - perfect for putting the PC together away from tools.


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