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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 Chaintech 9CJS Zenith


Package and Contents



First off let me say that Chaintech know how to include a great package.


They ship the 9CJS in a very large box that doubles as a carry case for you to transport your board home from your favourite computer store. Inside is where you see the goodies. Chaintech ships as standards the board, User Manual, two Rounded IDE Cables, one Rounded Floppy Disk Cable, two Serial ATA cables with two Serial ATA Hard Disk Power Converters, Driver CD, Value Pack CD, C-Box 3, IR Remote Control, CMR Expansion Card and a Interchangeable screw driver set.


The Chaintech user manual is well documented with explanations for properly configuring of Dual Channel memory, installation of all case cables and full locations for all the peripherals onboard. The rounded cables provided are extremely long that allows for you to install the board into large cases with huge space requirements.


The Board, Layout and Gripes



Chaintech uses a silky brown PCB for its new Zenith motherboards. The 9CJS comes with one AGP slot that supports AGP revision 3.0 compliant cards. This means 4x and 8x cards only, similar to the E7205 and other AGP 8x supporting chipsets. Five PCI slots are included for adding in your own sound cards, external ATA controllers and any other PCI devices you may wish to install.


A new addition to the Chaintech line-up is the Chaintech Multimedia Riser Slot or CMR, as Chaintech calls it. This new slot is a CNR slot placed in reverse. This slot acts as an interface for the Chaintech CMR expansion card. We will go over this card a bit later in the review but for now we can say this slot only supports the CMR card from Chaintech, this means no other cards can go into this nor can the CMR card be used in any other boards on the market.


Chaintech have followed a few motherboard manufacturers in that they have colour coded their DIMM slots. Two of them are blue and while the other two are black. This lets you know how to pair up the memory, two identical modules go into the blue and two identical go into the black to fully populate the motherboard, this makes troubleshooting any memory configuration problems very easy.


Placement of connectors is pretty much similar to most other motherboards on the market, so there is no disadvantage with the Chaintech board over the others. Located behind the DIMM slots is the 20pin ATX connector. This keeps the larger ATX cable well away from the heatsink. Located just above the 20pin connector is the Floppy Disk connector. This allows for installation in large cases with high Floppy bay locations. The four pin connector is located between the Northbridge and the I/O panel like most Pentium 4 boards. This does place the cable over the heatsink and can obstruct the air slow around and CPU hence reducing overclocking potential.


I875P, Intel's new Powerhouse



The release of the Canterwood chipset from Intel finally brought out what consumers have wanted from Intel for some time.


Intel has been very conservative in the DDR department - It took Intel well over three months after the full on validation of DDR-333 memory to use it with the I845PE. This time Intel makes a bold stand. Before SiS or VIA officially validated DDR-400 memory, Intel has taken it on as their ultimate memory solution. Installation in Dual Channel gives a total Bandwidth of 6.4GB/s, which is identical to the requirements of the 800MHz FSB Pentium 4 CPU. Add to this the support for AGP 8x and you have a complete product, however this is not the first AGP 8x chipset from Intel, remember the E7205 was the first chipset to support both DDR and AGP 8x for Intel Pentium 4.


Another feature of the I875P which will be unique is the new Performance Acceleration Technology. If you would like to find out more on this, visit our Canterwood review which you will find here.


Paired with the new ICH5R Southbridge, Intel finally brings Serial ATA to the desktop as standard. Intel were amongst the big pushers for the Serial ATA standard but has taken well over five months to even add a Serial ATA controller to their desktop motherboards. Now with the ICH5R, Intel adds it native to the desktop platform. Two Serial ATA 150 ports are available for use in either RAID or ATA mode, allowing for up to six drives, four via normal IDE and two on the Serial ATA ports. ICH5R also adds eight USB 2.0 ports and AC'97 Audio. Intel has dropped the Pro100 Ethernet from the ICH5 series due to its new CSA bus on the I875P Northbridge.





To add to the already impressive support, Chaintech throw the VIA VT6306 Firewire controller chip for good measure. The VIA VT6306 has proven to be a great cost affective Firewire controller with support for up to three Firewire ports. Two of the ports are located on the CMR card and one is located on the C-Box 3 for front panel access.


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