Viper MOTD: This is where I usualy say something witty...
 



















ABIT IS7 865PE
ATI AiW 9000 Pro
OCZ PC3200 Plat
MSI GFFX5600
Zippy EL-610 KB
ABIT IC7 875P
Project Deep Freeze
fUnc Surface 1030
ABIT NF7-S Rev2

Search for lowest prices:



for 







Price Search:    for    


 
 
Chaintech 9EJS1 ZENITH 845PE: zenith: n. - the highest point; peak; acme: the zenith of someone's achievements. Will the Chaintech 9EJS1 ZENITH be just that? We'll be investigating that today.
 
 
Date: February 7, 2003
Manufacturer:
Written By:

The Board

Just as the box, the 9EJS1 ZENITH PCB is coloured black. As I mentioned earlier, this is an enthusiast board, and since most of you probably have case windows, the ZENITH is an attractive motherboard to show off. Now, being an enthusiast board, I was somewhat disappointed with the fact that there are only three fan headers (one of which is used by the Northbridge fan). Four or five would have been better.


Click to Enlarge

The CPU socket is for Northwoods only, and includes the Intel heatsink retention bracket. This is something which you can remove for a larger cooler such as the Swiftech MCX4000.


Click to Enlarge

The capacitors (to provide and regulate the juice for the processor) are a little close for comfort, but does not interfere with heatsink installation.


Click to Enlarge

Chaintech uses a nice gold heatsink and fan combo (as well as the biggest fan grill I've seen on such a small fan) to cool the Northbridge down. The Northbridge doesn't run very warm, but when you're overclocking, any extra cooling will help. In case you're wondering, the fan grill on the Northbridge does not get in the way of heatsink installation.


Click to Enlarge

Power connections are a mixed affair on the 9EJS1 ZENITH. For one, we like the placement of the main ATX power connection, as it's located on the edge of the motherboard, right above the floppy connection. This should keep the ATX power cord far away from the socket so that it won't interfere with the heatsink/fan for the CPU.


Click to Enlarge

On the otherhand, the connection required for Pentium 4s is in between the capacitors and the back I/O panel. Luckily, the power cord for this connection isn't very obstructive, but it would have been better to move this power connection further away from the socket.


Click to Enlarge

Something I'm not used to seeing on "enthusiast" boards are only 2 DIMM slots. A maximum of 2GB is supported, but if you've only got 256MB DIMMs, and want to add more, you'll need to move up to larger ram modules. Now, you'll have to keep in mind that maximum support is 4 banks of memory in the i845PE (up to 2GB). On motherboards with 3 DIMM slots, the 3rd slot cannot accept a double-sided DIMM, if they are present in the other two slots. Considering that most ram modules sold are double sided, Chaintech does avoid a potential problem.


Click to Enlarge

IDE and floppy connections are in their usual places. The ZENITH only supports ATA100 (a limitation of the i845PE), but ATA133 is supported by the RAID controller. I like how the RAID connections are near the edge of the motherboard. In past reviews, the connections were always placed perpendicular to the side of the motherboard. Though it does nothing for performance, neat cable freaks as myself can now keep the IDE cables away from that area of the board.


Click to Enlarge

There are six PCI slots, giving you a lot of potential for expansion. As with any motherboard with this amount of integrated features, getting all six to behave when loading them up will be tricky since not everything, notably Sound Blasters, likes to share IRQs.


Click to Enlarge

There is a video card clip built into the AGP slot to secure your video card, and unlike 99% of motherboards out there, you may not have to remove the video card to remove the ram. There's enough clearance that for standard sized cards, such as the R9700, don't come near the memory slots. Larger cards, such as the Ti4600 should be far enough away from the memory clips that it shouldn't be a problem.


Click to Enlarge

The I/O backpanel provides the standard fare we've come to expect, although I'm not sure why they've decided to move the USB and LAN connections away from the PS/2 ports. I would also have liked to have seen a couple more USB connections built into the I/O backpanel, but as we'll see shortly, there's a reason for this design decision.

Previous Page - Introduction

Next Page - Integrated Peripherals and Extras

 
     
 
 


 

Copyright 2001-2002 Viper Lair. All Rights Reserved. Site Design by