Customer Reviews of (CHAINTECH COMPUTER VNF4 ULTRA)
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Pros Board Layout , BIOS is still being updated , X2 support , lots of "advanced" BIOS options after updating , Price , 7.1 surround sound
Cons Needed to update BIOS out of the Box , Firewall Software crashes WinMCE2k5
Summary This is a great board. After the initial install into the case and a slight goop mishap the board fird up with no problems. However the orignal BIOS had a problem where RAM was automaticaly set to 1T. Updated the BIOS to accomadate my 2T ram and found that the BIOS update caused my computer to Beep and not Post. After pulling the CMON jumper I was able to get the board to post , new BOIS and all. Seamless driver installation , however the active armor/ firewall suit causes windows to crash as soon as something is detected , removing it fixed the problem and the board has worked great ever since, and the sound is great for onboard!
Pros got this for a good deal, good oc, cheap but excellent S939 board
Cons had some issues setting things up, manual needs improvement, my board lacks chipset fan
Summary It was a surprice special; I bought this board and got the Geforce 6200TC for free. It's really an excellent board, but there are some issues during setup that's quite frustrating. After they're ironed out though, I have no complaints. This board doesn't have firewire, but I don't need it.
First, it lacks a chipset fan. I had a spare fan from the good old Pentium days, so it wasn't really an issue for me. But I really recommend putting a fan on as the chipset heatsink gets hot very easily.
I couldn't update the BIOS. The one in there was dated in January. I tried to update to the latest one (Jun 3), but every time it'll just hang. Luckily it hangs before writing any data to flash, so the old BIOS doesn't get corrupted. I solved the problem by updating to an earlier BIOS (I think it was the February one), and after that, I could update to the latest one.
I couldn't get dual channel working. The manual doesn't say anything about how you should put in the memory sticks. Slots 1 and 2 are colored black, and slots 3 and 4 are blue. I thought you'd put one stick in black and the other in blue, but I was wrong. You need to put both into 1 and 2 (the black slots), or 3 and 4 (the blue slots). If you insert into, say 1 and 3, then you'll get single channel only.
You'll need to install Windows XP SP1 before installing the nVidia motherboard drivers to enable USB2.0.
My Windows crashed several times. Updating to the latest NF4 driver (v6.53) from nVidia's website solved the problem. The one on Chaintech's website (v6.39) still crashes. The problem was related to the network driver.
My old ATX power supply has 20 pins, but you can plug into the 24 pin socket on the motherboard, leave out the extra 4 pins, and it'll still work. There's only one way it can go in.
Right now I'm running my A64 3000+ at 2.3GHz. Considering the 500MHz OC, it's quite amazing. I'm using 2x Samsung 512MB sticks, set to Auto in BIOS. For some reason, it only autodetects 333MHz CL2.5 instead of 400MHz CL3. I'm sure 333MHz at CL2.5 is faster than 400MHz at CL3, but still, seeing 333MHz in the boot up menu when I'm using DDR400 memory is not very exciting. Anyway, it actually helped me in my OC. I set CPU freq to 256MHz, HT to 4x, and leave out everything else to default. I have not pushed it to the limit yet, but I'm probably quite close because I know it doesn't boot at 260MHz. Seeing the Samsung sticks run at 426MHz CL2.5 is quite a surprise for me though. I've run MemTest and it's rock stable. I'm very happy already. BTW, the CPU temp right now is 31C. This is partly because I let the cool air into my room at night. But the A64 Venice core is really amazing.
I'd suggest this board if you know what to do (which hopefully by now you should). It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but for the price you pay, I think it's a good deal.
Cons Chipset Cooling, IDE connection position, Memory Voltages.
Summary I have this board running an A64 3000+ with 2x512 Mushkin DDR400 LVL2 Black memory. My system is very stable.
I had a problem with the onboard NIC being somewhat flakey (intermittent connectivity, incapable of autonegotiation) . After updating to the latest nForce4 Drivers, the NIC runs perfectly.
The board's PCB is a rather dull colour, if that concerns anyone. I happen to like it.
The bios is capable of displaying codes on the screen, which is such a nice change from the usual pc speaker codes. This doesn't seem to get mentioned much, but I really like this feature. A suggestion: Update to the latest bios if desiring to overclock with this motherboard.
The nForce4 Chipset cooling leaves somthing to be desired. This chip puts out a great deal of heat. The stock passive heatsink has been replaced on more recent revisions by an active solution. If you (like myself) own an earlier passively cooled board, Chaintech will send you the replacement fan ($5 USD for shipping). It also must be said that the chip is exceedingly delicate; excercise caution if replacing the heatsink. I used a strip of adhesive foam to create a sort of shim, to facilitate an Iceberq4's installation.
The position of the FDD connector is something of a pain. Nothing major, though.
The onboard sound sounds nicer to me on my Monsoon 14 speakers than my SBLive! Value did.
The available memory voltages end at 2.9V.
Overall, I'm very happy with this motherboard. If I had a greater interest in overclocking, I would have taken a second look at a more expensive board. I have read of people (www.pcper.com)running at 300HTT, but I'd advise checking multiple sources for overclocking results.
For bang for you buck, this motherboard is great. Chaintech seems to be often overlooked; this motherboard made me take notice.
Summary i have had this board for a couple weeks now, everything worked perfect setting it up. Once i flashed the bios i have not had any problems overclocking i am running 1 gb of corsair value select at 226mhz with 2.5-3-3-8 timings and my a64 3000 with a core voltage of 1.275 volts. Im undervolting to keep the heat down. The computer has not crashed once in two weeks and I havnt really shut it off. Not really much to say its a basic board, a good price on sale, seems to be stable and combined with a 850xtpe it flies through games.
The Zenith VNF4 Ultra is Chaintech's representative from the ever popular NF4 Ultra socket 939 family of motherboards. Chaintech has had a recent history of releasing motherboards that follow a reference design to the T but are able to keep their prices in check when compared to other popular mothe
Despite having an entry-level price tag, the Chaintech Zenith VNF4 Ultra performed like a champ in pretty much every benchmark we threw at it. In the 2D/workstation-style benchmarks, you could not tell the difference between this board and one twice as expensive.
With those improvements the Chaintech can't be better said than a quote from this review, "VNF4 Ultra VE may really become a refutation of the old truth that good things just can’t be inexpensive." this thing is inexpensive and it's good :oD
The nForce4 Ultra-based mainboard from Chaintech is among the least expensive products in its class. We are going to check out if this fact affected its consumer characteristics in any way. At the same time we will continue our study of NVIDIA’s new PCI Express-supporting chipset for the Socket 939
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