Result and general impression
++++ The Chaintech VNF3-250 costs at present about 80 Euro (05/2005) and is therewith in the good midfield of the socket 754 mainboards. For that Chaintech granted the VNF3-250 also an entire row of interesting features, that can be measured thoroughly with the upper class.
In addition to the usual IDE, Serial-ATA and LAN connectors by the nForce3 chipset, Chaintech uses an own “Chaintech Multimedia Raiser” slot – shortly CMR that has many potential. For the 3 onBoard Sound connectors, it gives the connection possibility of the rear, the center and the bass speaker with this CMR card and in addition also S/PDIF, Gameport, internal Aux and/or CD connectors. To this extent one can trust the onBoard soundchip, that flawlessly is actuated with an extensive software.
But sound isn’t naturally all in the life and that recognized also Chaintech why they’ve integrated many adjustable voltage regulators which can be adjusted over the BIOS of the VNF3-250. Just for the overclocking important Vcore, VDDR, VAGP and chip voltage can be changed in a good ratio. If the 400 MHz system bus can be reached (that would be 2 Ghz at 5x HT), isn’t reliable (I didn’t reached it in any case), but the BIOS gives you such an option 😉 And if the overclocking wasn’t successful, you can check the BIOS post-codes at the boot screen to remove defective attitudes. Certainly the PC have to start, but the internal monitoring system of the boot process helps to detect too high frequencies and automatically set the PC to moderate values ? Overclocking for everyone !
I must mention two little things to the otherwise so lovly board although this get over the loss. The mainboard inscription is not complete, missing the important frontpanel connections, but in the mainboard manual are all connections mentioned (also of the frontpanel). On the other hand, the mainboard manual doesn’t explain details of the BIOS settings. Certainly it wasn’t difficult to adjust the BIOS optimal, but it might be problematic for some users who haven’t wide experiences.
Conclusion: Chaintech was able to bring the very good reasoned VNF3-250 socket 754 nForce3 motherboard on the market, which isn’t only for overclockers with the manifold features a real bliss, but rather also convinces through the good equipment and great performance in daily allround applications. Those who doesn’t need an optional S-ATA RAID Controller have found an 80 Euro low-priced VNF3-250 mainboard with all necessary features. Because of the extensive settings of all important voltages and frequencies, the Chaintech VNF3-250 board receives the first OverClocking Dream award in the year 2005 !
Special thanks to Chaintech for their support.
**** All Socket 754 mainboard tests since 01.08.2004 are based on an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ with a HIS Excalibur Radeon 9600 Pro graphic card, Kingmax 256 MB PC2700 memory module and the following software configuration: Windows 98 SE, DirectX 9b, Catalyst 3.6 graphic driver and 3DMark 2003. Since all benchmark results should only offer a comparison among themselves, I select Win 98 SE for a faster OS installation which is of course not the usual OS for Athlon 64 systems but enough for a comparison.