During the huge influx of GeForce4 card makers a
while back, one name stepped into the limelight to
dominate many of their competitors. They did it by
producing high-quality boards, with extra features
and large amounts of overclocking headroom, and sold
them for a very reasonable price.
I am talking of course about Chaintech.
Once they caught the eyes of the enthusiast crowd
with their gilded silicon, they entered the realm
of motherboard production. Keeping true to their mission,
they impressed us with their Apogee line of motherboards.
Feature rich, well made, aesthetically pleasing and
affordable, Chaintech put together a formula that
seems to have worked.
Well, when you have risen above your competition,
who left to dominate than yourself? So Chaintech brainstormed
on how to shine like the North Star, and their solution
seemed to be another simple formula. Give the PC enthusiast
a motherboard based on the most current, multimedia
driven chipset available, squeeze every ounce of performance
out of it, dress it up with bright PCI slots and gold
plated components and let them have it. But then there
was another idea… the bundle. Where many companies
falter is their bundle, offering very little more
than outdated software or limited 'extras'. Chaintech
decided to change all of this and offer the most well
rounded bundle on the market. And STILL keep the price
to a minimum (considering the inclusiveness).
After attending the Amsterdam launch, I was thoroughly
impressed, and could not wait to get my sample home
and see what she could do. Well, after a few technical
difficulties, and a few generous connections, I am
finally ready to give you a guided tour of one of
the best motherboards on the market.
I feel as though
I need to apologise for the use of press kit images
in some instances. I had a bit of trouble with my
original shots getting corrupted and for lack of time
I was only able to reshoot a portion of my own pictures.
Part one: The retail package
The Zenith 7NJS comes in a very sturdy, classy looking
box with a clear window in the shape of their logo.
I can attest to the durability of the packaging, as
it made it back to the States from Amsterdam in my
check-in luggage… with a change of plane. The window
is a lot tougher than you would think there are three
layers of plastic between you and that golden heatsink.
Opening the box feels like a kid walking up to the
gates of Disneyland. You know what is inside, and
can't wait to jump in and play. But the clever folks
at Chaintech crammed so much into this box that it
takes a while to peel through the layers. It's almost
like an Easter basket, you see the big chocolate bunny
on top, but you know that there are plenty of goodies
nestled in the plastic grass. Now that I've been hinting
at the bundle, I feel obligated to give you a list
of the contents of the box:
CBox2 front panel
A full set (3) 60cm round cables
A golden keychain
A case badge
Enough wires to choke a horse
I need to mention again that everything was very
well packed, with boxes and cartons nestled inside
one another. Opening the package was really a fun
experience, almost like a car full of clowns or a
fruit basket; every time you think that's it, more
stuff comes out of the box. This really left me with
a feeling of value, like this was worth every penny