Chaintech 7NJS and Leadtek K7NCR18DPro - HotHardware

Chaintech 7NJS and Leadtek K7NCR18DPro

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The Chaintech 7NJS Zenith & Leadtek K7NCR18D-Pro Motherboards
Nvidia's Nforce2 Chipset pushes out Dual Channel DDR

By, Tom Laverriere
December 16, 2002


When we think of motherboard chipsets, NVIDIA isn't always the first that comes to mind.  In fact, NVIDIA earns its stripes from their line of graphics chipsets and for good reason.  I would say only the enthusiasts and OEMs among us know that NVIDIA makes a motherboard chipset known as the nForce.  The first iteration of the nForce, proved itself to be a solid chipset backed by a reputable name.  Although most would agree that the nForce was a good match for the AMD platform, we would also agree that it needed some improvements.  Hence through an evolution, we now have the nForce2.  This second generation Nforce chipset set out to improve upon what was already a stable foundation.  Today we have two nForce2 boards on the test bench, the Chaintech 7NJS and the Leadtek K7NCR18D-Pro.

What the original nForce was lacking, the new nForce2 has picked up.  With its new SPP ( System Platform Processor ) Northbridge and MCP-T ( Media & Communication Processors ) Southbridge, these boards pack lots of goodies from IEEE-1394a Firewire to ATA 133 and most importantly official support for Dual Channel DDR400 memory.  We're talking about some serious memory bandwidth going on here.  With all that said, we could be in for interesting benchmarking.  Let's take a look at these two bad boys.

nForce2 Showdown - The Chaintech 7NJS Zenith and The Leadtek K7CRN18D-Pro
The Dual Channel DDR chipset for the Athlon processor
Chaintech 7NJS Zenith

 

CPU
Supports AMD Athlon/XP, Duron Socket A processors

Supports up to 333MHz FSB
 

Chipset
NVIDIA nForce2 SPP Northbridge

NVIDIA nForce2 MCP-T Southbridge

Memory
 
Supports 3, 184 -pin DIMM sockets for DDR -SDRAM module
Support up to 3GB of memory
Support up to DDR 400 memory
128 bit DualDDRMemory Architecture (2 pieces memory required)


IDE

Supports two IDE ports up to 4 ATAPI devices

Supports PIO Mode 4 up to 16.6MBps, Multi Mode 4 up to 66MBps, Multi Word Mode 5 up to 100MBps and Multi Word Mode 6 up to 133MBps with Bus Mastering

Bus-Mastering software drivers for all common multi-tasking operating systems


Audio
Onboard CMedia 8738 6Ch Audio

Full-duplex operation for simultaneous recording and playback

6 Channel speaker audio supports

Embedded 32OHM 5w earphone amplifier

Supports MIDI and dual game ports

32 Voice HRTF 3D positional audio, CRL 3D supports MS Direct

Sound3D, Aureal A3D and Creative EAX APIs

Support SPDIF



System BIOS
Award system BIOS support PnP, APM, DMI, ACPI, & Multi-device booting features

 

Expansion Slots
1 x 32bit 8X AGP slot
5 x 32bit PCI slot v2.2 Compatible
1 x ACR slot

2 x Serial ATA Ultra DMA-150 connectors
 

LAN
Built-in 10/100 NVIDIA Ethernet

Back Panel I/O
PS/2 Mini-Din mouse & keyboard ports
RJ45 connector (LAN version only)
Two USB2.0 Ports (l header provided for extra 4 USB 2.0 port)
One 25pin D-SUB female printer port
Two 9pin D-SUB male serial port for COM1 & COM2
Game/Midi port, Line_In, Line_Out and Mic_In jacks

Package Contents

Chaintech 7NJS Zenith socket A motherboard

Driver CD (Chipset Autodetect)

User's Manual

EZ Manual

Digidoc 80-Port Error Code List

2 Rounded Ultra ATA 133 EIDE Cables

720KB / 1.44MB / 2.88MB Rounded Floppy connecting cable

2 Serial ATA Cables

SPDIF Kit

6Ch Kit

Fiber Optical wire

Value Pack 2002

DigiDoc System Monitoring Utility

IEEE1394a ACR daughter card

CBox2 Front Panel

1 Chaintech 7NJS Zenith keychain

1 Chaintech 7NJS case badge

Leadtek K7NCR18D-Pro

 

CPU
Supports AMD Athlon/XP, Duron Socket A processors

Supports up to 333MHz FSB
 

Chipset
NVIDIA nForce2 SPP Northbridge

NVIDIA nForce2 MCP-T Southbridge

Memory
 
Supports 3, 184 -pin DIMM sockets for DDR -SDRAM module
Support up to 3GB of memory
Support up to DDR 400 memory
128 bit DualDDRMemory Architecture (2 pieces memory required)


IDE

Two PCI bus-mastering IDE ports
Supports up to PIO mode 4, Multi-word DMA mode2 and Ultra ATA 66/100/133

Bus master drivers for Windows 9x, ME, 2K and XP

Audio
Built-in NVIDIA SoundStorm Audio with Dolby Digital 5.1 Encoding , SPDIF Digital output and 6-channel speakers support


System BIOS
AWARD BIOS, supports PnP, APM, Multi-Device booting features (Floppy, LS120, CD-ROM, IDE, SCSI, ZIP, ATAPI)
Supports ACPI 1.0b (Advanced Configuration Power Interface): S1, S3 (Suspend to RAM), S4 (Suspend to DISKor RAM )
Boot-up anti-virus support
2MB flash ROM

 

Expansion Slots
1 x 32bit 8X AGP slot
4 x 32bit PCI slot
1 x ACR slot
 

LAN
Built-in 10/100 NVIDIA Ethernet

Back Panel I/O
PS/2 Mini-Din mouse & keyboard ports
RJ45 connector (LAN version only)
Two USB2.0 Ports (l header provided for extra 4 USB 2.0 port)
One 25pin D-SUB female printer port
Two 9pin D-SUB male serial port for COM1 & COM2
Game/Midi port, Line_In, Line_Out and Mic_In jacks

Miscellaneous

ATX form factor
ATX 304.8mm x 243mm (12"x 9.6")

Package Contents
WinFast K7NCR18D-Pro socket A motherboard
WinFast software pack CD
User's manual
Ultra ATA 133 IDE cable
720KB / 1.44MB / 2.88MB Floppy connecting cable
SoundStorm Audio Digital output module
USB 2.0 connection bracket (Optional)
IEEE1394a Firewire Riser card

 


NVIDIA nForce2 Architecture

   

The nForce2 chipset carries a lot more than just the Dual Channel DDR400 support.  In addition, nForce2 offers the USB 2.0 interface, as well as the built in NVIDIA "SoundStorm" Audio with Dolby Digital 5.1 Encoding.  Up to 333MHz system bus speed is supported, so the newest Athlon chips can take full advantage of DDR400 bandwidth, with some minimal overclocking.  AGP 8x is also a feature of this chipset, along with many other goodies and creature comforts.  Let's take a closer look at each of the boards.

A Closer Look: Chaintech 7NJS

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