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Chaintech CT-9CJS



Our previous last two board reviews have focussed on products which utilise the Intel i865 (Springdale) chipset. The main new features of this chipset over the previous i845 family included an 800 MHz Front Side Bus and the inclusion of a dual-channel memory bus. Whilst Intel aimed the i865 chipset at the mainstream Pentium 4 desktop PC market, it also released a high-end Pentium 4 chipset in the form of the i875P (Canterwood).

What the i875P means for Intel is at last here is a high-end chipset which can take over from the Rambus powered i850 series of products which have sat at the high-end of the Intel chipset range for over three years. This is a good move for Intel as the i850 series has only ever gained a lukewarm acceptance from the market on account of it’s use of Rambus RDRAM. The adoption of the i875P and subsequent DDR 400 memory means that Intel has now been able to push Rambus RDRAM out of it’s product range despite the fact that now is probably the right time for this memory technology to make it’s impact. In all of these things it is quite often the result of politics and market reactions which can determine technology and today’s PC market wants DDR 400 SDRAM.

The main difference that the i875P features over and above the i865PE is that it features Intel’s new “Performance Acceleration Technology” (PAT for short). This essentially is not a raft of new technologies incorportated into the chipset but is in fact the result of selecting the best i865 cores to become i875 chips. This is practically the same process which selects which CPU cores become for instance 2.4 Ghz parts, 2.8 Ghz parts and so forth. The way that Intel achieves PAT is that selected i875 cores are validated to run with a faster memory controller which allows memory access timings to be shaved by up to two clock cycles. Whilst this may not sound much, this all has an effect as we will see in this review.

The board which we are looking at is the Chaintech CT-9CJS Zenith. As we saw a year ago with the CT-7NJS, the Zenith range is the premier product of the Chaintech range. With this users can expect a raft of interesting (and sometimes unusual) extras along with what should be a high-performance motherboard.

To see how the CT-9VJS faired, read on...


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Review Posted 19th January 2004

© Copyright, Anthony Barrett 2003/2004.