After careful consideration I have decided to transfer all hardware review activities to a new domain. I purchased Hardwareasylum.com in 2012 and have been working hard to build a new and improved Ninjalane on that domain. If you are reading this you have reached one of the archived articles, news, projects and/or reviews that were left behind during the site migration.
Many of the motherboards we prefer here at Ninjalane are what you would call "bare bones" and tend to be based around what features are available in the chipset. This makes the product very clean and ripe for upgrading. The nVidia nForce has matured quite well the past few years and has started to include some very rich features like SATA2, PCI Express, and a multitude of USB 2.0 ports, for use this is more than enough. Besides, why bother paying extra for a feature you'll never use.
Given our tastes it is no wonder the Chaintech VNF4 Ultra Zenith VE is one of our favorites. Now before you go off thinking we are crazy let's explain. As the benchmarks showed the NVF4 Ultra didn't win any of the Synthetic and/or Real-world performance tests, the Soltek SL-K890Pro-939 bested our system there. Likewise the onboard and included goodies are nothing to write home about. However when it came to ease of use, stability, and overclocking performance the Chaintech VNF4 Ultra surprised us to no end. 320HTT is nothing to sneeze at and since the board gave us no indication that it was ready to stop we're pretty sure it could easily max out the clock generator. Given that overclocking should actually have a purpose we switched gears and opted to see what our hardware was capable of. The result was some insane benchmark numbers and a system just begging for more.
Looking back at previous reviews we have always seen a steady progression of "this board is faster than that board", "this board overclocked better than that one" and really being impressed with the results. Well for the first time our review sample wasn't the fastest of the bunch but it was no slouch either, to be honest it was hard to tell any difference. Where the system really shined was when it came to "realistic" tweaking. High HTT speeds fuel even higher memory clocks, you combine that with as system that doesn't require insane voltages and you get a very user friendly system that doesn't demand much in terms of cooling. Just goes to show that some value products can provide more than you paid for.
Now for the ever popular list of Good things and Bad things.
The Good Things
Nice Black PCB
Great Tweaking Experience
Ultra Chipset supporting SATA2
Accepts Large Heatsinks
The Bad Things
No Active MCP Cooling
Black Color Scheme
Performance on Par with VIA
MCP is HOT when running.
I would like to thank Geeks.com for helping to make this review possible. Be sure to check out their online store for this and similar computer related and/or personal electronic items.
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