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By: Bryan Pizzuti [05.20.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson

Hosted by: Chaintech

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For the more "common" user, Chaintech has just about every chipset in the world represented in their Summit series of motherboards, whereas they use what they term "only the best" for Zenith, and I guess second-best for Apogee.  As an example, Apogee uses Springdale i865, while Zenith uses the i875 Canterwood. The box is plainer, and the package is simpler, more like what you'd get with an "ordinary" motherboard from most manufacturers. 

You can see their P4X400 motherboard above. The PCB is brown, and the added plastic on the board is normal color, rather than color-coordinated.  We'll probably ask to test some of these as well eventually, since cheaper isn't necessarily a bad thing (Uhh, I mean "cost-effective"). 

After they finished telling us about their motherboards, they went on to video cards. Currently, they only have the Summit and Apogee brands available for video cards.  I'll tell you, the Apogee package is pretty sweet.

It comes with a brush for the AGP slot, and a duster ball for your screen, as well as games. And the card looks nice, with a full cover.  The fan uses what they call "gas turbine" technology, which they got from jet engines. The idea is to focus a high pressure stream of air through the area that needs to be cooled, rather than using low-pressure fan convection through an open air heatsink.  We want to test this too. Badly. Chaintech says they get a significant temperature decrease using this technology, so it may be worthwhile.

So what's left to make a Zenith video card out of?  Here’s the surprise: they asked US.  We came up with a couple of good ideas, including combining their Digital/Analog TV tuner with the video card for an "All In Wonder" type of setup, but I think we'll also pass the question on to you; our avid (or is that rabid?) readers.  Head on over to this forum thread I've created, and post your suggestions for a Zenith class of video card.  I've informed Chaintech about it, so they'll be keeping an eye on it for ideas that they like.

Anyway, the Summit series of cards are very normal, and closer to reference design, whereas Apogee cards tend to use higher quality memory, as well as more layers in the PCB and an advanced design as opposed to reference. The Apogees sound like overclocker cards to me.  And Chaintech says they're designed for it.  We'll see.

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