As far as the Athlon64 solutions available in terms of raw speed and overclocking potential, the ZNF3-150 shows us great value in both areas. In both stock and overclocked situations, it was one of the fastest Athlon64 boards I’ve tested to date. Couple these facts with the sheer amount of stuff included / bundled with the board, and you definitely have one killer solution.
However, this board most definitely has an Achilles heel, which I very unknowingly ran right smack into in testing. It seems that there is a very good potential for OS and BIOS related corruption, even at stock speeds, under certain circumstances. I was not able to reproduce the trigger event for this, but I did spend a lot of time pulling my hair out over this board in pure frustration. The BIOS related issues that quickly lead to OS level corruption seem more likely to occur when the board voltages and FSBs are increased. However, in the case like I ran in to with overclocking, the board magically stabilized and all was an overclocker’s dream after that. I also ran in to major issues with a USB 2.0 external hard drive attached, where the system would not boot and eventually the OS became fully unusable. However, this situation was also not repeatable.
As far as the board layout and the BIOS are concerned, the design is solid. The major flaw with the board design is with the choice of a passive chipset heat sink. For any type of overclocking at all, you must replace the chipset heat sink with an active cooling solution. The BIOS related shortcomings show in the memory configuration department, or the lack thereof. However, this is more of a mixed blessing due to the fact that forcing the memory to run with more relaxed timings can lead to higher and more stable system overclocking.
All in all, a decent board worthy of a hard look if you're itching for an Athlon64 upgrade. Hopefully, Chaintech will be able to track down some of these elusive BIOS issues I ran in to, and make this board in to the champion it wants to be…
Del med dine venner