Chaintech VNF4 Zenith VE - Page 2

..:: VNF4 Zenith VE Packaging ::..

Before we cover the included items with the VNF4 Zenith VE, we must first examine the market that this product is geared towards. The VNF4 Zenith VE , much like Foxconn’s NF4K8MC-ERS is a low cost, no frills product aimed at those users looking to upgrade to the nForce4 chipset without having to incur some of the additional costs for the high-end products. With that said, the package for the VNF4 Zenith VE falls right in line with what one would expect from a budget board. The package itself is nearly identical to that found on Foxconn’s NF4K8MC-ERS.

First off, let’s take a look at the quality of the VNF4 Zenith VE‘s manual. This has to be one of the worst manuals I’ve come across in a while. I know this is a value oriented product, but the manual included doesn’t go over installation much at all. It gives a general outline and one picture per step…much less that would be needed for an inexperienced builder. The pin-out diagrams and such are quite nice and are the most positive aspect of the entire manual.

As far as covering the BIOS goes, I can’t say anything besides atrocious. The BIOS section shows a picture of the main menu, and then lists the various menus. Underneath each, all it basically says is “The motherboard manufacturer determines all of these settings”. I don’t know about you, but isn’t this a little obvious? Other than this, the information given is useless. The BIOS section is two pages, that’s it. Clearly Chaintech needs to address the quality of this manual.

As far as the hardware inclusions go, we see that Chaintech has supplied the bare minimum items for the VNF4 Zenith VE to get by. As far as cabling goes, Chaintech has chosen to go with the standard of two Serial ATA data cable setup, along with a single Molex adapter capable of supplying power to two Serial ATA devices. There is also one regular IDE cable, as well as the Floppy cable. Foxconn has also chosen to include a packet of thermal paste for use with the processor heatsink. This is a very simple package, though in comparison to Foxconn’s offering, it’s coming up a little short.

The strongest portion of Chaintech’s VNF4 Zenith VE package has to be their Value Pack 2005 software suite. This software makes up for the lack of the hardware inclusions, and features several useful utilities. The Value Pack 2005 CD contains Norton Anti-Virus 2005, Adobe Photoshop Album SE, Adobe Acrobat Reader, DPU (Data Protection & Security, Pro Magic Plus (System Recovery) and Image It3 (System Backup). This is the strongest point of the VNF4 Zenith VE’s product package.

Overall, the VNF4 Zenith VE product package wasn’t anything special, and certainly had its down sides. On the hardware side of things, I was expecting at least an additional IDE connector and perhaps a USB 2.0 expansion bracket. The manual was far from what I would expect with any product, no matter whether or not it’s a budget product or not. This manual is also used for the nForce4 Ultra version of the board, so clearly that board suffers from the same problem. The software suite was nice, and makes up for some of the hardware problems, but Chaintech really needs to address this manual issue.