iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Chaintech 9BIF (i845G) Mainboard

This is a traditional solution using a chipset with the integrated graphics core (mATX board). We got a preproduction sample, that is why it doesn't have many accessories with it.


  • Package: a standard design;
  • Documentation: a sheet of paper with description of functional connectors, jumpers and switches;
  • Cables: 1 ATA66/100/133 and 1 FDD;
  • CD with software including:
    • drivers;
    • utilities for the smart card reader.

The layout is quite good for the microATX version, however there are some typical drawbacks: audio-ins are between the AGP slot and the 12V power connector, IDE, FDD and power connectors which are located too close to each other make problems when connecting/deconnecting cables, and when a video card is installed it's difficult to handle the memory modules. It can also be difficult to reach jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are shown on the textolite.

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 9 capacitors of 2200 uF and 3 of 1200 uF.

The following controllers are integrated: an audio one based on the chipset's capabilities and AC'97 codec Avance Logic ALC201A with an output for front audio connectors; a network one based on the Realtek RTL8100B chip. The ITE IT8712F-A I/O controller allows working with the smart card readers.

The board doesn't have non-unsoldered connectors.

The system monitoring is supported by the ITE IT8712F-A chip. Processor voltage (+/-3.3, +/-5 and +/-12 V), speed of 2 fans and temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor) and the board (a built-in sensor) can be controlled. There are 2 connectors for adjustable connection of the fans.

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 2 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 3 PCI/ CNR; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 4 USB 2.0; dimensions - 245x230 mm.

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS
Jumper to make possible to start up a computer with a PS/2 keyboard
Jumper to make possible to start up a computer with USB devices
Jumper to enable/disable a network controller
Jumper to change a FSB frequency Auto, 100 and 133 MHz
BIOS based on v6.00PG from Award Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Active to Precharge Delay, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge
Setup of memory frequency + Auto, DDR200, DDR266, DDR333
Setup of AGP bus +
Setup of PCI bus -
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses -
Manual assignment of interrupts +
Changeable FSB frequency + 100-165 MHz in 1 MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier -
Changeable core voltage -
Changeable memory voltage -
Changeable chipset voltage -
Changeable AGP bus voltage -

We used the latest available version of the BIOS of 21/03/2002.

Good functional capabilities, excellent speed and almost lacking overclocker's tools is the impression this board leaves.

Test results:

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