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Chaintech Evolution Event 2003

Posted: February 14th, 2003
Written by: Justin "The Sheriff" Woods

Chaintech Evolution Event 2003

Chaintech's has three market segments to deal with, which they match with three levels of product, the Zenith line, which is targeted at the enthusiast or high-end mainboard crowd, Apogee line, which is targeted at the mainstream or mid-level consumer, and Summit which is targeted at the value or budget/OEM solution. All three lines are doing very well in Europe with the Zenith line performing extremely well. The buzz on these boards is pretty good. Chaintech stated that the Zenith series makes up about 5 to 7% of its total volume, a staggering 2 to 3 time better than was initially expected.

Zenith Bundle

Besides the differences in features and chipset selection between the 3 lines, the amount of "swag" that is bundled with each board reduces as you move from the high-end Zenith line to the budget conscience Summit line. For example, with the Zenith series, you get a key chain, Chaintech's Body Theatre (headphones), and round IDE cables. If you buy a board form the Summit series, you get the standard IDE cables and some driver CDs. From the looks of the bundles, Chaintech is really targeting the enthusiast, and has the Summit line for those that just want a good deal, or the OEM market, which they need to really put a dent in the crowded US motherboard market.

Summit Bundle

An interesting aside: Chaintech is very proud of its new box design for its motherboards. The boxes are large (with exception of the Summit line), and eliminate content shifting, which leads to boards showing up DOA to distributors, retailers, and ultimately, you the consumer. Strange as it seems, box design is a very important marketing strategy. More than once, I've had a PR contact ask me what I thought of a product's packaging. Strange, but I suppose the average non-website review reading consumer might not understand all the technical jargon on a box, and may look and say, "ooh, I like jets" and buy the card with the pretty picture on the box. Thank God I am not one of those people. I read reviews before I buy cold medicine…but I digress.


Now that AMD has postponed the K8, you can assume an entirely new feature set for the K8 motherboards across the board from all manufacturers, especially with Intel launching the ICH5 south bridge sometime in April/May. With features that include everything but a espresso machine, its going to be tough to compete with the upcoming 800MHz FSB Canterwood chipset, not to mention the feature-rich little brother, Springdale. Only time will tell at this point. Nvidia's NForce 2 seems to be the chipset of choice for the K7 until that time.

Chaintech also had a really cool PC on hand. It looks like a notebook, but it is actually a very small desktop PC. It uses a SiS chipset, and runs a desktop CPU (a P4 I believe) and hard drive (yep 7200 RPM). The thing weighs a ton, and doesnt have a battery, so you can't take it in the car and expect to road warrior with it. There was very little information on the product as it is still in development, and at this time, you have to choose between a DVD player or CD-RW (no combo drive slated for it as of this moment), but the price mentioned was a little less than $1000 US. We'll see if it ever makes it to the retail shelf. I wouldn't mind checking it out (hint, hint).

Chaintech's "Desknote PC"

Next Page: GeForce FX

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