Founded in 1991, Pine Technology has actually been around almost as long as some of the big boys like Tyan, Asus, and Abit. So why have most people heard of Tyan and Abit, but not Pine? Well, there are two reasons. Of course, Tyan, Asus, and Abit have just grown to be much bigger. But just as important, Pine has really focused on the OEM market almost exclusively. After all, this is where the majority of sales are made for any company. But now they've decided to try to break into the do-it-yourself market much more extensively. Today, AnandTech takes a look at one of their first entries aimed at this market - the Intel i440ZX based ZA3.


New Anand Tech Report Card Rating
77/C-
Do not compare newer ratings to older ones, the newer ratings are much more aggressive

Motherboard Specifications

CPU Interface Socket-370
Chipset Intel i440ZX
L2 Cache N/A (on-chip)
Form Factor ATX
Bus Speeds

66 / 75 / 83 / 100

Clock Multipliers 3x - 8x
Voltages Supported Auto Detect
Memory Slots 2 168pin DIMM Slots
Expansion Slots 1 AGP Slot
4 PCI Slots (4 Full Length)
3 ISA Slot (1 Shared / 3 Full Length)
BIOS Award 4.51PG

The Good


Click to enlarge

Originally named the TL-IZX3-13, we wondered "what kind of name is that?" Looking at other Pine motherboard model numbers, it becomes possible to decipher the code. All models begin with a "TL", possibly standing for Time and Technology Lab, the division of the Pine Technology Group that handles motherboards. ZX is of course the chipset used. The first "3" is apparently the form factor, ATX in this case. Either the "I" and the "13" seem to indicate a Socket-370 CPU interface. That's a lot to remember, but fortunately even Pine refers to the board as the ZA3 on their website. Fortunately, Pine decided that the ZA3 was a better name and has officially changed it.

Ok, enough about the name - what we really want to know is this board any good. The configuration is the conservative 4/3/1 (PCI/ISA/AGP) form factor that is becoming increasingly outdated - the latest i810 boards have no ISA slots at all. As with most i440ZX boards, this one features 2 DIMM slots. Currently, only the ABIT ZM6 has 3 and they sort of cheat to do it and could cause some confusion. Check out that review for all the details on how they pulled it off.

The ATX specification is followed fairly closely on the ZA3, providing for a pretty good layout. All HDD/FDD connectors are located where they should be, right at the front of the board, so that no cables are forced to run over the CPU and/or memory. The ATX power connector is in a less optimal location - next to the CPU socket on the right edge of the board, which can prevent airflow to or from the CPU. The board is a standard ATX format, but is extremely short - just about an inch longer than an ISA slot - and should fit just fine in any ATX case.

More Good

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