DFI AD73-RAID KT266A Motherboard Review
Layout and Features
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.The physical layout of the DFI AD73 motherboard is roomy and easy to work with giving it the definite feel of originating from a company that is used to doing OEM motherboards. Yet the board does not have many of the things you would expect to find on integrated motherboard for system builders.
The processor socket has ample room for you to easily install and remove most any heatsink. Because of the way the socket is aligned, however, (the arm going up-down) removing and installing a heatsink with the motherboard installed in a case might be difficult. Most of the current KT266A and KT333 motherboards are showing this same design problem though. The ATX power connector is immediately below and left of the CPU socket where it might actually come into contact with the fan on the processor. Either by impeding airflow or by simply stopping the blade, the power cable could possibly get in the way if you are not careful during installation.
The KT266A north bridge has a passive heatsink cooling solution on it and should be suitable for most non-hardcore overclocking users. There are 3 DIMM slots for PC2100 DDR memory. The standard IDE channels are actually powered by the 8233A chipset south bridge for which they support the ATA133 option. There are two other IDE channels included on the motherboards powered by the Promise IDE RAID chipset. This Promise chipset does not support ATA133, though.
The slot configuration gives the user 5 PCI slots and a single AGP slot with retention clip. I think this would give most users enough room to work, but because the DFI board lacks some of the common integrated features, you may be filling more of the PCI slots than you are used to.
Something you should notice is that the DFI AD73 RAID motherboard does not include any type of on-board sound, network interface, or anything else similar to that. The board has the connections on the PCB for the sound but DFI decided not to include sound perhaps to sway some of the hardcore audience that Abit is usually hitting up on. This is a very different story than what you would get with the MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU motherboard that offers on-board audio, network, USB 2.0 and more. The offset here is that the DFI motherboard is going to be considerably less expensive and allow you to use the money for different upgrades.