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DFI LanParty NF4 SLI-DR nForce4 SLI Review

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: DFI
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Introduction and Specifications

Introduction


DFI has gotten a lot of press over the past several years with the introduction of their "LanParty" brand of motherboard aimed towards the enthusiast and gamers of the DIY market.  The boards quickly became known for having some of the best feature sets and packages as well as outstanding overclocking performance.  There was a little pause between the inital DFI motherboard excitement and the most recet releases, though we are not quite sure what the hold up in the company was.  In any event, today we are here with another installment in the LanParty series -- based on the NVIDIA nForce4 SLI chipset.


DFI has gotten some heated press on both of their nForce4 motherboards because of the realization that they found a way to allow SLI graphics cards to function, albeit in a slightly downgraded form, on the nForce4 Ultra chipset as well.  It seems that now NVIDIA is going through measures to stop that from happening any longer.  Not to worry the board we are reviewing here today is the official SLI chipset, fully endorsed by NVIDIA.


Specifications (from DFI website)





















  LANPARTY nF4 SLI-DR Small product picture
  CPU

 


  • AMD Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 / Sempron
  • Socket 939


  •   Chipset

     


  • NVIDIA nForce4 SLI - Supports NVIDIA SLI (Scalable Link Interface)


  •   Front Side Bus

     


  • 2000MT/s HyperTransport interface


  •   Memory

     


  • Four 184-pin DDR SDRAM DIMM sockets
  • Supports dual channel (128-bit wide) memory interface
  • Supports up to 4GB system memory
  • Supports DDR266, DDR333 and DDR400 DDR SDRAM DIMM


  •   SLI / Single VGA Mode

     


  • SLI mode - 2 SLI-ready graphics cards (use identical cards) on the PCI Express x16 slots. - The graphics cards are connected via the SLI bridge. - The bandwidth of each slot is x8; when the graphics cards are connected via the SLI bridge, it runs at x16 bandwidth.
  • Single VGA mode - 1 PCI Express graphics card on the PCIE1 slot will run at x16 bandwidth. - The other PCI Express x16 slot (PCIE4) will run at x2 bandwidth.


  •   BIOS

     


  • Award BIOS
  • CMOS Reloaded
  • CPU/DRAM overclocking
  • CPU/DRAM/Chipset overvoltage
  • 4Mbit flash memory


  •   Power Management

     


  • Supports ACPI STR (Suspend to RAM) function
  • Wake-On-Events include: - Wake-On-PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse - Wake-On-USB Keyboard/Mouse - Wake-On-LAN - RTC timer to power-on the system
  • AC power failure recovery


  •   Hardware Monitor

     


  • Monitors CPU/system/chipset temperature
  • Monitors 12V/5V/3.3V/Vcore/Vbat/5Vsb/Vchipset/Vdram voltages
  • Monitors the speed of the CPU fan, Fan 2 and chipset fan
  • CPU Overheat Protection function monitors CPU temperature during system boot-up


  •   Audio

     


  • Karajan audio module - Realtek ALC850 8-channel audio CODEC - 6 audio jacks - 1 CD-in connector - 1 front audio connector
  • S/PDIF-in/out interface


  •   LAN

     


  • Dual Gigabit LAN - Vitesse VSC8201 Gigabit Phy and Marvell 88E8001 Gigabit PCI
  • Fully compliant to IEEE 802.3 (10BASE-T), 802.3u (100BASE-TX) and 802.3ab (1000BASE-T) standards


  •   IDE

     


  • nForce4 chip supports two IDE connectors that allows connecting up to four UltraDMA 133Mbps hard drives
  • NVIDIA RAID allows RAID arrays spanning across Serial ATA and Parallel ATA
  • RAID 0 and RAID 1


  •   Serial ATA with RAID

     


  • Four Serial ATA ports supported by the nForce4 chip - SATA speed up to 3Gb/s - RAID 0 and RAID 1 - NVIDIA RAID allows RAID arrays spanning across Serial ATA and Parallel ATA
  • Four Serial ATA ports supported by the Silicon Image Sil 3114 chip - SATA speed up to 1.5Gb/s - RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 5


  •   IEEE 1394

     


  • VIA VT6307
  • Supports two 100/200/400 Mb/sec ports


  •   Rear Panel I/O Ports

     


  • 1 mini-DIN-6 PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 mini-DIN-6 PS/2 keyboard port
  • 2 S/PDIF RCA jacks (S/PDIF-in and S/PDIF-out)
  • Karajan audio module (6 audio jacks)
  • 1 IEEE 1394 port
  • 2 RJ45 LAN ports
  • 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports


  •   I/O Connectors

     


  • 2 connectors for 4 additional external USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 1 connector for 1 external IEEE 1394 port
  • 1 connector for 1 external serial port
  • 1 front audio connector for external line-out and mic-in jacks (on the Karajan audio module)
  • 1 CD-in internal audio connector (on the Karajan audio module)
  • 1 S/PDIF connector for optical cable connection
  • 1 IR connector
  • 8 Serial ATA connectors
  • 2 IDE connectors
  • 1 floppy connector
  • 1 24-pin ATX power connector
  • 1 4-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 2 4-pin 5V/12V power connectors (FDD-type and HDD type)
  • 1 front panel connector
  • 5 fan connectors
  • 4 diagnostic LEDs
  • 1 diagnostic LED connector for external 4 diagnostic LEDs display
  • EZ touch switches (power switch and reset switch)


  •   Expansion Slots

     


  • 2 PCI Express x16 slots
  • 1 PCI Express x1 slot
  • 1 PCI Express x4 slot
  • 2 PCI slots


  •   PCB

     


  • ATX form factor
  • 24cm (9.45") x 30.5cm (12") All specifications above are subject to change without prior notice.


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