DFI LANParty UT nF3-250Gb: Overclocker's Dreamby Wesley Fink on September 8, 2004 12:05 AM EST
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Final WordsDFI claims that the LANParty UT nF3 250Gb is the fastest Athlon 64 board that you can buy. This statement is undoubtedly a reflection of the fact that a prototype DFI nF3 250Gb is at the top of the current results for Future Mark 2001SE, besting even Socket 939 solutions in topping those charts. While we realize that these stellar results were achieved with exotic cooling at voltages that will frighten away most users, all of our test results confirm this claim. The DFI reached memory performance levels that no other board, AMD or Intel, has been able to reach. For the first time, we saw that DDR600 and above is possible. The performance at these kinds of memory overclocks is impressive, and we believe that the DFI is capable of squeezing whatever performance that you can get from your Socket 754 CPU and high-speed memory.
To put it simply, the DFI nF3 250Gb is the best overclocking Athlon 64 board that we have ever tested. The range of options in every area is superb, and no one will feel that they are left short with this DFI board. For best performance, you should use one DIMM, but performance with 2 DIMMs is also impressive, as the DFI is as good or better with 2 dimms than the best of the Athlon 64 boards that we have tested. If you plan to buy a Socket 754 Athlon 64 and overclock it, this is the board to buy.
At the other end of the spectrum, the DFI LANParty UT will also satisfy those end users who do not plan to overclock. The performance is competitive with the best A64 boards that we have tested, and the feature set is as good as you will find on an nForce3 board. DFI has fully implemented the premium 250Gb version of the nVidia 250 chipset, and all of the features like on-chip Ethernet, nVidia Firewall, and nVidia SATA/IDE RAID are there. It is really nice to see a dynamite overclocker with a full feature set. Buyers comparing value will also be very pleased with this DFI, as the UT series is designed to provide all the OC features at a lower price.
When we first saw all the hype surrounding this DFI nF3 250Gb, we really didn't see how the board could live up to the expectations. After evaluating a production board, we can only say that the board more than lives up to those high expectations. DFI is to be congratulated on delivering an incredible board for the enthusiast. This board will also add to the legend of Oskar Wu that already exists from some of the landmark boards that he designed at Abit.
The only question that remains is where the DFI nF3 250Gb fits for the Athlon 64 buyer. With the premium prices for Socket 939 processors, many smart buyers have been buying the cheaper Socket 754 processors instead. They realize that the 754 is only slightly slower than the 939 dual-channel chips and that the Athlon 64 does not require massive memory bandwidth for best performance. The new DFI LANParty UT makes that 754 an even more attractive choice with a fairly priced board, which can reach overclock levels that no current Socket 939 can even approach. The extra overclocking headroom that you can achieve on the DFI more than makes up for the slight performance advantage of Socket 939 dual-channel processors.
Prices will undoubtedly drop for Socket 939 CPUs, making that chip the more attractive choice down the road. We can only hope that the upcoming DFI Socket 939 does as much for 939 performance as this 754 board does for the 754 chip. If you want to go to Athlon 64, but the price scares you off, start with a DFI LANParty UT nF3 250Gb. Then add any Socket 754 chip that you can afford. We are confident that your end result will be the best performance possible with the chip and memory that you choose.