DFI NFII Ultra: Mean Green Dream Machineby Wesley Fink on July 30, 2003 6:25 PM EST
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DFI is not exactly a brand name that you will instantly recognize, and this is a problem for DFI. As one of the largest board makers, most still do not recognize the DFI name. That is probably because DFI caters to the OEM market, which means they make boards for other companies. Recently, DFI has made the marketing decision to pursue the 'Enthusiast' market under their own brand name, most likely to add credibility – and sales – to their entire Motherboard line. The top-end of this effort is called the LanParty series, and DFI has poured everything into these packages that a gaming enthusiast might desire.
AnandTech’s Evan Lieb looked at the new Intel version of LanParty in his review of the DFI PRO875. In his review, Evan concluded, “In the end we can say that we were more than surprised to see DFI introduce such an incredibly good motherboard, even despite our fairly good experiences with their past motherboards. We would recommend the DFI PRO875 to any user looking for a feature-filled and highly overclockable motherboard at a competitive price point.” In my own testing of the 875PRO, the outstanding overclocking performance Evan found was confirmed. The only “Achilles heel” for the DFI Canterwood board: the limited vDIMM settings to 2.7v, which is a very low range compared to other motherboards aimed at the Enthusiast market. DFI has listened to this complaint and now tells us that an updated version of the DFI 875PRO LanParty with an expanded vDIMM range will be available in the near future.
The first Athlon LanParty from DFI was based on the KT400A chipset. While this is a very competent board, the enthusiast market has changed rapidly. VIA replaced the KT400A with a new KT600 chipset to support the 200FSB of the new Barton 3200+, and nVidia launched their update to the nForce2 chipset, which they call nForce2 Ultra 400. The nVidia nForce2 chipset has also been embraced by the Athlon enthusiast market, so DFI saw the introduction of the updated Ultra 400 version of the nForce2 chipset as an ideal time to bring a new LanParty to market.
With such outstanding performance of the early LanParty boards, we were hopeful that DFI would give us another great motherboard in the NFII LanParty. Yet, we were skeptical that they could deliver a top-notch nForce2 motherboard the first time out. Did DFI produce a NFII Ultra worthy of the new LanParty label?
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Anonymous User - Friday, August 1, 2003 - link
This article is useless because it doesn't help anyone that is looking for a high-end board.
1.Readers want to see how it compares in games! Even though it is stated that different video cards are used, these numbers do not help anyone.
2.Readers want to see how it compares against other top of the line boards! (why not compare it against a P3, it would be just as usefull!)
3."Performance tests for the DFI NFII Ultra LanParty were run with the ATI 9800 PRO 128MB video card with AGP Aperture set to 32MB"
AGP Aperture set to 32MB??? Most people would set this to 128MB! Is there a compatibility problem that should of been stated?
This article should either be fixed or removed from AnandTech's website as it is damaging to their reputation.
If nothing is done about this article then it shows how much AnandTech listens to it's readers.
-no insult intended towards anyone-
Anonymous User - Friday, August 1, 2003 - linkThis article is a bit low on quality. Visiting the forums I know there are tons of qualified guys/gals that would love, including myself, to write/work at anand. I can't believe that this new guy was the best thing they found. I agree with other comments posted. I also hate with a passion the new benchmark result that are used in some of the article, some were flash... I restrict what runs on my browser because I hate to see a woman f****** a cow when I browse. What happened to the plain jpeg/gif of the past? Would much prefer that since otherwise no point of reading the article
Anonymous User - Friday, August 1, 2003 - linkjust wanted to respond to number 18, who quoted one of my comments.
Actually man, I have been a NVIDIA fan and own several NVIDIA products. However as with most of us gamers you have to go where the speed, performance and quality is. I do own a 9700 pro and currently use it for my main gaming, but then again why not? does NVIDIA produce anything that compares?
NVIDIA has had their last 2 product lines fail, along with there cheats and shortcuts to produce good numbers. I seem to remember another company that did those things, can we say 3DFX? Who baught them???? NVIDIA.
my point was not that i am biased, but that ATI is currently the top of the line for speed, quality and performance, besides the fact it supports the new directx9.
which is better to do tests on after all, outdated and slow technology, or up to date top of the line technology?
Anonymous User - Thursday, July 31, 2003 - linkJeez, why would anyone even bother writing articles for such ungrateful SOBs
Anonymous User - Thursday, July 31, 2003 - linkI may have missed it, but how much is this thing gonna cost?
justly - Thursday, July 31, 2003 - linkThere is an explanation about the scores, at the bottom of the preformance test configuration page you can read this
"Many benchmarks show widely different results with different video hardware, so we have indicated benchmarks run with the ATI Radeon 9800 PRO with an asterisk. Benchmarks without an asterisk were run with the nVidia Ti4600."
Iam glad to see the move to the ATi 9800 Pro, this eliminates any video bottleneck and allowes for 8X AGP compatibility testing.
Anonymous User - Thursday, July 31, 2003 - linkThis article really needs fixin!
First major complaint is the use of old graphics cards. Compare apples to apples. Not apples to oranges to peaches.
Second, the Asus A78NX was not tested either. This IS the gold standard with AMD enthusiasts. How can we make a good comparison?
Third, where are the game tests and 3D Mark scores?
Anonymous User - Thursday, July 31, 2003 - linkIn response to #6(Wesley):
I'm not saying your numbers are wrong, I'm saying your description seems wrong. As #21 points out, that description makes absolutely no sense, and as far as I've read, it's wrong. RAID 1.5 is a RAID 1 mirror with "optimized" reads; nothing more. Check Tom's Hardware, I believe they have a good article on this.
Anonymous User - Thursday, July 31, 2003 - linkUmm....Striping and mirroring with 2 drives only?
OK...Let's look at this the way he explained it:
Take 2, 80 GB drives...
Half of each contains is striped, the other half used to mirror the stripe.
In what way is this useful? If 1 drive fails, you've lost the stripe AND the useless mirror...
Please explain to me why this is a good thing, Anandtech....
LM Information Systems
Anonymous User - Thursday, July 31, 2003 - linkok i wont comment the different video cards used, im sure you realise this isn't right... especially for the games benches.
hopefully you'll make up, testing the other boards with this raddy too... also all tests that were done on just this board shall be done to the rest of the boards in time... when you fix all these things i hope you'll put up some notice on the main page.
i got a major complaint however... the idea to use flash for displaying the graphs isn't good at all. the newest flash plugins for mozilla are incredibly slow, and almost make my pc freeze as i open multiple tabs with your articles(with at least 2 flash adds on each page) so i prefer to disable my flash plugin. i know i dont represent the majority of your readers here, so i'm not important... but yet i think you should consider simple gifs for your graphs.
now another thing... why does the forum open in such a weird window? i mean, no addressbar and toolbar, etc. thats kinda annoying.
now a question about the test results... i find some specview results quite weird. in a couple if tests the dfi scores quite less than the rest, and then there's that test where dfi scores 5 times more than the rest.... i'd like to read your comment on these tests, hopefully you have some explanation.
bye folks, and forgive my bitching :) inspite it, i do like your site and thank you for the articles. you're doing a great job