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?

DFI NFII Ultra: Basic Features
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  • Jeff7181 - Thursday, July 31, 2003 - link

    ... and another thing.

    What the hell is with showing ONE benchmark results for the Gun Metal DX9 tests? What a complete waste of time those were!
  • Jeff7181 - Thursday, July 31, 2003 - link

    I'm not impressed by this article. Comparing 4 motherboards huh? Don't strain yourselves over there guys.
    How bout throwing in a couple of the most popular motherboards for AMD rigs? Like the Asus A7N8X Deluxe and Epox 8RDA+
    Seems like that would be the smart thing to do since people would be able to relate the performance a lot easier.
  • Anonymous User - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - link

    You are F-ing kidding me right>?!

    "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."

    So you didn't use the same video card to compare both the NF2 Ultra boards? That is just bad form. Gee I wonder if the motherboard with the 9800 will be a little faster? DUh.
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - link

    We described the Raid 1.5 feature in this review, because many readers of our earlier DFI 875PRO review have asked questions about how this feature is supposed to work. We did not test the performance of Raid 1.5, so we did not comment on how it actually performs compared to other RAID configurations.
  • Anonymous User - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - link

    Are you sure about RAID 1.5 too? I've seen several reports that it's nothing more than RAID 1(mirroring) with data being simultaniously read off both drives, which is in turn something a good RAID 1 controller should do anyhow, making RAID 1.5 marketing fluff.
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - link

    Corrections are in process right now. When a review is written it is spell-checked, emailed, and then actually posted by a Managing Editor who is located thousands of miles from my location. The graphs are also created from formatted raw data at that point. Since I am new to Anandtech, then these kinds of errors do happen, and we take them very seriously.

    I sincerely apologize, but the errors will be corrected very soon. Since I am learning the Anandtech procedures, the fault is mine.

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