Early this year, DFI took the world by storm with the introduction of their wildly popular nForce 4 boards, namely the Ultra-D, SLI-D and feature-laden SLI-DR. Since that time, these boards have proven to be exceptional enthusiast boards, providing myriads of overclocking options and adjustments with voltages for CPU, north bridge and in particular, the memory that allowed the end-user unlimited ability to overclock to their heart's desire. Gone were the days of voltage modifications and use of the programs, WPCredit and WPCrset, to take a board, CPU and memory to their limits. DFI, in one fell swoop, had brought overclocking to the masses, where once overclocking was for the knowledgeable few. Now, even the casual overclocker could overclock like an old pro.

DFI has updated this legendary overclocker's board with a large number of board revisions and component upgrades. DFI calls the result the LANParty UT SLI-DR Expert. We're here to find out if the upgrade is more than just words and clever marketing.

The most obvious change in the Expert was the new box graphics, which were introduced initially with the release of their ATI based RDX200 CF-DR motherboard. Of course, the nForce4 Expert is green and the ATI RDX200 is red. Packaging otherwise was familiar and much like other recent DFI boards.

Our evaluation of the Expert revision of the SLI-DR for this review will take a step away from the standard AnandTech review methodology and focus on the changes to the original SLI-DR, along with the new board's ability to overclock the CPU, HTT and memory. The original SLI-DR was reviewed as part of our " SLI Roundup" here in February and the complete suite of standard tests were run. The basic feature set has not changed on the Expert version of the board and all pertinent testing and results in regards to Audio, Ethernet performance, Disk Controller performance, Firewire and USB throughput remain valid for this revision and may be referred to if you want to know more about the performance of these features.

The idea with the introduction of this Expert revision is increased stability, overclockability and flexibility in working with different types of RAM modules, in particular Winbond BH-5/UTT and Samsung TCCD. That is what we will be testing.

DFI NF4 SLI-DR Expert: Feature Set
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  • Wesley Fink - Friday, November 25, 2005 - link

    The Expert uses the nForce4 chipset, so it supports SATA2 and NCQ. The performance of the nForce4 chipset is already well-documetned. THere are links on the first page to tests of all these nForce4 controllers and features.
  • bob661 - Friday, November 25, 2005 - link

    Nice board for the OCers. Too complicated for me.
  • Zebo - Friday, November 25, 2005 - link

    Besides being too expensive in this particular case.. everyone should looking into an overclocking "complicated" board simply because they are built to last overclocked! Which means they should last longer stock than cheezy boards even if you're not interested in tweaking at all. Notice he mentions highend componets on board like Jap caps..better cooling etc.
  • ceefka - Friday, November 25, 2005 - link

    I agree that good components and a stability are where it all begins.

    Still, for a price like this, I'd miss the features AT mentions and Firewire 800a
    (on a PCIe lane, please). Plus I don't care for SLI. A simple 16x 4x 1x PCIe would do.

    To me this an overture to what DFI can do. This one is a bit too much in the OC niche for me.

    What would you consider a cheezy board? Just curious.
  • ceefka - Friday, November 25, 2005 - link

    bummer, typo: 800a (?) forget the "a" please.
  • Pete84 - Friday, November 25, 2005 - link

    Wow, what an overclock!!
  • bob661 - Friday, November 25, 2005 - link

    Yeah. My jaw was dropped on that one. Never seen 500MHz on memory before. At least, not without extreme cooling.
  • ViRGE - Friday, November 25, 2005 - link

    The memory is not running at 500mhz, it was divided down to 250mhz. The 500mhz mark is purely a measure of the highest FSB that could be attained.
  • NullSubroutine - Friday, November 25, 2005 - link

    is this another penis test?
  • Zebo - Friday, November 25, 2005 - link

    Nice...Any word about a ultra expert? $200 way to much for a mobo if you don't need SLi. I can identify with heat on old ultra..mosfet HS get waaay too hot.. Another feature I like of this board is it looks like you might be able to replace fan with a passive Zalman thingi... old boards set chipset right under PCIe #1 leaving you no alternative but running a fan.

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