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 - Thursday, October 16, 2003 - linkI have been considering this mobo for some time and I read the reviews here and at Tomshardware. Both seem to be based on boards tweeked by the mfgr. I also looked at the forum at Amdmb.com recommended by Angry Games. What a mess. This board, like so many others using Nforce2, seems to be extremely fussy about memory timings. Several brands of memory strips lock up during posts. I say the reviews should be redone with retail versions after initial bios fiddling has settled down. And the question of stability at various timings should have as much importance as performance speed.
Anonymous User - Friday, September 19, 2003 - linkI'm having a hard time figuring out the difference between the NFII Lanparty Ultra and the NFII Ultra-AL.
The Ultra-AL seems to go for about half the price.
Do they perform/overclock the same?
Anonymous User - Sunday, August 31, 2003 - linkIts a cool mobo...whats all the fuss
Lonyo - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - link640x480 for game tests would make most sense, then it's mostly CPU limted not GPU limited.
1024x768 is silly if you're comparing motherboard using different graphics cards.
And doing a graph showing one board is pointless.
You should have delayed this review until you'd done another one with the same testbed setup.
Anonymous User - Sunday, August 17, 2003 - linki myself was skeptical about the whole raid 15 deal, that just seems like marketing scheme to me as well. this does seem to be the case doesnt it? well i do believe these benchmarx are quite abbreviated, being that they lack a a7n8x! and a few others, and while on this topic, very disappointed with the whole video card fiasco...please review and update this article guys....
ATConundrum - Saturday, August 16, 2003 - linkI could be wrong, but this comment board is for the review on the mainboard, not the performance/build of the AnandTech.com website itself. Send those comments to the webmaster instead, and do the respectable thing and post constructive comments about the review here.
Anonymous User - Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - link
Anonymous User - Monday, August 11, 2003 - linkJust another anonymous post...
I think he did a fairly decent job of reviewing the board, and the choice of an Radeon for the benchmarking due to directx 9 compatability is understandable. If you wanted to wait longer for them to dig out all of the other mobos, rebuild them in to systems, then retest each one again so that you could have your nice little benchmarks... sorry.
Just wait, either they will re-do the other benchmarks again, or do the new benchmarks using this card. I've already seen tomshardwares guide showing 10 mobos with this chipset, and the bechmarks between them were so similar that they didn't make any difference in my buying descision.
next to last: I agree with the previous plugin complaint, as I also use Mozilla. Is there ANY advantage in using flash over JPG of GIF for the benchmark results? Also the flash banners are annoying as... but I guess they pay the bills.
Finnally, I know I'm not spelling well either due to no spell check, stiff keys on this keyboard, and I ran out of give a care juice about 45 minutes ago.
Anandtech is still all good.
Anonymous User - Sunday, August 10, 2003 - linkjust to add to my comment in 37 if you had a post for pics i could have placed a pic on just to show you i does look smart and others have started making enqiries to my tower AND LANPARTY motherboard tower from www.thermaltake.com take a look if u dont know the case im talking about
thermaltake tower + lanparty motherboard = 1 smart looking system
Anonymous User - Sunday, August 10, 2003 - linkhey wesley 1 point of interest for u m8 when you made the board why didnt u make the IDE cables longer as i have a thermaltake tower so when i saw your board and read the speck i was impressed and imediately boutght it only to be dissapointed in the cables as i cannot connect from the raid connectoins to my HD=2off + dvd rom and dvd-re writer as the cables are too short this post is for ALL u tech wizzards that make motherboards
GIVE US LONGER CABLES FOR GOD SAKE now im stuck with using normal IDE connections AND NO im not reverting back to the old cable strips it takes the look away from a promissing motherboard when you add in a uv light to light up the inside