Page 1 of 3whatever takes the DFI LanParty Ultra B motherboard out for a spin, and benchmarks it in the process. He also manages to pit the DFI LanParty Ultra B up against the Abit NF7s V2 board to see just which one comes out the fastest!
The nForce 2 Ultra 400 AMD platform by DFI LanParty Ultra B has recently been released. The reigning champion nForce 2 Abit NF7/s V2.0 boards had been stirring up the crowd with high Front Side Bus overclocking, locked PCI bus and controlled AGP bus speeds as well as the memory performance improvement from the Dual Channel 128bit support. The DFI LanParty Ultra B not only is packed with extra BIOS features and packages but also has higher potential of FSB overclocking than the reigning champion Abit NF7/s board.
The DFI LanParty Ultra B is packed with following features: Integrated 2 ATA 133 EIDE ports; 4 SATA(Serial ATA)-150 ports with built-in RAID0, RAID1, and RAID0+1 support; 2 Ethernet ports, one from nVidia(10/100 Mbps) and one from Realtek RTL8110S Gigabit(10, 100, and 1000 Mbps); total of 6 USB 2.0 ports(4 in real panel and 1 onboard header supporting 2 ports); 3 on-board Firewire(IEEE 1394) connections; 6 channel audio support by nVidias SoundStorm technology and S/PDIF input/output ports.
The board comes with the mounting holes around the socket for waterblocks, which is definitely required for the watercooling enthusiasts.
The board comes with the heatsink for the SouthBridge chipset. In general, heating up the SouthBridge chipset can sometimes cause stability problems at high FSBs and high chipset voltages. The heat sensitivity varies among nForce2 boards. Having a heatsink on the chipset will ensure stability for the SouthBridge department.
The illuminating diagnostic LEDs are useful as well. The LEDs are in three locations; one below the CMOS battery, one below the 5th PCI slots, and one between the DIMM slots.
The CMOS jumper is located right next to the 1st PCI slot. The location of this jumper will cause problems if the massive heatsink or 226w watercooled TECs are applied on the video card in the AGP slot. It will completely block and you will have no room to reset the jumper. Removing the video card to reset the jumper is the only solution, in this case. A smaller heatsink or factory heatsink on the video card will not be problems at all however.
The lower right corner of the board has two buttons. One is to power the system and the other one is to reset the system. You do not need screwdriver or any metal tipped pen to power the board. It is very convenient for some overclockers who run the system without mounting it on the case.
One of the crucial things this board comes with is the CMOS Reloaded feature. This will save you a lot of time and effort to set the CMOS when the system fails or if the CMOS ever suffers from corruption during overclocking. We will get into the detail of this feature in the next section.
The board supports following CPUs and Memory types:
- AMD Athlon XP 266/333/400MHz FSB
- AMD Athlon 200/266MHz FSB
- AMD Duron 200/266MHz FSB
- Up to 3GB memory (unbuffered DIMM slots total of 3)
- PC1600 (DDR200), PC2100 (DDR266), PC2700 (DDR333) or PC3200 (DDR400)
- DDR SDRAM DIMM, 2.5V type
It comes in a large box that contains 5 small boxes loaded with bundles of accessories that will provide all the connections you need such as the rear panel shield, Firewire and USB2.0 brackets, SATA and ATA133 cables as well as the componentized drive bay kit that allows for audio, Firewire, and USB2.0 connections. It also comes with LAN bag kit for easy transporting your computer to your LAN events.
Now that we have covered the features, supported component types, and bundled packages it comes with, lets move on to the BIOS features and overclocking of the board.