DFI LanParty NF4 SLI-DR Expert Review 9

DFI LanParty NF4 SLI-DR Expert Review

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I would like to thank MIPS Computer for supplying us with the tested motherboard.

The DFI LanParty NF4 Series is legendary among overclockers. The boards are well known for their excellent performance and overclocking features.

When I first heard that DFI is coming up with a new "Expert" version of this board, I was wondering if they could really improve things so much that it warrants a new product. Yes they did!

Like the non-expert boards the DFI LanParty NF4 SLI-DR Expert is based on NVIDIA's nForce 4 chipset. At the moment DFI offers only the SLI-DR Expert, but there may be cheaper versions without SLI or the additional SATA chip.

The nForce4 is NVIDIA's current chipset for the AMD64 platform. After the enormous success of the previous nForce chipsets the expectations were high, but NVIDIA was able to deliver another great chipset. It boasts with features like integrated Gigabit Ethernet and SATA-II support for a theoretical 300 MB/s HDD transfer rate. RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 0+1 are possible as well.


ProcessorAMD Athlon64 / FX Socket 939
FSB2000 MT/s HTT
ChipsetNVIDIA nForce4 Ultra
Memory4x 184 Pin DDR, Dual Channel DDR 200/333/400, up to 4 GB
Slots2x PCI-E x16
1x PCI-E x1
1x PCI-E x4
3x PCI
HDD Connectivity2x ATA-133
Networking10/100/1000 Mbps - NVIDIA nForce4
10/100/1000 Mbps - Marvell 88E8001
Ports10x USB 2.0 (6 on Back Panel)
1x Serial header on-board
2x IEEE1394 (1 on Back Panel)
Audio8 Channel Realtek ALC850 Audio,
S/PDIF in/out
Form FactorATX 293 x 305mm

Specifications from DFI

  • AMD® Athlon 64 X2 / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 / Sempron
  • Socket 939
  • NVIDIA nForce4 SLI
  • Supports NVIDIA SLI (Scalable Link Interface)
Front Side Bus
  • 2000MT/s HyperTransport interface
  • Four 184-pin DDR SDRAM DIMM sockets
  • Supports dual channel (128-bit wide) memory interface
  • Supports up to 4GB system memory
  • Supports PC2100 (DDR266), PC2700 (DDR333) and PC3200 (DDR400) DDR SDRAM DIMM
SLI / Single VGA Mode
SLI mode
  • Use 2 SLI-ready PCI Express x16 graphics cards (use identical cards) on the PCI Express x16 slots.
  • Each x16 slot operates at x8 bandwidth. When the graphics cards are connected via the SLI bridge, the total bandwidth of the two graphics cards is x16.
Single VGA mode
  • 1 PCI Express graphics card on the PCIE1 slot operates at x16 bandwidth.
  • The other PCI Express x16 slot (PCIE4) operates at x2 bandwidth.
  • Award BIOS
  • CMOS Reloaded
  • CPU/DRAM overclocking
  • CPU/DRAM/Chipset overvoltage
  • 4Mbit flash memory
Power Management
  • Supports ACPI STR (Suspend to RAM) function
  • Wake-On-Events include:
    - Wake-On-PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse
    - Wake-On-USB Keyboard/Mouse
    - Wake-On-LAN
    - RTC timer to power-on the system
  • AC power failure recovery
Hardware Monitor
  • Monitors CPU/system/chipset temperature
  • Monitors 12V/5V/3.3V/Vcore/Vbat/5Vsb/Vchipset/Vdram voltages
  • Monitors the speed of the CPU fan, Fan 2 and Fan 3 fan
  • CPU Overheat Protection function monitors CPU temperature during system boot-up
  • Karajan audio module
    - Realtek ALC850 8-channel AC’97 audio CODEC
    - 6 audio jacks
    - 1 CD-in connector
    - 1 front audio connector
  • True stereo line level outputs
  • S/PDIF-in/out interface
  • Dual Gigabit LAN - Vitesse VSC8201 Gigabit Phy and Marvell 88E8001 Gigabit PCI
  • Fully compliant to IEEE 802.3 (10BASE-T), 802.3u (100BASE-TX) and
  • 802.3ab (1000BASE-T) standards
  • Supports two IDE connectors that allows connecting up to four UltraDMA 133Mbps hard drives
  • NVIDIA RAID allows RAID arrays spanning across Serial ATA and Parallel ATA
  • RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1 and JBOD
Serial ATA with RAID
  • Four Serial ATA ports supported by the nForce4 SLI chip
    - SATA speed up to 3Gb/s
    - RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1 and JBOD
    - NVIDIA RAID allows RAID arrays spanning across Serial ATA and Parallel ATA
  • Four Serial ATA ports supported by the Silicon Image Sil 3114 chip
    - SATA speed up to 1.5Gb/s
    - RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1 and RAID 5
IEEE 1394
  • VIA VT6307
  • Supports two 100/200/400 Mb/sec ports
Rear Panel I/O Ports
  • 1 mini-DIN-6 PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 mini-DIN-6 PS/2 keyboard port
  • 2 S/PDIF RCA jacks (S/PDIF-in and S/PDIF-out)
  • Karajan audio module (6 audio jacks)
  • 1 IEEE 1394 port
  • 2 RJ45 LAN ports
  • 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports
I/O Connectors
  • 2 connectors for 4 additional external USB 2.0/1.1 ports
  • 1 connector for 1 external IEEE 1394 port
  • 1 connector for 1 external serial port
  • 1 connector for the Karajan audio module
  • 1 front audio connector for external line-out and mic-in jacks (on the Karajan audio module)
  • 1 CD-in internal audio connector (on the Karajan audio module)
  • 1 S/PDIF connector for optical cable connection
  • 1 IrDA connector
  • 8 Serial ATA connectors
  • 2 IDE connectors
  • 1 floppy connector
  • 1 24-pin ATX power connector
  • 1 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
  • 1 4-pin 5V/12V power connector (FDD type)
  • 1 front panel connector
  • 5 fan connectors
  • 4 diagnostic LEDs
  • EZ touch switches (power switch and reset switch)
Expansion Slots
  • 2 PCI Express x16 slots
  • 1 PCI Express x1 slot
  • 1 PCI Express x4 slot
  • 3 PCI slots
  • ATX form factor
  • 24cm (9.45") x 30.5cm (12")
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