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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [09.12.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson

Manufactured by: DFI
Est. Street Price: ~$170

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Sounds Familiar

Just over two months ago now we reviewed the DFI Lanparty KT400a, DFI's other AMD entry in its Lanparty line. Although we were impressed by the effort DFI had put into creating a motherboard designed especially for enthusiasts we found that the KT400a chipset implemented invoked feelings of embarrassment coupled with pity; much like that drunken brother in law who always wants to sing while playing air guitar at weddings.

After our lackluster experiences DFI has been kind enough to supply us with a beefed up nForce2 version of this board. While admittedly, with Athlon 64's just around the corner, the nForce2 chipset is almost old news, but we would be remiss not to review what has the potential to be a stellar motherboard for those of you who like flash but don't have the cash for anything beyond the current XP line of processors.

The Specs

DFI's Lanparty NF2 Ultra motherboard ships with the following features:

CPU: Socket A AMD Duron/Athlon MP/Athlon XP
Chipset: nForce2 Ultra400 SPP Chipset + Nvidia Nforce2 MCP-T
FSB: 100/133/166/200Mhz
Memory: 3 DDR SDRAM PC3200, 3GB Max
Onboard IDE: 2 x E/IDE Ultra DMA/133, 2 x Highpoint Raid, 1 SATA. 6 drives max
USB: 6 x USB 2.0 ports, 4 onboard, 2 with included front-panel cable
Onboard Audio: 6 channel VT1616 AC'97 integrated sound
Onboard NIC: 2 x 10/100 RTL8139C
Onboard Firewire:1 x IEEE 1394 port via included front-panel cable
Expansion Slots: 1x AGP 8x/4x, 5 x 32bit PCI

For a full list of features you can check out DFI's Lanparty website.

Notice the similarities to the KT400a version?  Aside from the chipsets and Dual DDR support, the two boards are in fact identical in terms of features.

Like the KT400a revision, the NFII has both IDE RAID capabilities as well as SATA. There is unfortunately only 1 SATA header though, and both SATA and RAID devices cannot be used at the same time.

The Highpoint RAID controller incorporates the new RAID 1.5 configuration which allows for both mirroring (RAID 1) and Stripping (RAID 0) much like RAID 01 (or 10), but with only 2 drives instead of the regular 4.

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