RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.30.04]
Manufactured by: Abit, DFI, Foxconn, Gigabyte


DFI Lanparty 925x-T2

DFI sticks with the orange-black colour scheme for their Intel lineup. This is the biggest box out of the four we're looking at today, and you'll soon see why. The Lanparty is not 'just a motherboard' but a full package to base a lan gaming system around.

The color scheme looks better than ever with the newest Lanparty! Thanks to the new platform, more connectors are available, making for what will be a wonderfully bright system when lit up with a UV light. I just wish the heatsinks matched (I think the Northbridge would look totally sick in black).

The layout here is acceptable, with most of the ports toward the bottom of the board (with the exception of the FireWire port). Note that there is only one USB header - you'll see why in a bit.

Also note that DFI went for three PCI slots AND three PCI-E 1x slots here! One of the PCI-E 1x slots is for internal adapters only though (I'm not sure what device one could put here, but I guess we'll see them eventually... Maybe a RAID card?).

Like Abit, DFI was able to move the seldom-used floppy adapter to the very bottom of the board. Unfortunately, the front panel header is not color coded, and the CMOS jumper is of the tiny-variety that can be a real pain to use when digging through cables to in an installed system. What I do like though are the Power and Reset switches right on the board! Although this is less useful to most users, reviewers love being able to use switches as opposed to fumbling around with a screwdriver to trip the power switch over and over ;)

There is also a set of 4 diagnostic LED's somewhere around here, but you can't see them when they're not lit ;)

For the first time, DFI uses a rotated IDE header. You can tell it's their first time too - the key tab is on the bottom! Abit has learned that in order to maintain the best compatibility with IDE cables and clean installation, the key should be on the TOP when using this type of IDE connector. This isn't a BIG problem of course, but noticable. You can also see that 2x2 P4 connector is situated near the top of the board, which helps keep that cable out of the way.

Finally! Another board manufacturer brave enough to drop serial COM ports and LPT ports! (DFI does include a PCI bracket with a COM port on it of course). This allows for no less than SIX USB ports on the back (and with the single USB header onboard, that allows for two more on a case or other accessory). Dual gigabit ethernet is available here. Two separate Marvell controllers are used; one on the PCI-E bus, and one on the PCI bus. I would have liked to see BOTH controllers on the PCI-E bus, since it will make full use of the amazing amount of bandwidth that is available through gigabit ethernet.

DFI is using coaxial connectors for their optical input and output. There really is no difference between using this and optical in terms of quality. However I always liked coaxial because you can use regular old RCA composite video cables with them.

Looking at the rear panel, you might notice that something is missing... Find out on the next page!

Next Page: (Board Overview - DFI Lanparty 925x-T2 p.2)