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


DFI Lanparty 925x-T2 Cont'd

On the previous page, you saw that there is a huge gap in the middle of the rear panel. Where are the audio connectors?

It is common knowledge that motherboards can be very 'noisy' electrically. This is often apparent with onboard sound solutions; in extreme cases, you can actually hear a 'hissing' sound through your speakers or (more commonly) headphones.

In an attempt to offer the lowest noise level possible on an onboard sound controller, DFI employed an external audio module that plugs into the motherboard itself. It looks like the Realtek DAC they are using is on this module. In theory, this sounds like a good idea...

When installed, it fits right in with the rest of the rear panel. However I am concerned with the fact that the only thing holding it down is a piece of double sided tape. It does plug into the header on the motherboard quite tightly, but installing audio cables in and out is likely to cause it to fall off inside the case eventually. If you're like me and switch between headphones and speakers all the time, this is not a good thing!

Of course we have to find out if the external audio was worth it in the first place. I fired up RMAA and ran a full suite of tests using a Creative Audigy 2 ZS as the destination card. To compare to 'another apple', the same tests were performed on the Abit AA8 audio, which uses the exact same set of audio components (though the DAC is on the board itself).

Tests were done in 24 bit mode, at a 92 kHz sampling rate.

The first thing that will be affected will likely be the Noise Level:

As you can see, the noise level cannot even keep up with Abit's board, invalidating any differences the external audio module might have made.

Stereo Crosstalk can also be affected by noise surrounding the DAC process:

And once again, the Lanparty's solution is behind the AA8, which uses the exact same audio components.

If anything, I would have to assume that this external solution ADDS more noise to the audio, instead of taking any away. The external module is a novel idea, but it's obvious that DFI didn't think much past the novelty value of it when designing and engineering it.

The audio connector isn't the only external addon that is included with the Lanparty! You'll have to read on however!

Next Page: (Board Overview - DFI Lanparty 925x-T2 p.3)