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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [12.21.04]
Manufactured by: DFI

Lowest Price Finder: $168.50

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It's a Looker!

You saw on the previous page that the board looks sweet, and that's the truth. However the layout, while pretty good, leaves a bit to be desired. First of all, you'll notice that the USB headers are right beside the PCI cards. Routing whatever internal USB devices you may have between any installed PCI devices is going to be a pain. I'm not quite sure what a 3-pin fan header is doing below the PCI slots either.. Is that for a front fan, or a rear fan? Either way, the fan cable is going to create a bit of mess if you install it onto that header.

Things are a bit better on this portion of the board; IDE and floppy headers are near the edge of the board, and the two SATA headers are as well. I must say, I REALLY appreciate the onboard Power and Reset buttons, although I'm not sure how useful it would be to a non-reviewer. At the very least, it's a nice addition for your initial setup if you're the type who does so on an open bench first (a good idea in most cases). The front panel header is well placed, and clearly labeled. I would have liked to see it color coded however.

When it comes to the power leads, DFI nearly hits a home run. The 2x2 header is well placed, at the very top of the board. Even better would have been to have it on the other side of the CPU socket, near the rear panel. But I have to give DFI kudos for having it at the top of the board at least! The 2x10 ATX header is placed well, at the very edge of the board. Also, the DIMM slots are placed well above the AGP slot, preventing any problems with memory installation with a video card install. Overall, I'd have to give DFI a 7.8/10 on board layout - they know they can do better!

The rear panel only includes four USB2.0 headers, and a single onboard Gigabit Ethernet adapter. Although it has digital input and output, the age of the 875P chipset is showing here.

Now let's check out the CMOS...

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