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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [10.24.05]
Manufactured by: DFI


Board Layout

As I mentioned on the previous page, the Infinity isn't going to win any beauty contests. What it lacks in looks however, it will try to make up for in layout.

Across the bottom of the board, you'll find all the USB2.0 headers placed in an area that will not get in the way of expansion cards at all. Unfortunately, the front panel header is NOT colour-coded, and NOT very well labeled. The same goes for the SATA ports. Also note that the NF4 Chipset cooler does not come equipped with the same quiet fan used on DFI's higher end NF4 Ultra and NF4 SLI boards.

The single X16 slot has plenty of room above it, since the majority of users will not be using either of the X1 slots. Three PCI slots are provided, which is good. Many newer boards are only equipped with two. There are very few headers to get in the way of any cards installed in the expansion area.

One interesting thing about the PCI-E slots is the retention mechanism used. Instead of a white tab or level, there is a sort of 'hook' that grabs onto the end of the video card. To uninstall the card, you'll have to 'tug' on it a bit harder than normal, but I actually found this more convenient than fumbling around blindly, looking for the lever to release the card, and holding it down while trying not to bump the card against anything during uninstallation. I like these new tabs.

Like the DFI Ultra-D, the memory DIMM slots are placed above the CPU socket, instead of below it. This allows plenty of room for large CPU coolers, and in fact should help facilitate better cooling of the memory modules, since they will be located right below the PSU exhaust fan in most cases.

The ATX 2x12 pin header is well placed, though the 2x2 header is somewhat in the way. It could be worse than where it is now, but it also could be better (along the edge of the board somewhere is where I usually like to see these headers).

The rear panel looks quite sparse, because of the 6 channel audio codec used only required three analog ports. Thankfully, digital input and output are also provided, in the form of Coaxial SPDIF connectors. There are only four USB ports back here, so in the likely case that you need more than those, you'll have to make use of some USB brackets. The board supports up to three more brackets to be installed, totalling six extra USB ports. However the Infinity NF4 Standard does not come with a single USB bracket.

Next Page: (The BIOS)