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Review: DFI LANParty NFII ULTRA

by Tarinder Sandhu on 30 July 2003, 00:00 4.0

Tags: DFI (TPE:2397)

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Introduction

DFI LANPARTY NFII ULTRA MOTHERBOARD

Let's get the party started

Avid readers will no doubt know that NVIDIA, in its infinite wisdom, decided to differentiate its nForce2 logic into single and dual-channel chipsets; both of which are now ratified to run 200FSB XP CPUs. The dominating factor in this segregation has to be cost. It's abundantly clear that that producing a dual-channel-capable memory controller is inherently more expensive than the single-channel approach. We've demonstrated that the present dual-channel Ultra 400 usually ekes out no more than a 5% performance advantage over running the same chipset in single-channel mode. It's with this information that NVIDIA, most likely, has decided to produce a cheaper, slightly lower performance variant.

The Ultra 400, though, still remains the jewel in NVIDIA's chipset crown. We've seen a number of classy Ultra 400s pass through the labs here and have generally been impressed with each and every one. That's mainly due to the maturity and performance of the chipset and the expertise and execution skill of well-respected manufacturers such as ASUS, EPoX and Leadtek.

DFI (Diamond Flower International) impressed us with its feature-filled Canterwood board that sits in the new LANParty range. We were also impressed by DFI's KT400A LANParty model, one that featured highly in our recent multi-board roundup. It's of no real surprise, then, that DFI has an nForce2 Ultra 400 board with the requisite LANParty packaging and presentation. If recently history is a good predictor of present performance, the DFI LANParty NFII ULTRA should be a welcome addition to family. It's time to wrestle with the huge box and get to the bottom of what makes this package tick.