The AMD Socket 939 platform has gone through a few different revisions since its initial launch, starting with the VIA K8T800 Pro. Then NVIDIA moved in, released the nForce3 Ultra AGP chipset, and finally ended up with the current nForce4 PCI Express line. The nForce4 comes in several different revisions, including the standard nForce4, the higher-end nForce4 Ultra, and the enthusiast-level nForce4 SLI. Each of these has its own set of features, but the most popular is likely the nForce4 Ultra.
This chipset offers top-end performance, cutting-edge features, the flexibility needed to fit into a variety of platforms and the ability to fill the void at many different price points. The DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D motherboard is a testament to this, as the board includes high-end performance, features, and overclocking, along with dual PCIe graphics.
The LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D motherboard utilizes the NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra chipset, and includes a host of high-end features. The board supports Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX, and Athlon 64 X2 processors on the Socket 939 package and provides an exceptional base for a new performance or gaming AMD system. This is a full-size ATX model with four DDR sockets, and a host of PCI Express x16 graphics, PCI Express x4/x1 and PCI expansion slots. These slots are also UV sensitive and should match up well with a high-end enthusiast case.
In terms of basic features, it offers Dual Xpress Graphics (DXG) for dual video output (not SLI) through the two onboard PCI Express ports. This allows a PCIe x16 slot for single graphics (and x2 for the secondary port), or 2xPCIe x8 ports for dual graphics multi-monitor support. The board also features dual-channel DDR266/333/400 memory support, PATA and SATA (3.0 Gb/s) interfaces with NVIDIA RAID, six USB 2.0 ports (+ four expandable), Firewire/ IEEE 1394 through the VIA VT6307, 8-channel audio through a Realtek ALC850 (6 Karajan external audio jacks), and dual Gigabit LAN. This is a very impressive set of onboard features, and DFI has gone well over the base nForce4 Ultra specification in a few areas.
The system BIOS is also very nice, and offers excellent overclocking and performance tweaking options. The LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D includes a wide range of overclocking settings, such as FSB settings, LDT/FSB ratio, CPU multiplier, PCI Express frequency, and CPU, DDR, LDT, and chipset voltages, as well as supporting NVIDIA nTune. The LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D board also supports AMD Cool 'n' Quiet Technology, and DFI has been quick to issue BIOS updates to support new CPU technologies like the Athlon 64 Venice and Athlon 64 X2 processors.
The DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D retail box contains a nice selection of bundled hardware, and while you don't get all the usual LANPARTY extras, it is still an excellent retail pack. In addition to the nForce4 Ultra motherboard, DFI includes one rounded floppy cable, two ATA-66/100/133 rounded cables, two SATA cables, one dual-prong SATA power adapter, one I/O Shield, a driver and utilities CD, an SATA RAID floppy disk, and a 56-page multi-lingual hardcopy user manual. DFI has also added in a Karajan audio module (that attaches to the motherboard and allows 8-channel, 6-port support), some extra jumpers and a removal tool.