Features of the DFI Lanparty 875P-T
- Package and Contents
The DFI Lanparty motherboards are exactly what they say they are - designed for the enthusiast with the case modders and Lanparty users in mind. DFI packs the motherboard along with all its components in an extremely large and flashy box.
Inside there are four separate boxes containing various parts to the DFI Lanparty series. There is the FrontX, Rounded Cables, Transporto and the Motherboard box. Inside the actual motherboard box is where 90% of the accessories are placed for getting your motherboard installed and ready to run. You get two user manual, one is for the motherboard and the other is for the accessories installation, two UV reactive SATA data cables with a two port power splitter for SATA HDD's, two driver and software combo CD's and a FDD with the ICH5 series SATA driver install for XP and 2000.
The FrontX is DFI's answer to front panel connection. This is a unit that slots into a free CD-ROM drive bay and gives access to a few convenient features. From this version of the FrontX you have a SP-DIF optical in port, four pin Firewire, DEBUG LED port and a Serial ATA port. While it provides a DATA port, it doesn't provide a SATA power port, so your dive will need some sort of external power source.
DFI has gone for the case modders with this approach. Not only do you get two IDE, one FDD and two SATA rounded data cables, but they are also UV reactive. That's right, under the UV black light these glow a rather quaint orange colour which is great for showing off the inside of your case.
The Transporto is DFI's Middle Tower carry bag. This is actually a strap that allows you to carry around your case. It has pockets and pouches in the sides for CD's, your mice, headphones and keyboard and is a definite plus for LAN users.
While some of us may have PSU's with sleeved wires, not all of them are UV reactive. DFI provides a sleeving kit to cover your 20 pin ATX power connector as well as your 4 pin Molex lead wires. As mentioned they glow orange when under a UV black light, so if your want to replace your standard sleeving or to do your non-sleeved PSU this is the kit for you.
- The Motherboard
DFI has put the same style into the motherboard that they have done with the actual packaging. DFI has followed the rules for setting out the connections that ABIT has set down which does help when you employ former ABIT engineers ;). First off the 20 pin ATX connector is located behind the DIMM sockets along with the two IDE channels. The 4 pin connector is up on the top of the motherboard between the CPU socket and the DIMM sockets which does keep the cables out of the way of the heatsink assembly.
For the expansion capabilities, DFI's motherboard follows ABIT's layout with one AGP 8x slot and four PCI slots. Due to the size of the LGA775 socket and the chipset, fewer slots have to be added. Another part to note is that the sockets are also UV reactive.
DFI has taken another route when it comes to the chipset. Yes it is old school but DFI has elected to use the Intel I875P Canterwood chipset, where ABIT uses the cheaper Springdale. While Canterwood has true PAT, motherboard companies were able to hack this open in the I865PE to give a PAT-like system of its own which means that the PAT argument is a mute one when choosing a Canterwood or Springdale motherboard. The ICH5-R is included to give two SATA ports with RAID function as well as the usual features of the ICH5.
Like ABIT, DFI has added Firewire support, however, only two ports are included due to the VIA VT6307 chip being used, however two should be enough.
The DFI Lanparty 875P-T is lightly superior in the LAN capabilities due to its addition of the Marvel 8001 PCI controller chipset. While being on the PCI bus, it is preferable to the simple 10/100 Ethernet offered by the ABIT AS8.
- The BIOS and Overclocking
DFI has moved into the overclocking realm with the Infinity and Lanparty series of motherboards and the 875P-T is no exception. Using a standard Award BIOS, DFI has moved all its overclocking features to its Gene BIOS settings Menu.
When you enter the Gene BIOS setting menu you must first set the Easy Overclocking setting to User Defined. When this is done all the overclocking options become available for tweaking, much like with the ABIT motherboard. CPU Ratio settings are only available for unlocked CPU's or when the new BIOS that allows changing multipliers on Prescott's is released.
CPU Clock allows you to adjust your FSB from 133MHz (533MHz) up to a maximum of 350MHz (1400MHz) in 1MHz increments.
Async AGP/PCI CLK can be used to keep the AGP and PCI clocks within specifications. Keeping 66/33 MHz will keep you out of trouble with AGP and PCI frequencies stable.
Voltage Adjustments are plentiful on this motherboard. CPU voltage control goes from 1.3875v up to a maximum of 1.975v in 0.025v increments, more than enough for both Prescott and Northwood CPU's. DIMM voltage control gives you the ability to change you DRAM voltage from 2.5v up to 3.2v in 0.1v increments. AGP voltage control supplies the voltage to the AGP bus and Northbridge chipset. You can go from 1.5v up to 1.8v in 0.1v increments which a better range in that of the ABIT which allowed us to hit an FSB of 308MHz which is a very solid personal best for this type of setup.
CMOS Reloaded first made its appearance on the DFI Infinity range of motherboards where it was announced back at Computex 2003 in Taiwan and it has now passed onto the newest Lanparty motherboards. CMOS reloaded is a feature that allows you to save up to four preset overclocking stages in BIOS, depending on what you want to do - you simply enter BIOS and load a preset. This is especially handy if you want to save setting you know are working and then tweak the motherboard more. If they don't work, you don't have to go back though and reset the options back to what you originally had them at (or bother remembering those settings) - just load the preset and BIOS is set as it was when you save it, it's just that simple.
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