Moving along, it's motherboard time. With a name like "Blood Iron", what colour would you expect to see the PCB in? That's right, it's red. If you're into case modding, this board will look quite smashing in a case with some blue or green lights, that's for sure.
The board is manufactured on the full size 30x24cm ATX layout with a 6-layer PCB. While it may be a simplistic board, DFI hasn't spared any expense on the R&D department. The 24-pin power connector along with the IDE port is located behind the four DDR2 memory slots on the right hand side of the board. Just in front and to the top of the memory slots is the 4/8 pin combo power port, keeping it well away from the CPU.
The six SATA ports are located just below the ICH9R Southbridge and are placed so to keep them out of the way of the PCI Express x16 slot for the graphics card. The only major problem we have with this board is placing the FDD connector below the PCI slots right at the bottom middle section of the board; a definite cable routing nightmare.
DFI's CPU area is extremely clean, no large capacitors or heatsinks in the way of the CPU. This is because the motherboard uses a 4-phase full digital VRM setup with solid state components to keep things cool and running smooth. Four phases is enough for basic overclocking of Core 2 Duo and Extreme CPUs, and even the Quad can be happy with that; but if you're going to put an older Pentium D on to this board, four phases will just keep these power hungry CPUs fed at stock. Overclocking one of these older processors will tax the board extremely, and may require you to place some aftermarket cooling on the voltage regulators. The Northbridge and Southbridge are cooled independently and passively, there are no interconnected heatpipes on this board.
Shifting things over to the rear of the board, the I/O ports are pretty sparse, but you get the basics here. PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse are the only legacy ports found here, there's no serial or parallel ports resident. Six USB ports are found at the back as well as the 6 stereo audio ports. One RCA and one Toslink port make up the digital components. There is also a jumper on the back that allows you to clear the CMOS without opening the case.
Pushing on to the expansion slots, the Blood Iron P35 resembles what we are used to seeing on older motherboards. Having a P35 board without Crossfire doesn't seem right, but DFI has marketed this board as a mainstream board which they believe isn't going to require Dual graphics cards. A single PCI Express x16 slot is used for the graphics system running off the P35 Northbridge chipset and two PCI Express x1 slots run from the Southbridge. Three PCI legacy slots are what's left to give you legacy compatibility for sound cards, TV tuners and so forth.
In terms of additional extras, there is only a single PCI Express x1 Realtek Gigabit LAN chip and a JMicron PCI Express based SATA/PATA chip to give the board its IDE channel. One thing we aren't happy about is that DFI have elected not to use the two extra SATA ports that the JMicron chip provides; these could have been routed to eSATA ports but have gone to waste.
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