One of the most critical components in any PC is the motherboard. If the CPU is considered as the brain of the PC, then the motherboard undoubtedly its heart. Everything is connected to it. Therefore, it's not surprising that the motherboard is probably the component that people spend the most time researching before making their purchase decision.
Although there are only a few chipsets available for any particular platform, motherboard manufacturers configure their motherboards with different features to appeal to different market segments. As a result, there is always a wide range of motherboards to choose from, no matter which platform you choose.
Today, we will take a look at what's arguably the most overclockable NVIDIA nForce 4-based motherboard in the market today - the DFI LANParty UT NF4 SLI-DR.
DFI Inc. was established in 1981 with a focus on computer product development and manufacture. They were the first IT production company in Taiwan to receive ISO9001 certification. They are headquartered in Hsi-Chih City, Taiwan with regional offices in China, Japan, the USA, and Europe.
DFI is best known for their Lanparty and Infinity lines of overclocking-friendly motherboards. Now, let's have a look at the chipset that this motherboard is based on.
The NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Chipset
The nForce 4 SLI chipset for the AMD Athlon 64 platform is a single chip solution. This is primarily because the memory controller is now integrated into the Athlon 64 processor.
Let's take a look at the features of the nForce 4 chipset family.
- NVIDIA SLI Support
NVIDIA nForce4 SLI MCP-based platforms support two NVIDIA SLI-ready graphics cards and dramatically scale gaming and graphics performance by allowing two graphics cards to be run in parallel.
- NVIDIA MediaShield Storage
NVIDIA MediaShield Storage technology implements standard RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 0+1 techniques to maximize storage assets. With MediaShield Storage, NVIDIA also includes many innovations that simplify and optimize the management of RAID features and disk resources.
- SATA 3Gb/s
Take advantage of the latest SATA 3Gb/s hard disk drives, which double bus bandwidth and provide blazingly high disk performance. SATA 3Gb/s drives include full support for native and tagged command queuing, and for hot plug. Native command queuing provides higher disk performance in a multi-threaded environment by performing out-of-order disk accesses.
- ActiveArmor Secure Networking Engine
Enhances network security while delivers the highest system performance by offloading CPU-intensive packet filtering tasks in hardware, providing users with a PC networking environment that is both fast and secure.
- ActiveArmor Firewall
ActiveArmor Firewall protects your PC from intruders by filtering unauthorized traffic. Integrated into NVIDIA nForce4 MCPs, it provides professional-grade traffic inspection capabilities, ‘instant-on’ protection, advanced management features—remote access, configuration, and monitoring—and is easy to use and setup via a user friendly wizard.
- NVIDIA Native Gigabit Ethernet
The industry’s fastest Gigabit Ethernet performance, eliminates network bottlenecks and improves overall system efficiency and performance.
- PCI Express Support
Designed to run perfectly with the next-generation PCI Express bus architecture. This new bus doubles the bandwidth of the AGP 8X bus, delivering over 4 GB per second in both upstream and downstream data transfers.
- 64-Bit Architecture
NVIDIA nForce4 and NVIDIA nForce3 MCPs provide advanced processing capabilities and system innovations for the 64-bit AMD processor architecture.
- NVIDIA nForce Networking
NVIDIA networking delivers the highest throughput for network transfers and lower CPU utilization. The manageable and stable NVIDIA networking solution results in better networking performance and a lower total cost of ownership.
- USB 2.0
A standard plug and play interface providing easy-to-use connectivity for USB devices.
- HyperTransport Technology
A state of the art I/O bus interface, delivering the highest continuous throughput-800MB/s-between the nForce platform processors. Ensures data and information are relayed through the system as quickly as possible.
* Source: NVIDIA
Now, let's check out the motherboard!